West Indies cricket in danger; needs protection – Grange
Jamaica’s Minister of Sport, Olivia Grange.
Jamaica’s Minister of Sport, Olivia Grange, has asserted that West Indies cricket is in danger and needs protection.
Grange, who is also the Minister of Culture, likened the senior West Indies men’s team to an element of cultural heritage that is on an endangered species list.
She made the comments on Thursday while addressing the St Catherine Cricket Association Awards Ceremony where she expressed satisfaction that the local cricket programme “was at a good place”. But the Minister said she was concerned about regional cricket following a string of poor performances by the West Indies team, including the recent poor performances against Bangladesh.
“Let me say, straight up, that I am a lifelong supporter of West Indies cricket. I cannot think of a reason to ever withdraw my support from the West Indies. The Windies represent us. They are a part of who we are. They are a part of me. So you know exactly how I feel when I saw the recent results against Bangladesh” said Grange.
Bangladesh completed a series sweep against the West Indies in the recent two Test series - each time defeating the Windies inside three days.
“West Indies cricket, the men’s game, is into a time of intense difficulty and a proud part of our heritage, our cricket, is in danger. And it needs protection,” said Minister Grange.
She drew a contrast between the performance of the men’s team and the women’s team. West Indies women were a force to be reckoned with in the recent T-20 World Cup where they went to the semifinals before falling to the eventual champions Australia.
“Why do the women look so good, even without adequate support? And why aren’t the men doing better? Is it leadership? Is it talent? Is it commitment?” the Sport Minister questioned.
She said it was now urgent for all stakeholders in West Indies cricket to come together to protect the people’s game.
She added that: “It is time to forget the egos, to get over ourselves and to focus on fixing and bringing back West Indies cricket. There is enough blame to go around. Let us end the blame game and show our commitment to eliminating the problems that prevent West Indies men from consistently producing good results. We must all remember that for our people, cricket is not just a game. It is part of our heritage. It is part of who we are."