A new beginning for the Windies
Ramnaraesh Sarwan has been installed as the new West Indies cricket captain following the surprise resignation of batting superstar Brian Lara at the end of the just-concluded ICC World Cup 2007.
Sarwan has been given a fairly decent squad which he must try to mould into a cohesive unit with the expressed mission of regaining some form of cricket glory for the Caribbean.
Many regional cricket fans are still not sure what they think about the choice of the West Indies selectors but one thing is certain there will be no fight coming from them. Sarwan has always been seen as a bright young prospect and at just a few weeks away before he turns 27 there is still plenty of opportunity for him to try and fulfill the promise of all that early potential shown.
The other two potential choices might have been Sylvester Joseph and Darren Ganga but both have been overlooked for the top job simply because neither has been able to show the type of consistency in their specialised area that would see them occupying a regular place in the squad. They are both in the team to England, however, so there will be plenty assistance for Sarwan should he find his task becoming burdensome in any way.
It is a pity that the selectors did not see it fit to think outside the box and take a chance on talents like Austin Richards of the Leeward Islands or Jason Mohammed of Trinidad & Tobago. Both apparently are made of the right stuff and the longer they are kept away from the international cricket scene the more of a loss it will be for West Indies cricket. Oftentimes experimentation can bear wonderful fruit and there is this gut feeling among many that these two players are ready to burst into full bloom.
But congratulations are in order for those who have been called to duty for the region and with the recent poor showing at the World Cup the people of the Caribbean will be hoping the players feel obliged to make things right by not only putting up a good showing but to help start the climb of the team back to the pinnacle of world cricket.
Of course there are some of the perennial problems to get over, none the least of which is the continued feuding between the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) and the West Indies Cricket Board.
Already swords have apparently cleared scabbard and there is a little cloud of doubt hanging over whether or not the England tour will take place without too much of a bother surrounding contracts and other related issues.
We have seen that a confrontation is probably looming with WIPA demanding respect from the board and the latter seemingly not wanting to entertain too much of a discussion with the players' association.
It might be the best thing to straighten this matter out in the quickest time possible because the last thing Caribbean cricket needs is a team in transition and with a heavy burden to accomplish much, having problems other than what happens on the field of play bothering them.
Over the years there continues to be more than just light-hearted bantering between the two groups and all the time the united approach needed to help West Indies cricket to settle itself continues to be missing.
This team has a fairly new look and it would be a shame if there continues to be much of the same thing surrounding this England tour. The various stakeholders must be able to do something to see Caribbean cricket move forward in a way that is positive and conducive to continued development and growth.
Although many were not too keen on what transpired during the World Cup none can say the region did not pull out all the stops to make sure everything was in place for the thing to work. Why canít we get it together so that our cricket can get that chance to be successful?
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