The young West Indies – members of the regional Under-19 squad captained by Carriacou-born Emmanuel Stewart – entered the 2018 tournament as defending champions. On Wednesday, they exited the tournament, looking nothing like champs.
The Windies failed to garner a single point in the competition. We expect, as usual, that the players’ poor performance will generate another round of analyses and commentaries on the state of Windies cricket.
As is customary, many will be left in puzzlement as to what would have happened that has left the West Indies – once the dominant force in world cricket – now almost a laughing stock, unable to consistently defeat even the minnows of cricket.
Caribupdate Weekly’s own view is that one of the factors responsible for the demise of West Indies cricket was the inability of the region’s sports administrators and coaches to grasp, from very early on, the changing nature of cricket.
Cricket, over the years, was moving away from the heavy emphasis on brawn and muscles; more on more teams were applying new and emerging technology in their game preparations; and more and more – whether by choice or by accident – other nations were including players with professional academic degrees into their lineups.
There is no question that Caribbean nations – from Trinidad and Grenada in the south, to Jamaica in north – possess as much raw talent as any sports-playing country on the planet. What seems to have been eluding in the ability to adapt mentality and to navigate on the field of play in the modern game of cricket.
And that brings us to an interesting point made by Colin Dowe at the July 5 National Sports award of the Grenada Olympic Committee. Mr Dowe, Associate Dean of Enrolment Planning at St George’s University, appealed for what he described as a “marriage’’ between education and sports.
According to Mr Dowe, who also is an official at T.A. Marryshow Community College, “this is a marriage with only positive possibilities’’.
“There is no downside to the marriage between sports and education,’’ Mr Dowe said in delivering the keynote address at the sports awards’ ceremony at the Spice Basket in Beaulieu, St George’s.
According to Mr Dowe: “Education is the key by which access to additional opportunities can be realized. Talent, with scare resources, quite often remains a mere potential. Education can provide the access to additional resources needed to develop one’s talent and maximize his or her potential.’’
Mr Dowe’s message, we believe, is pertinent not just to Grenada and West Indies cricket; but to all sporting disciplines.