ICC Champions Trophy 2017 will miss the ‘Caribbean’ quotient this time around as for the first time in the history of the tournament, West Indies will be missing out of the ODI extravaganza. It seems like politics have got the better of a nation whose first love was cricket. The frequent tussle between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the players ended up hurting the cricketing standards of the Carribean, nothing else.
One has to admit that West Indies players bring a different energy into a tournament they play. Their attitude towards the game, their culture and the way they celebrate every single wicket, a century or a win is unparallel to what any nation does on the field. From Chris Gayle doing the ‘Gangnam dance’ to Dwayne Bravo’s ‘Champion Dance’ on the field. There is no doubt these players are loved across the nations.
When West Indies won the ICC T20 World Cup 2016, their celebrations on the field, in the hotel, at the airport, all made rounds on the internet. Indian websites covered the post-final presentations rigorously despite India getting knocked out in the semi-final of the tournament.
West Indies players are one of the most emotional beings while playing and express their feelings, no strings attached. One such example is when skipper Darren Sammy and veteran Marlon Samuels bashed their board WICB as their support for the team was almost negligible. The news of West Indies players getting their jerseys printed in India spread like wildfire and Sammy’s tussle with the board led to him getting sacked as the captain of the team despite being two-time T20 World Cup winner.
Samuels has a history of on-field spats whether it is Australia’s legendary spinner Shane Warner or the English all-rounder Ben Stokes who got punished by Carlos Brathwaite in T20 World Cup 2016 final.
West Indies have had a poor run in 2017 having won just one match out of 6 games they have played this year. They were whitewashed by England in the three-match ODI series. Pakistan too got the better of West Indies as they won the ODI series by 2-1. Even in the year 2016, West Indies could only manage to win 4 out of 14 games, it also included a tied game against Zimbabwe. To conclude, West Indies have lost 14 games out of 20 from 2016-17.
Their depleted performance in the recent times is the reason for not making it into the top 8 teams in ICC ODI Team Rankings. As a result, West Indies could not qualify for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 for the first time. In the latest ICC ODI Team Rankings, West Indies are in the 9th spot with 79 rating points, far behind Pakistan who have rating 88 points.
While most teams will be busy playing in ICC Champions Trophy 2017, West Indies will be playing a T20 and ODI series with Afghanistan from June 3 to June 15. Cricket fans would hope that West Indies gets back to winning ways similar to what they did in Champions Trophy 2004 final beating England by 2 wickets.
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