West Indies cricket team has turned into an average team from a powerhouse of 1970-1980 whom every team used to fear.
No one say that they were world champions in the ODIs and won almost all test series in the past. Today they are mediocre in ODIs and Tests. But T20 is one format in which they are still a threat.
So what is the reason for this??
Money for sure is the biggest reason for this. Grade A contracted West Indies cricketer gets USD 1,00,000 per year compared to around £4,50,000 of England grade A cricketer and USD 2,50,000 of Indian cricketers. West Indians cricketers are the least paid.
So the players have to look at alternatives like IPL and Big Bash and other T20 leagues wolrdwide to earn a decent living. For instance Kieron Pollard earns around $1million in IPL alone leave the other leagues aside.
Almost all WI cricketers play in all T20 leagues like IPL, Big Bash, Bangladesh Premiere League, Carribean League etc.
They hardly play and tests and ODI series in a year. Due to this WI is producing talented but T20 cricketers like Narine, Pollard, Sammy, Bravo etc.
Their rankings also point to the same story. They currently lie 8th in ICC rankings in both tests and ODIs but lie at respectable 5th in T20 rankings above Australia and England.
WICB is also not helping matters by not remunerating the players better to encourage them to play more tests and ODI for the country. Neither are they improvibg the sad state of cricket infrastructure in the country.
WI cricketers are known for their fighting spirit and the fun nature in which they play. Their flair combined with enjoyment is important to increase the viewership of ever falling ratings of test cricket.
We hope that WICB abd ICC will look into this and do something to encourage young and budding cricketers in WI to play test and ODIs