I just read Ivan John’s letter ‘West Indies should take a sabbatical from Test cricket (SN, December 14) and I can’t agree more.
I remember I expressed those very sentiments back in 2003 while working in Linden, and I was ridiculed by my friends because it would have meant getting rid of the entire team, including Brian Charles Lara.
The fact is, successive WI teams play as though they have no brains. They discount the fact that the WI fans are quite knowledgeable about the game and are very passionate about cricket.
It is quite obvious that these players know nothing about the history of WI cricket, and if they know couldn’t care less about it.
My suggestion back in 2003, was, and still remains relevant 12 years on, that the administrators, in consultation with the heads of government of Caricom, should suspend all engagements for 5 years.
During that time a core of 30 under-15 boys should be selected and put in a cricket academy. This academy must be multi-sectoral. Here these youths will be taught the history of our game using C L R James’s book Beyond the Boundary as a base. They must learn impromptu speech-making, to avoid another Shiv.
They should be taken through the paces to teach them responsibility, and should be toughened up to enable them to deal with difficult situations.
This cadre of 30 players, after 5 years of rigorous training should be able to compete, should be able to understand the agony of losing, should be able to appreciate the expectations of our people. This team should be the rebirth of WI dominance on the world stage.
Why not give this a shot; after all, everything else has failed. Just think of it: when last did the WI team give us anything to shout about? In the 5-day format at least.