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Hanging By A Thread

Adam Mountford | 14:20 UK time, Monday, 2 April 2007

After the West Indies' comprehensive defeat to Sri Lanka here in Guyana their chances of reaching the semi-finals are hanging by a thread.

Brian Lara's team need to win all their remaining Super Eight matches AND hope that other results go for them.

At the end of our TMS commentary I went out into the crowd to interview some of the 12,000disappointed fans.

The Windies fans have not had much to celebrateTheo told me that he'd been looking forward to this match for months, but described the West Indies performance as "miserable". He went on to say "I still love them , they are my team but today they were pathetic". Ryan had travelled with a group of ex-pats from Toronto especially to see the West Indies. Formally a resident here in Guyana Ryan told me "The West Indies built us up, but they didn't perform. This is a beautiful country, a great day for Guyana but they let the fans down. Now they'll join India and Pakistan on the sidelines."

Winston was very angry and had no doubt who he wanted to blame. "It was horrible .. No emotion in the field, terrible body language and no energy. It all comes down to the captain. Brian Lara is a wonderful batsman .. But he can't bring the best out of the team".

Dawn had come specially to see her Guyana cricket heroes Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan. Although she enjoyed it when they put together a spirited partnership overall she said she was "hurt" by the performance and wouldn't be watching any more World Cup games.

However not every fan was distraught. John described himself as an "optimist." He said that "the West Indies were outplayed by a better side … good luck to Sri Lanka. I still think the West Indies can sneak into the semi-finals and perhaps like Australia in 1999 build up a momentum and go on to win the trophy"

Despite the result it was great to see a near full crowd at the Guyana National Stadium. So far the authorities here must be very pleased with how things are going especially considering all the logistical problems they had to overcome.

But its not only the West Indies World Cup hopes that hang by a thread … our ability to broadcast from the stadium is also hanging by a thread - almost literally!

You may have read Arlo White's concerns the day before the opening match here that we were not confident that the lines from Guyana to London would work at all for the Sri Lanka v South Africa match.

But thanks to a last minute delivery of equipment from St Vincent and the dedication of the technical team here we managed to get on the air with amazingly few problems on Wednesday.

However when I tested our lines the day before the Ireland England match - they were not working. Bizarrely you could get through to Dubai, Australia and South Africa … but not to the UK.

We were baffled as to what was going on. Anyway after a day of tests we discovered that the line between the West Indies and the UK had been physically severed and was hanging loosely at the bottom of the sea somewhere between Antigua and Barbados.

And because technically it was broken in international waters no-one was taking responsibility to fix it. Again people worked through the night to come up with ways of solving the problem otherwise our coverage of Ireland v England may not have gone ahead.

Anyway it turned out that the line hadn't been completely severed .. And there were just enough connected wires available to allow us to broadcast once the telephone engineers had worked miracles with various technical tricks I can't begin to understand.

So as long as that bit of wire stays in place … we should be able to bring you commentary on the three remaining super eight matches here.

If not then I better go on a crash course in deep sea diving and cable connection !


Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 02:57 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Paul Woolf wrote:

I reckon the Bangers must never want to go south of equator ever again....top score 160??

  • 2.
  • At 02:59 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Jim wrote:

I had no idea that actual cables ran underwater between nations. You'd think ever since the invention of radio waves and the like that everything would be transmitted using them and satellites.

You learn something new everyday.

  • 3.
  • At 04:14 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • rich wrote:

Big shark? or another UK Submarine "incident"?

  • 4.
  • At 04:26 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Mohamed Z. Rahaman (breado) wrote:

Actually, as a Guyanese the severed cable is a good piece of news for us. At least we can blame the screw ups on something out of our control.

I also hope visitors understand that we are not a developed nation like the UK and US, et al. Our National Stadium may seem like a small potato
compared to Lords or Wembley, however for us it's a big deal. Also, given the logistics, i.e., geography, income and population of the West Indies, the problems with small crowds were bound to happen. You see, a local can probably budget us$100 and a little more for drinks and food for one match, but two or more matches is probably a bit too much. We simply don't have the population to suport that. In India and Pakistan, where proportionally you may have poorer people, you also have a population in excess of 1 billion to draw on.

While it's nice to hear that this is the 3rd biggest sporting event, Cricket simply does not have the same history as the Olympics or Football (we only go bact to 1975) and is played internationally by relatively few countries. Furthermore, a football game is concluded within 3 hours whereas you can expect an ODI to take up an entire day.

My conclusion is that the future is in the 20-20 version of the game. I can go to work, leave a bit early and go check out a match and still be home in time to get some shut eye before work the next day.

Mohamed (Breado)

  • 5.
  • At 04:51 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

West Indian Cricket died a long time ago. I have watched the decline over a number of years. I for one will not be watching this bunch of Jokers when they next tour the UK.

  • 6.
  • At 05:00 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • david wrote:

Great day for Guyana, poor day for West Indies cricket. Certainly not a win-win situation.

  • 7.
  • At 05:55 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Andy Lashley wrote:

If world cricket was played as a league . . where would the Windies be today??

That match was an embarrasment! It's not just about Lara, none of them have any pride in being West Indian, having the world (1/3 at least) looking at them and they can't even play like a team!

I think that they should play as a team in the caribbean series and hopefully find their way to develop some sort of team ethic that can transpose itself into a consistent performance. I vote Fergie to become team manager!

Come on guys! Buck your act up! Play like you mean it!

  • 8.
  • At 06:53 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • steve wrote:

Having worked on cable repair ships for many years, I can assure Jim and every one else that sub-sea cable are criss crossing the oceans of the world. They carry many times more traffic than satellites because they are a lot easier to install and repair than a satellite. Also since the advent of fibre optics (invented by a BT scientist) they are much less expensive to use. Without them we would all be making phone calls costing a lot more and suffering that dreadful time lag caused by the large distance the signal has to travel to the satellite and back.
For Adams information, I'm sure there is a cable-ship steaming to the fault location as we speak to make sure the rest of the world cup is broadcast to the world.

I wish "reporters" like Adam Mountford would get the facts straight and stop printing nonsense about communications hanging by a thread. The slightest opportinity that reporters get to depict the West Indies as primitive and backward is seized immediately. The locals in the respective Caribbean countries must also be wary of these media men and give them the bare facts.... eg "problems on the lines to the UK".
On the West Indies team, the less said the better ! What I will say is this; from an administrative and coaching angle, IF YOU CONTINUE TO DO WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DONE, YOU WILL ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS GOTTEN, AND WORSE !!

  • 10.
  • At 01:57 AM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • rr wrote:

Need to point out some mistakes steve made:

"They carry many times more traffic than satellites because they are a lot easier to install and repair than a satellite."

Not completely true. Fiber optic also offers more carrying capacity compared to satellite channels. It's like comparing a 10-lane highway to a 2-lane country road

"Also since the advent of fibre optics (invented by a BT scientist) they are much less expensive to use."

The idea of fiber optics only took off when Corning in the USA improved the technology back in the 70's. And the Brits complain that we take credit for breaking Enigma :-)

  • 11.
  • At 01:44 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • Kevin wrote:

Well Andy...I think England fall into the same catergory. So it'll be a great series to see who win the battle of the jokers!!

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