Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 3rd 2013 Contents A70
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt November 3, 2013
Present West Indies captain Darren Sammy and
former captain, now team manager Richie Richardson
are correct in assessments and requirements from
their team for this short two-Test series against
Despite the occasion, West Indies must be fully
aware of its purpose and not get caught up in the
engulfing hoopla of massive celebrations and events.
Of course West Indies squad should be pleased
and honoured to be part of this unique occasion---
unofficial, tailor-made send off into retirement of one
of the last great masters of Test and One-Day cricket,
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, who will play his 200th
Few players with long tenures in Test and ODI crick-
et, including Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul
and other teams players like South Africa s Graeme
But allowing for the euphoria of nearly one and a
half billion people celebrating should not distract West
Indies from its purpose in this series or they could
all live to regret the results.
It will not be easy as India has winds in its sails
and having played longer games recently against Aus-
tralia, with great confidence and good form, India will
want to send its great champion into retirement in
the best way possible; playing his 200th Test on a
West Indies, despite not having much long form
competitive cricket in its recent past - they should
be fresh---must give a good account of itself, trying
hard to win both games, taking the puff completely
out of India.
If that does not happen, there could be great embar-
rassments and headaches much later.
Fortunately for West Indies, Sammy and Richardson
are extremely well grounded people and sportsmen,
each, in a strange coincidence, having come to his
own cricketing prominence relatively similarly as
neither was, initially, thought of as a West Indies
captain in his own right when then appointed.
There was much noise when Richie was given cap-
taincy, after Sir Vivian Richards had left, since Desmond
Haynes was suggested to have been the anointed one.
Many, when Sammy was made captain, thought
that he could not even have made the team on pure
merit, much less be leader of that said team.
Those situations are now water under the bridge!
Richardson persevered well, despite severe internal
team acrimony while Sammy has matured, in stature
and cricket terms, to be a good contributor and leader.
But West Indies should be aware of its long history
where especially India are concerned.
It would be sensible to think that Richie and Darren
would have reminded their team that India had severely
embarrassed and upset West Indies in the past, even
if it is distant history.
In 1971, India, eternal underdogs then, beat West
Indies for the first time in a Test series in the Caribbean,
a series which also brought to prominence that other
Indian "Little Master", Sunil Gavaskar.
Everlasting calypsoes and legends were born in that
To this day, West Indians who participated in that
series have massive regrets, excuses, laments, even
heart tremors, whenever that 1971 series loss to India
is mentioned in conversations.
Probably much more significant to younger folks,
for this was only 30 years ago and also always remem-
bered, eye-opening even, a watershed in India s crick-
eting history, was the game of a lifetime, on either
side of the divide but especially for India; winning
ICC World Cup 1983.
Like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on Decem-
ber 7, 1941, to bring USA into World War II, then USA
President Franklyn D Roosevelt suggesting that that
was a "Day in infamy", so too was June 25, 1983 a
similar day, one that brought infamy, for West Indies
or fame for India, depending on your perspective.
Remember, West Indies had won both inaugural
stanzas of that competition - 1975 and 1979 - and
were overwhelming favourites to make it a "three-
peat", winning three such com-
petitions in a row.
Also in 1983, India was not con-
sidered a good one-day cricket
nation, as it has become in 1990 s
and especially 2000 s. Back then,
India was simply thought of as
fodder for teams like West Indies.
It was even a surprise that India
had made that final at all in 1983.
When West Indies dismissed India
for only 183 in that fatal game,
West Indians everywhere includ-
ing at Lords, outside and inside
the dressing rooms, started pre-
mature celebrations, with shouts
of "West Indies - Champions,
again! West Indies - Three-Peat!"
What ensued immediately
afterwards would have made rum
and roti stick in supporters
throats, as the might of West
Indies was shocked into losing by
43 runs, Indian captain Kapil Dev
turning the screws!
Similarly, so many excuses have
been offered by participating West
Indian players after that debacle,
a game and time, rightfully
described as the year that India
stunned the world and everything
changed! Yes, much has indeed
changed since then.
India, No 3 in Test rankings, is
still top of its game and influence
while West Indies, No 6, is trying
hard to regain prominence.
What a great time and place to
restart for West Indies. Enjoy!
Windies must mind 'hype' in India
COLIN EH CROFT
Links Archive November 2nd 2013 November 4th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page