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The Best Indies

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The online thesaurus melted down on Saturday evening as cricket writers sought the words to describe what occurred in Kingston earlier that day.

Abject. Humiliating. Shambolic. Humiliating again. Calamitous. Abject humiliation.

I like all of these words. Particularly abject, an adjective that seems to have been created with the only purpose of illuminating English batting collapses.

But one of the few advantages of being an amateur armchair joker as opposed to a fully-trained journalist is that the available vocabulary for these occasions is increased.

So it was rubbish. Rubbish and useless. Rubbish and useless and shit.

I prefer not to dwell on England’s alarming degeneration into rubbishness. There are writers far more qualified than I to do that for you.

Let’s talk Windies.

Eighteen months ago the West Indians toured England in early summer. But the unseasonal temperatures had the poor blighters turning blue. Taking to the field in fourteen layers.  Plunging their hands into their pockets to search out the little heatpacks as if their very life-blood flowed from them. And the cricket wasn’t hot either, peddling a peculiar lackadaisical brand of the game that had the more unkind of us (like me) dubbing them the “Worst Indies’. This was a nadir for Caribbean cricket.

But there has never been too much satisfaction in trouncing the Windies and certainly not in 2007. The usual culprits were wheeled out to explain the decline: the increased popularity of basketball, an incompetent administration, more jobs created by tourism. But the thought of the next Curtly Ambrose opting to shoot hoops over bowling bouncers is one that injures the sensibilities of most cricket lovers. Cricket needs a good West Indian side, even if apparently the West Indies doesn’t need cricket.

I hope that Sabina doesn’t signal a false dawn and that Caribbean cricket is beginning to feel like its old self again. Because if England are going to be abjectly humiliated by anyone, I’d like it to be the West Indies.



Written by harrisharrison

February 11, 2009 at 10:26 pm

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