In the history of cricket, the West Indies have never been unable to play in the Men’s ODI World Cup. They will in 2023. Since they were eliminated early from the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe last month, the winners of the first two tournaments won’t be at the 10-team event in India later this year.
This comes after they were eliminated in the group stage of the T20 World Cup in Australia last year, which they had won twice. All of this, along with another bad Test match at home, makes cricket fans of a certain age think hard about what might be causing the once-famous Windies cricket team to lose its way.
Sunil Gavaskar, the former leader of India, says that the failures on the big stage are due to changes in the sport’s business.
“It’s where I went on my first tour, and I know a lot of people there,” Gavaskar said at The Indian Express Idea Exchange, thinking back on the good old days. “I know what kind of impact these great cricket players left. There’s a pretty chill attitude, which is great, but when it comes to playing, a chill attitude might not get you very far. During the great time for West Indies Test cricket, every Test match that Clive Lloyd, Malcolm Marshall, Viv Richards, Andy Roberts, Michael Holdings, and Joel Garner played was extra money.
Gavaskar added, “Today, the West Indian players, whether they play Test cricket or T20 cricket, all players around the world are guaranteed by their central contracts, whether it’s a hundred thousand dollars or something else.” But if you know how West Indians act and you have that much in the bank before you score a run or take a wicket, I am not sure about a lot of them if it really matters if they score runs or not. Because they have the money.
“I think the Test match fees should go up, but they shouldn’t be given central contracts. You get paid for how well you do your job. Then, most likely, they’ll change their minds.”
The Windies are behind 1-0 in the two-Test series against India after losing the first game in just three days. Their results outside of world tournaments have also been worrying. Since winning the T20 World Cup in 2016, which was their last ICC prize, the team has only won 12 out of 41 bilateral series played at home.