The temperature was 13 degrees at Chester-le-Street, but there was a full house. Before the game I had read Tim Wigmore’s in-depth article about West Indian excellence in the shortest format of the game, and listened with care to the commentators during the game. I kept asking myself why we allow ourselves to be deceived into accepting the notion that the shortest format of the game is somehow an inferior product. We are world champions in the format. When England appeared to be losing, the sadness was palpable, and the word Twenty Twenty was heard constantly. When England appeared to be on top there was no qualification in the game’s name. It was cricket. I heard during the broadcast a number of references to technique and strategy and skill that reinforce the obvious: that this version of the game is not for dummies. I once heard broadcaster Jajeda during a Test match say that no thinking is required for batting in the shorter versions of the game. Bishop corrected him and promised to elaborate. I did not hear the entire broadcast after that exchange so I do not know if Bishop actually did what he promised, but I frankly do not believe Jageda knows as much about cricket as Bishop does.
It would be a great shame if cricket people miss the opportunity to embrace the vehicles that could encompass almost all the elements that make cricket such a wonderful game, and bring it to the fans in time capsules that make it more accessible and more economically viable. I read earlier today that 19 West Indian cricketers have been retained to play in the Bangladesh league where they would be remunerated at rates consistent with their skills for limited periods. I hope we encourage and support them as it would be good for them and also for the region.Congratulations to the players.
They did the region proud. All the silly WICB restrictions on eligibility for selection must be removed so that we can always field our best team in all formats. Hopefully the time will soon be here when cricket fans would remove the blinkers and embrace all formats of the game, especially while we are still the champs of at least one format and working sensibly to be at least competitive in all formats quickly.This was another great day for West Indian cricket.