While the Supreme Court continues to flay the BCCI and its associate members for dragging their feet on the Lodha Panel reforms, it has gone quiet on the Western front specifically the CARICOM coast.
It’s been a time of jubilation and turmoil for West Indian cricket.
The Calypso swingers under Darren Sammy uncorked an unprecedented second T20 World Cup win in astounding fashion with Carlos Brathwaite proving an unlikely hero. Their women’s team had the very same afternoon clinched their first ever World Cup in any form of the game.
Sammy , ever the team champion, utilized the occasion to roundly castigate the West Indian Cricket Board (WICB) for its step-motherly treatment of the players.
“We started this journey … we all know we had … people were wondering whether we would play this tournament. We had a lot of issues, we felt disrespected by our board, Mark Nicholas described our team as a team with no brains. All these things before the tournament just brought this team together.”
The WICB President David Cameron was quick to respond.
In a statement purportedly praising the World T20 organisers India and Bangladesh, Cameron said:
“The President would like to however apologise for what could be deemed inappropriate comments made by the West Indies’ male captain, Darren Sammy, in a post-match interview and would like to apologise on behalf of the WICB to the millions of fans who witnessed. The President has pledged to enquire the reason and will have the matter addressed.”
He had earlier tweeted:
The ICC would later join the WICB in reprimanding Darren Sammy and his teammates for their comments that were “”inappropriate, disrespectful and [bringing] the event into disrepute.”
The ICC press release read:
“The board considered the behaviour of some of the West Indies players in the immediate aftermath of the final, and unanimously agreed that certain comments and actions were inappropriate, disrespectful and brought the event into disrepute.
This was not acceptable conduct at ICC events played out on a world stage in front of millions of people around the globe.
The board acknowledged an apology by the WICB but was disappointed to note that such behaviour had detracted from the success of what was otherwise a magnificent tournament and final.”
The gloss of the glorious treble of the U-19 World Cup, Women and Men’s T20 triumphs was wearing off quickly.
It wasn’t all rocky ground for West Indian cricket.
The newly minted BCCI and ICC head Shashank Manohar has been in an expansive mood notwithstanding the BCCI’s travails in the Supreme Court.
The Vidarbha lawyer first stated that he’s not in agreement with the ICC revenue-sharing formula wherein the Big Three—India, England and Australia—share the spoils and the leftovers distributed among the rest of the members.
Then the BCCI announced that bilateral ties between India and the West Indies would resume later this year. The cash-rich Indian body waived a $42 million damages claim against the abandoned 2014 tour. The West Indian cricketers flew home after the WIPA and WICB failed to resolve a long-standing pay dispute.
Late last year, the CARICOM cricket review panel suggested an immediate dissolution of the WICB. The panel was constituted by the Prime Ministerial Committee on the Governance of West Indies Cricket as a response to the crisis created by the damages slapped on the WICB following the pull-out from the India tour.
The panel recommended formation of an interim board to install a fresh governance framework with the assistance of a change management expert.
The WICB rejected the report and its findings unilaterally claiming that none of the members of the board were consulted by the panel members.
Legends of the game were not so forgiving. Coming together under the banner Cricket Legends, Garry Sobers, Viv Richards, Wes Hall, Andy Roberts and others met with Grenada premier Keith Mitchell, chairman of the Prime Ministerial Committee on the Governance of West Indies Cricket and sought the WICB’s termination.
That’s how the matter rests for now.
The following column will pore over specific recommendations from the panel and the WICB’s reasons for rejecting their proposals.
What he said:
“Maybe I have a real face and he doesn’t.”
Marlon Samuels was not a gracious winner despite his match-winning knock in the World T20 final at Kolkata against England.
The volatile West Indian was quick to let loose a volley at his long-time bete-noire Shane Warne dedicating his man-of-the-match award to the Australian spin king turned commentator.
The duo have a history of clashes dating back to the second edition of the Big Bash league.
“I woke up this morning with one thing on my mind. Shane Warne has been talking continuously and all I want to say is ‘this is for Shane Warne’. I answer with the bat, not the mic. I played a Test series in Australia (in January 2016) and Shane Warne has a problem with me. Don’t know why. I’ve never disrespected him. It seems that he has a lot inside him that needs to come out. I don’t appreciate the way he continues to talk about me and the things that he keeps doing.”
The facial jibe was a reference to Warne having admitted to using Botox in the past.
What he really meant:
“It’s my turn to face the mike. Warney, can you stand the music?”
What he definitely didn’t:
“I’d really like a bearded and moustachioed Warne, wouldn’t you?”
India did not lose the T20 World Cup semi-final last night. West Indies won.
It’s time commentators and fans gave up listing reasons like the quality of the pitch and the number of no-balled chances Lendl Simmons enjoyed.
Yes, Simmons was fortunate and he made the most of it. Just like Virat Kohli did on being let off by a couple of poor throws by the fielding side.
Yuvraj Singh’s value was felt in his absence.
This West Indian side consists of T20 specialists who ply their trade around the world. They are professionals and can match the best in this format.
Simmons overcame jet-lag to single-handedly lead his side home.
What more can you ask or say? The better team on the day triumphed.
Excuses be damned.
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India take on Australia in a virtual quarter-final this evening at Mohali.
The other three semi-final places have already been booked.
West Indies, New Zealand and England are through to the business end of the World T20.
India are favourites having thrashed the Kangaroos 3-0 Down Under but not before losing the ODI series 1-4.
No team has won the World T20 more than once.
Every edition has been unpredictable.
India, Pakistan, England, West Indies and Sri Lanka have all been crowned victors in this topsy-turvy format.
With no time for recovery from any mistakes, the team which turns up wins.
A stellar performance with the bat or ball is more than enough to decide a game.
If past trends hold, we ought to have a new champion.
Should Australia win tonight and the trend continue, it could be either New Zealand or Australia lifting the trophy, with the prospect of a mouth-watering repeat of last year’s ODI World Cup final.
Indian fans will be disappointed though.
Team India may have won their Asia Cup T20 encounter—not quite in a canter—but for a while, Indian fans could have believed that there was to be a reprisal of those Sharjah days when their arch-rivals Pakistan beat them more often than not.
It was not to be.
Mohammad Amir had a point to prove and he did leaving India tottering at 8-3.
But he lacked support.
The knocking over of the top order brought back memories of India touring South Africa when Dale Steyn and his cohorts gave Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan a torrid time in the opening overs.
It just goes to show that even the best batsmen struggle against top-class pace bowling.
And it also reminded us why Pakistan were so quick to reinstall Amir as their main hit man.
Virat Kohli showed why he’s the most reliable bat in the side.
Yuvraj Singh struggled abjectly but stuck around till the end to see India through.
The next game in the T20 World Cup is eagerly anticipated.