The Willow in the WIndies – innings no. 13

2nd November 2015

The Caribbean cricket podcast

Episode 13 – The ODI Series v Sri Lanka

Welcome to edition no.13 of The Willow in the WIndies.

This week Reds and I convened in the midst of a very busy period of international and domestic cricket. We chatted during a rain break in the 1st ODI between Sri Lanka and West Indies.

I wondered whether Reds was surprised at the composition of the WI side for the game? He felt WI were missing Lendl Simmons (who featured in a lurid court case this week in Trinidad) – and were rather reliant on hitters like Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite (who rescued the side in the WI’s warm-up match).

We were pleased by the continuing success of the WIndies Women’s side in their series v Pakistan, and I wondered whether Red’s felt the women’s game lent itself more easily to the Olympics? We also noted that Grenada’s national stadium (where the ladies are currently playing) is hoping to add floodlights at the ground.

We acknowledged the excellent piece by Ian MacDonald that appeared this week on ESPN Cricinfo, and discussed the fact that while the problems facing WIndies cricket are widely commented upon there is a lack of offered solutions.

One such problem is the ongoing exodus of regional players to appear in other countries’ national T20 leagues, rather than represent their team in the Caribbean’s domestic 4-day tournament. While players cannot be restricted in their choice of where to pursue their trade, WIndies cricket is suffering from the surfeit of T20 leagues around the world, as Sir Garfield Sobers recently observed – with those leagues benefiting from the services of those players ahead of the region that reared them, invested in them and initially brought them to international attention. WIndies feel the loss of these players more keenly because they don’t possess the strength in depth of yesteryear.

A typical example was Basil ‘Shotgun’ Williams, who has died aged 65, and Reds shared his memories of the explosive Jamaican opener who made a hundred on Test debut.

We looked ahead to the upcoming series between Australia and New Zealand and noted the abandonment of the warm-up match before the 1st Test with its remarkable scoreline of 503 -1 declared! This coincides with the 1st Test between India and South Africa, and Reds confessed he expected to get a lot less sleep this week with so much cricket to watch on TV in the early hours of the day in the Caribbean.

Before we closed, Reds pointed out that the reported reinstatement of coach Phil Simmons is yet to be confirmed by the WICB, and we called for some clarity and better handling by the Board of major news stories.

And finally, I alerted Reds and listeners to an excellent recent edition of Can’t Bowl Can’t Throw, featuring as guest his old radio commentary colleague, Henry Blofeld which you can hear here.

You can listen to our podcast here:

David Oram


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