Monday, 16 June 2008

What endears the Windies?

The halcyon days are long behind them. The imposters have swapped their place and triumph raises eyebrows these days, just like disaster – like the 1983 World Cup final -- did in their pomp. They had their day in the sun and the prince is now a pathetic pauper. But still, what is it that endears the Windies like no other team?

We belong to a fairly uni-polar cricket world with no end in sight for the Australian hegemony. Of course India humbled them here and there, but still they have been pretty much the USA of cricket. Not surprisingly, coup-seeking souls copied the Australian system and tried to mould their teams accordingly, though with precious little success.

But why is it so that we admire Australia but adore the Windies at the same time?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it is the spiritual home of the game, just like Brazil is to football, or India to field hockey. Or the fact that a handful of island nations joined hands to overcome their laggard economy and difficult co-existence to find a unique solace in the bat-and-ball game. Or maybe it’s their exotic brand of cricket -- free, fair and flair – which made them subject of such a global romanticism.

Though the islanders grapple with a golden past, turbulent present and an uncertain future, why is it that we are so unabashedly in love with them? Why nationality takes a back seat as every heart harbours the dream of a Windies renaissance?

Cynism grows as the Windies contrive one after another way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory but how come they still maintain perhaps the largest fan following?

As Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo wage a grim battle against Australia at Kensington Oval, the outcome is not hard to imagine. The hosts would probably once again find a way to defeat. But ironically, while Australia wins everything but heart, Windies would win hearts again, despite winning hardly anything else.

10 comments:

Homer said...

Maybe it is because of the fact that, unlike the Aussies, the Windies never had a well oiled PR machine that made a big song and dance of every little thing the team did ( nor were the Windies press corps so blatantly one eyed).

And unlike the Aussies, the Windies never rammed their gospel down people's throats nor did they take an holier than thou attitude about everything.

Cheers

Som said...

Homer, exactly so. In fact they allowed their exploits do all the talking.

Q said...

This association with the Windies comes from their earlier days when they were the champion team - all those who followed them in the 70s and 80s want them to do well again...

I agree with Homer. Even when the Windies were the mighty windies there weren't many arrogant / boastful comments about them being the best similar to what we see from Australia today.

But then again the media then wasn't what it is now.

Imagine had Greenidge or a Richards or a Lloyd had to give 10 interviews a day to 10 different channels and they were paid a few hundred thousands to do so - would they have bragged about their achievements?

Probably.

Straight Point said...

interesting points Som...

i think the answer lies in their psyche of careless life styles...be it their music the way they talk...and the way they played their shots...almost every thing associated with them is interestingly casual and careless...best exemplified the baap of all batsmen SIR VIV!!

homer and Q...

they would not be west indies if the brag about their achievements...and thats why they were the first and last respected champions...

vmminerva said...

Beautifully said, Som. There is a certain romanticism about them, which makes you want to support them even you aren't West Indian. A carefree spirit, a history of success, and as many point out, the non-bragging nature add to the charm.

Good point about Chanderpaul, too. He has grown into something like India's Dravid. You that when he's gone, so goes the Test match.

Som said...

Q, I think it's the intrinsic simple, happy-go-lucky trait of the West Indians, who believe in instant reaction and their incredible ability to forget things once it's over. They don't hold grudge or nurse ill intentions. It must have something to do with their lifestyle...I'm curious to know what actually it is....

Som said...

SP. welcome back from vacation and yes, I too feel it's their free-spirit, be it cricket, music, dance, party, fod habit...indeed it is so.

Som said...

VM, pray they get back to their winning ways, for the sake of people like us.

scorpicity said...

"a handful of island nations joined hands to overcome their laggard economy and difficult co-existence to find a unique solace "

Aptly thats why and its is always their cool live for today attitude which has a very pleasant down to earth feel.

When I was in Jamaica, I noticed that the people there don't walk... they sway :)

Som said...

Scorpicity...really? I would love to go jamaica...