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Under-fire Lara still fighting

Martin Gough | 14:35 UK time, Monday, 2 April 2007

Martin GoughGuyanaBrian Lara should have been in a grotty mood on Sunday, after defeat to Sri Lanka left West Indies on the brink of elimination from their own World Cup party.

Pressure on the 37-year-old was high going into this tournament and it has grown even heavier over the last few days, with a spat over selection made public after the defeats to Australia and New Zealand.

Against Sri Lanka, in their fourth game in 10 days, West Indies looked tired and at times disinterested despite being bayed on by the largest crowd of the World Cup so far, which must say something for their captain’s motivational ability.

As they chased 304, Lara’s dismissal for two signalled the beginning of the end, his foot not down in the crease as wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara removed the stumps.

In private several of the West Indies golden generation from the 1970s and ‘80s are not impressed by his captaincy, at least and on the morning of the game Michael Holding broke cover, saying: "Lara has to step aside, not necessarily as a player, but as captain.

“Everyone knows he's a great batsman but that's not what it takes to lead a team. I can't even say he is a good captain tactically."

It is fair to say Lara wasn’t in the best frame of mind when facing the media, as is each captain’s obligation, after the match but his positivity was something of a surprise.

Should Lara be looking over his shoulder in the wake of all the criticism of his captaincyHe dealt patiently with the questioning for almost 20 minutes and only touched on losing his cool when asked whether he saw himself captaining the side on a tour to England that is barely a month away. Some would argue he is at his best with the fight already lost and the pressure off, as when he scored that world record 400 not out three years ago in Antigua with the series against England already decided.

But, as with all top-level sportsmen, he refuses to be beaten, even when there is only the slightest remaining glimmer of salvation.

Lara’s demeanour made an interesting comparison with that of South Africa’s Shaun Pollock, who was visibly upset when in a similar position four years ago after a World Cup defeat to New Zealand.

“I’m not going to dive into 45 minutes ago and five days ago. I want to concentrate on what we have left,” said Lara.

“I am an eternal optimist. It’s been a tough tournament so far but we still have a chance.”

West Indies now have to beat each of their remaining opponents – South Africa, Bangladesh and England – and hope for losses by other teams.

New Zealand and South Africa both have games remaining against both smaller sides, Ireland and Bangladesh, making their route to the semi-finals easier.

The best route for West Indies may be for Sri Lanka to lose their remaining games, including Wednesday’s match against England, setting up a sudden-death playoff between England and West Indies in Barbados on 21 April.

On my way to that media conference, I bumped into a Guyanese journalist who told me not to pay attention to the cartoon in the Kaieteur News.

At least I’m not under as much pressure as Lara.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 03:19 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Tim Easton wrote:

But who else can captain the side Lara has already come back to Captain 2 or 3 more times. The link doesn't work so I will have to trust your judgement on the cartoon.

  • 2.
  • At 04:33 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • AJ wrote:

West Indies fans are getting sick and tired of the same old excuses, the same old hangdog expressions, the same old slackness in the field, the same old poor shot selection. Im watching in england and as a lifelong fan who grew up with the highly motivated champions of the 80's, this side isnt fit to walk in their shadows. (maybe that is the problem- the past hangs too heavy) Michael Holding and Tony Cozier's frustration yesterday is now barely concealed, what a state it is when one of the greatest players of a generation says he dosent even want to commentate on West Indies games anymore. You wouldnt believe that yesterday was almost a must win game - but the attitude of the team would a disgrace. If they cannot be motivated for a World Cup in their backyard with their fans, then windies fans may as well continue to stay away. Well done to Guyana for turning out yesterday - you did your best- but motivation comes from within. They lucky they didnt have the england football team supporters there or you would heard chants of "your not fit to wear the shirt!" On the evidence of what i have seen they are not wrong!

As for the captain i never believed Lara was a good captain from day 1 - where is Clive Lloyd and Bennet King in all this by the way? - No point in changing captain till the World cup is over but i say give it to Sarwan for the series in england. If Lara wants to carry on than fine but i wonder if he will give the new man 100% support?

Finally I cant end without mentionng Chris Gayle.. im sorry but im dropping him, if he dont show anything in the next 8 days in regards to his attitude. id rather have chandi and Bravo open - talented yes, match winner yes, up for it - right now NO! How do you bowl a no ball from 3 strides, how many misfields, and dont get my started on his batting - he has done nothing but hit a zimbabwen for 3 straight sixes.

I know this has been a bit of a rant - but i had to get it out its been burning me all day, I had high hopes that this could be a restoration of pride in the team, but yet again me and millions of my fellow fans have been left angry and disappointed again. Trying to optimistic we are not out of it yet - maybe the boys can get it together after the break v South Africa - Here's hoping that that the team can turn it around and show why on our day we are contenders - Make or break now.

  • 3.
  • At 04:43 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • SportySardar wrote:


This has to be the worst World Cup ever. Look at the crowds for the matches. There is hardly any one in the stands. You can't play music, you can't party. It seems like the World Cup will start with the Semis. The quality of cricket has been mundane. Apart from the Sri Lanka - South Africa match and the South Africa - Australia match, every thing else has been a cake walk.

Lets get this Super 8 out of the way.

  • 4.
  • At 04:44 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • princess wrote:

Martin, that cartoon is hilarious!!! Not that you deserve the stick, but it IS funny! Hope you're having a good time anyway.

Tim, try the thumbnail on the right side bar.

On a more serious note, Lara is in the unfortunate position of being the highest profile player in the side and that (somehow!) makes him captain material apparently. It's happened to others in the past - Tendulkar, Flintoff for eg. Their games suffered and the team suffered!!! Sad but true.

  • 5.
  • At 04:46 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Mohamed (Breado) wrote:


I cannot believe that these guys at Kaieteur still harping on this thing. Marty, you have to understand that the political situation in Guyana is such that the fellas over there would have loved to see the a total breakdown and failure in Guyana hosting this event. I really think that it's not aimed at you, but your innocent comments are being used (wrongly) as a reminder and as a slap in the face to the current Government in Guyana.

This is a country that is still recovering from a terrible dictatorship and a loss almost all of their middle class, skilled, educated (the brain drain) citizens and about half their population to emigration - mostly to North America. In fact, a recent study showed that overseas remittances by Guyanese living in N. America exceeds the GNP of Guyana.

Again, on behalf of all Guyanese, please ignore these few and please enjoy your visit. We really want you and more of your countrymen and women to come again. I understand that Prince Andrew is visiting soon.

Breado.

  • 6.
  • At 04:54 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • David wrote:

1. I petition the Guyana government to bestow honorary citizenship to Mr. Martin Gough. All in favor say Aye!

2. Tim Easton, look in the photos section for the cartoon. Poor likeness of Martin, but I think its funny.

3. All the West Indies captains after Clive Lloyd have had a tough act to follow. He raised a very high bar. I remember watching Clive Lloyd captaining the Guyana team in 1983, there was something intangible about him that raised the team. I don't envy the position Lara finds himself in.

4. A few years ago, South Africa appointed Graeme Smith as captain at age 22. He has certainly take his knocks along the way, but you can see he is a leader of men. West Indies needs to find such a man within its ranks. Maybe our culture doesn't breed such characters.

  • 7.
  • At 05:47 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • EMILE WIHBY wrote:

MAYBE LARA HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO MOTIVATE THE TEAM MEMBERS TO PRODUCE, BUT TAKE TIME TO LOOK AT THE TEAM.
ARE THEY WORTHY OF THEIR SELECTION
1)GAYLE-CONTINUED PROMISE,CONTINUE TO FAIL-TOO LONG
2)SAWAN- HOW COULD SOMEONE THAT HAD NOT PLAYED CRICKET SINCE SEPTEMBER 06,BE SELECTED
FOR A WORLD CUP SQUAD AND BE MADE VICE CAPTAIN.FAILURE- NO IMPROVEMENT.
3)SAMUELS- HOPELESS
4)DWAYNE SMITH-WHO REALLY IS HIS GOD-FATHER
5)BRAVO- LEARN THE GAME AND START TO THINK.
6)BENNET KING-DOES HE LOOK AT HOW THE PLAYERS MAKE MISTAKES, NO IMPROVEMENT TO BOWLERS OR BATSMEN.HE NEEDS HELP, BUT MAYBE THE PLAYERS ARE TOO STUPID TO UNDERSTAND.
7)WIPA-NO IMPROVED PAY PACKETS UNTIL TEAM MEMBERS PERFORM.
8)WICBC- REDUCE SALARIES FOR TEAM MEMBERS AND INTRODUCE BONUS PAY FOR PERFORMANCES OR PENALISE FOR LACKLUSTURE PLAYING.

  • 8.
  • At 05:56 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Mohamed (Breado) wrote:

Aye to David's petition.

Roger Harper was being groomed to take over, however he could not hold on to his place on the team.

Somewhere, a forgotten man by the name of Carl Hooper must be shaking his head at the state of West Indies Cricket.

If you all want to see exciting cricket, come back for the Stanford 20-20.


  • 9.
  • At 06:22 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Emery Wallace wrote:

The West Indies Team should be placed with the Minnows. As for the Captain, no leadership Qualities whatsoever and that goes for the Politicians as well

  • 10.
  • At 07:01 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Jagan wrote:

I suspect that the entire W.I. team played poorly against Sri Lanka so it is unfortunate that Lara is singled out for the debacle.

To me, Chris Gayle is the weakest link of them all. What has he really done since some good performances in India recently ? There is so much hype about this guy that it is unbelievable. He is a character who would genuinely struggle to get into a quality side like Sri Lanka, for example. He plays with this blase attitute as if he is doing the world a favor by turning up.

Lara is 37, no longer a spring chicken and is doing his fair bit. No, he is not perfect. However, his records speaks for itself. If he is chucked out, who are we left with ? Ramdin and Bravo ? A team needs 11 decent performers and if the top order crumbles, it has a ripple-effect on the others just as the opposite is possible if the openers lay a solid foundation.

  • 11.
  • At 07:05 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Ali Hussain wrote:

first of all, the way lara got out was sad because the replay did not show the bails and his foot at the same time so there was no way to say that his foot was not grounded when the bails were removed. benefit of doubt always goes to the batsman. 2ndly, pakistan and india are already out of the tournement and we always say that 'cricket is a game of chance'. plus the way the team were fielding and showing careless attitude towards the match showed that they were not interested. lara can not help if the team is not interested in winning. personally I think if lara was in australian or south african team, he would have been a far better player and would have far more records then he currently holds since both the teams are motivated and active and WANT to win.

  • 12.
  • At 07:52 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Xavier Millington wrote:

I am a Bajan who lived in England until 1995 when I moved to Los Angeles. I was fortunate to see the Great West Indies teams until the early 90's, but this lot is sadly a BIG JOKE. We have become the laughing stock of the cricket world. As the saying goes CLASS IS CLASS, FORM IS ONLY TEMPORARY and most of these guys are not even in form. In defense of Lara who is one Great Batsman it must be very difficult for him to be thinking that his EVERY innings must be a BIG one knowing that most of the others around him are MOST likely going to FAIL. The WI players of this day are simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Too Many Attractions which are Detractions seem to be a reason.

  • 13.
  • At 08:02 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Mohamed (Breado) wrote:

Sorry Ali Hussain, but Cricket is not a game of chance. 9 out of 10 times the better team wins. with all due respect to Pakistan and India, this is what happens when players believe that showing up is enough.

Alas, with all due respect to Lara, Shiv is WI most dependable batsman. Even his 19 in the 1st match against Pakistan was one of those times when wickets were falling and he simply decided that he will stay there no matter what. Yes, he only made 19, but he brought some stability to the innings by the time he was out. Same thing yesterday and a lot like Jayawardene innings of 82 for S. Lanka. Too bad he did not have the support to back him up.

Those of you old enough would remember Clive Lloyd's hundred in the 1st. Prudential WC finals. But for a certain Rohan B. Kanhai standing guard at the other end after a few quick wickets, Lloyd's innings may have never happened.

  • 14.
  • At 08:27 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • David wrote:

Breado, thanks for seconding my petition for Martin.

Harper was about 15 years too early. Back then West Indies was all about fast bowling. He just couldn't keep his place in the team. I was a few years after him in high school. He definitely had presence about him. He did have his time as West Indies coach too, and found it difficult to bridge the inter-island pettiness.

Many say Hooper was an unfulfilled talent. He was a joy to watch when in full flow.

Both are yesterday's men. We need to focus on the now and future of West Indies cricket. Something we all hold dear, but have neglected over the last 20 years.

Breado, you and I know very well we in the West Indies and especially in Guyana had poor leadership and leadership development in recent times. We will only get better by getting the attention of the rest of the world that we boy Martin Gough has helped with.

It hasn't been perfect, but I am really proud of how Guyana produced a first class venue, though there might be a few tears when all the bills come in. Hopefully this will give Guyana confidence for the future as well as being a tremendous learning experience. In some ways I feel we didn't get the most of what we could have from this event, but I think it's due to inexperience.


  • 15.
  • At 08:28 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Nicky Williams wrote:

Mate, I reckon the pressure's off for Lara, they're rooted if they worry too much so they've got nothing to lose - he's just gonna kick back and hit the runs and his fellas will follow - our guys do it all the time, irrespective of which sport we're playing in (i'm an aussie by the way) - and mate, this is the caribean (or however you spell that) - go lara!

  • 16.
  • At 08:37 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Merlene wrote:

The Waste Indies played true to form, they can't help it, its their nature, gone are their days of exciting cricket or maybe they are just tired...of playing period. Was I disappointed with the results? NO! But Shiv and Sarwan did let me down cuz I'd had them pegged for 100 and 50 respectively.

  • 17.
  • At 08:52 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • crack-o-jack wrote:

It's a sorry sight to see this level of performance from the world cup host. Playing in the world cup,
you have to play with such intensity and vigour, that is close to anger. You have to regard every oponent, as if they have just insulted your mother, no mercy and consideration should be given to them. I hope the host read's my mail and draw some motivation from it. If this is not enough, then they should have a life insurance salesman, as their motivator rather than their highly paid coach.

  • 18.
  • At 09:53 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • martin ruff wrote:

the windies will not be a serious challenge to anyone. we may even beat them so they must be pretty poor and selection also seems to be an issue at the moment. While we're talking of things pretty poor i must comment about the whole running of the current competition. how are the locals meant to attend with ticket prices set ridicouolously high. this is cricket's world cup but it just feels like another one day competition. the stadia needs to be full and buzzing. Licences for conch shells, have they gone mad. another case where cricket is being run by fools. While i'm here i will also have a moan about BBC coverage. Highlights on starting at Midnight during the week , unlikely to draw a big audience even for england games. Instead we have to suffer more TV made for women. Listen to the Radio the only good thing about this world cup, although that's not saying much. OH DEAR, OH DEAR

  • 19.
  • At 10:00 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • martin ruff wrote:

the windies will not be a serious challenge to anyone. we may even beat them so they must be pretty poor and selection also seems to be an issue at the moment. While we're talking of things pretty poor i must comment about the whole running of the current competition. how are the locals meant to attend with ticket prices set ridicouolously high. this is cricket's world cup but it just feels like another one day competition. the stadia needs to be full and buzzing. Licences for conch shells, have they gone mad. another case where cricket is being run by fools. While i'm here i will also have a moan about BBC coverage. Highlights on starting at Midnight during the week , unlikely to draw a big audience even for england games. Instead we have to suffer more TV made for women. Listen to the Radio the only good thing about this world cup, although that's not saying much. OH DEAR, OH DEAR

  • 20.
  • At 10:00 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • shawn harry wrote:

Im absolutely disgusted with the west indies.What a renk performance.These boys are nothing more than the over paid pre madonna`s we have here posing as a professional team.Im sure me and my friends would perform with more fire than the west indies showed yesterday! I mean Chris Gayle a spinner??!??! The west indies have NO spinners to speak of.Gayle couldnt spin a spinning top and thats no joke.Plus why is this man bowling no balls from a few strides? I dont get the persistent inconsistencies.There the west ham of world cricket.we have no batting attack and zero bowling attack.Our bowlers dont have enough line nor length and cant even beat the bat on a consistent basis.As for our batting its just woeful.All we have to rely on his the hope that Lara just once can turn back the clock and give us some runs because you can be assured Gayle wont neither will bravo sarwan or chanderpaul. BONUS RELATED PAY MUST BE ISSUED NOW AND THOSE THAT DONT PERFORM SHOUDL BE SCRAPPED! IF YOU DONT PERFORM YOU DONT PLAY! I MEAN SARWAN WAS A PICTURE OF THE ENTIRE WEST INDIES PERFORMANCE.. THE MAN WAS ASLEEP IN THE STANDS AND HE WAS NEXT TO BAT.CASE CLOSED.

  • 21.
  • At 10:03 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Timothy wrote:

Lara is a poor captain, but who else is there right now to replace him. Since Chris Gayle cant seem to understand this is cricket and not "baseball" he should bat at 7 (with the rest of sluggers).
Lara should let Bravo and Sarwan open,followed by chanderpaul. Samuels should be dropped from the squad.
Finally to Mr. Gough about your comments towards Guyana. It's clear that you intentionally tried to pass the country off as the "worse place possible" I read your article, and while some parts of you little rant are true. there are pieces of the article that just utter disrespects the the country and the people.
Since we are so poor explain Guyana was the place to manage a Sell out crowd!! (or did we borrow money from Britain to pay for the fans). And how is the internet in your hotel ? since you are clearly using the only phone line in the country,I do hope its satisfactory.

I would like to say sorry from all the Guyanese people for our country's lack of sandy beaches,Blue warm water and the all precious -sunshine !!!
I do feel bad that (according to you)my little country cannot offer all the wonderful things that make the rest of the rest of the Caribbean so special .
But unlike generations of past Guyanese who saw the English and Americans as their salvation, as the benchmark to how they should live their lives and mold their society . This present Generation dear Mr Gough are quick to take offense, especially when some smart mouthed people like your self comes to one's home for a few days and completely disrespects the place. It cannot be tolerated. I like many don't want an apology (don't think we are ever going to get one) we just want you to leave our hell whole. Stop your suffering get in a boat and paddle back to the airport!

  • 22.
  • At 10:41 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • chintaka wrote:

What a pity about the match. Even though I'm Sri Lankan - I was hoping that it would be a close chase and that Chris Gayle and Brian Lara would fire.

Yes and the crowd atmosphere is disturbingly poor for a world cup. They should have hosted it elsewhere. Maybe in Australia. They crowds would have been rude and occasionally racist - which is a norm in Australia, but atleast there would be a crowd.

  • 23.
  • At 10:42 PM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Mohamed (Breado) wrote:

David... I guess that we have to thank Marty & TMS for providing this forum. Anyway, I agree with you and by the way, I was at QC and played alongside Roger Harper in our first inter-school match. We were both in 1st. form.

Do you know that he started as a fast bowler then. In his first match (one innings) he took 8 wickets and yours truly (Mohamed Z. Rahaman - look it up in QC records) took the other 2. I was the 1st change bowler and batted up the order. We knew since then RH was special. He spent all his spare time practicing at the DCC ground and was always first on and last off the field. The guy wore his whites on Speech Day!

Due to the intro of co-ed, I was among those sent to Bishops' the next year. I am not complaning. The girls were better looking.

There are a lot of thing wrong with WI cricket. So wher edo we go from here. We recycle the same ol guys at the top. perhaps we need to treat Cricket as the big business that it is today. Hire a commish like Baseball or American Foootball, someone who is already in big business.

Somehow, we have lost that arrogance that we had in the late 70's, 80's and 90's. The kind of arogance that whenever we stepped on the field, we knew that we were going to win. Maybe we are too far removed from the colonial days and don't have that extra edge or passion if you will, to compete anymore.

Now this is where our friend Martin Gough could do us some real good. Look, since those fellas at Kaieteur News are picking on him, why not go for it and write the real ugly truth about the state of West Indies Cricket team. Maybe that would make them mad enough to play better and even win some matches. They can always thank you later Marty.

Breado

  • 24.
  • At 01:43 AM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • Martin Deane wrote:

Lara and some of his untouchable clique of Gayle, Sarwan, Bravo and Collymore have to go. Everybody in Engalnd and Other parts of the world say I am crazy that WI would be nowhere without Lara and his untouchables. I say West Indies cricket would be better without them, had we taken the young team that went to Sri Lanka and groomed them we would be a whole lot better now. At least that lot would have tried and not just rolled over and given up. They have to have the riot act read to them and if Dinanath Ramnarine threatens a strike because we want to drop some of his precious untouchables then so be it. This lot is spineless. I think W I would be better off with the likes of Joseph, Deonarine, Tino Best etc in the team, those guys play with heart. This lot only interested in money, they are not consistent and they just do enough to stay on the team, I am sickened right now to be a WI supporter.

With the way things are now for the West Indies, pressure will continue to build and added to that they are also the hosts.

The team will expect more from Lara and rightly so in terms of leadership on the field and runs on the board. The only ingredient that Lara cannot give now is luck - because luck is needed for the other teams to lose points and pave a way for the West Indies to reach the semis.

  • 26.
  • At 05:02 AM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • David wrote:

Breado,

You really bring back some memories from "small days". I guess our paths wouldn't have crossed at QC since RH was in 5th form when I entered. By the way, those cricket records probably got burnt in the QC fire. So, I have to take your word for your exploits. I must agree with you, Bishops definitely had the better looking girls in those days, but no good at sports.

From what I understand, players on the team make quite a good living. You would think there would be much more competition for places on the team.

Why the decline? There is an interesting explanation being circulated that our players don't have that edge anymore because none of them are really playing county or club cricket in England like what used to happen in the Clive Lloyd era. Apparently South African and Australian pros are much more reliable and professional.

Enough of the negative talk. Go West Indies! Better late than never. We have to compete with the team we have. When the tournament is over, then we can talk with the benefit of hindsight.

  • 27.
  • At 06:30 AM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • duri naimji wrote:

Why West Indies is losing so many matches? No easy answer. I submit faulty technique, tactics, shot selection, and inattention to vital details such as the popping crease or swing of a ball.
As to tactics. twice WI won the toss and bowled first and both times the other teams scored over 300 runs. and WI lost chasing by over 100 runs. They had disastrous starts. Gayle fancied he had to hit sixes in first over or steer ball in slip. Chanderpaul,Sarwan, Samuels, Bravo.. have limited scoring shots and often use questionable shots to push the high run rate. Sometimes they come off, often they do not, especially in critical situations. Sweeping, Cutting, , hooking, slogging,.. rarely take batsmen over 50 runs.Batsmen who are set are unable to carry on for their side, maybe not seeing the big role.
When the limbs and brain are tired out after three hours in the heat, lapses in fielding, running, footwork, concentration, clear thinking.. increase. Lara himself says playing four matches in a short time make players tired. That is all the more reason not to bowl first and become more tired. Handing over the toss is poor tactics. There are far better players not selected: Ricardo Powell,Madramotoo, Ganga .., Bravo is overestimated. Fear freezes some batsmen too often and they make disastrous choices .over and over.. Slow learners mabe..

  • 28.
  • At 06:48 AM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • vijeth wrote:

Lara truly has been a great let down in captaincy. a brief analysis of the failure:

whatever has happened to gayle.. why can't the coach correct his stance? he's flopping more and more since he opened his stance. Shiv.. I can never complain as he's the only one who is committed. Sarwan... maybe he wants to be captain... but he's the biggest let down and most irresponsible. Samuels.. once in a bluemoon wonder.. lara... for all good deeds of his.. he's not inspiring now. Ramdin.. unfulfilled. Smith and Bravo.. over rated. Bowlers.. decent but inconsistent.

you see the windies team like the Indian Team is full of talent. but indisciplined and not united.

Maybe time to bring back hard working bowlers like fidel edwards, tino best and Lawson (the only true match winning bowler for windies I saw in past few years). Batsmen.. The best are already in the team. What they need now is to get the zeal to win.

  • 29.
  • At 11:23 AM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • drewan wrote:

Isn't it sad when even the BBC's sports journalist doesn't know the difference between "disinterested" ("objective or impartial") and "uninterested" ("not interested")?

Brian Lara is one of the greatest batsman of all time, but he is ill-served by his team - maybe he should get angry with them occasionally?

  • 30.
  • At 12:25 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

west indies are a terribly inconsistent side. they need to refresh the team even if that means eliminating older players....

  • 31.
  • At 01:18 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • eddy wrote:

it makes me really, really angry when ex-pros like mikey holding or colin(the rebel)croft start having a go at Lara and the west indies.

how would they have performed in the team Lara has played in over the past 10 years???
they were surrounded by other greats of the great playing at their optimum. holding and croft had Roberts and garner and marshall, with some farely 'ok' batsmen as well...you know who. when walsh and ambrose went in 2000 they were already a team on the wain. Lara has had more pressure to perform in west indies colours than anyone before him yet still created impossible innnings and performances. Holding and especially croft are not fit to wash Lara's jock-strap, no one, not even the great Viv knows how it feels to play with such average players and have to perform alone. Just imagine what Lara he could have produce in another team????

eddy, east dulwich, london

  • 32.
  • At 01:34 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • Daine Crockford (A Ginger) wrote:

Sarwan obviously

I think AJ has vented it pretty well. But I think Lara and the Waste Indies owe the Guyanese people an apology.

  • 34.
  • At 02:44 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • Sue wrote:

Umm What a shame! It really is a sad day in West Indian cricket when you watch the likes of this World Cup team... I am glad I kept my US$100 and stayed at home!! I cheered none the less but whats done is done.

  • 35.
  • At 04:29 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • Nik Alleyne wrote:

As someone who was in the ground watching the game, it was truly a disappointment. From a fan's perspective these guys fielded worse than school boys, the bowling was atrocious and the batting, my gosh, I can't even find word to describe. While in the stand a Trini man at the back of me had to holler "clean up that sh*t" while they were fielding. The whole game was a disappointment for the fans.

As for Ramnarine, I can't see how he can continue to sit and argue for more money for these guys. The funny thing is, they would have been paid even more to partake in the world cup with even greater benefits if they won. But I guess that is not enough motivation. So as a result I strongly believe if they are not motivated through the existing means, get rid of ALL of them EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. It is time these guys are paid based on performance. They should not be compensated for bringing all this pain to the Caribbean people.

The guys need to have better respect for their fans. It is not easy sitting and watch "minnows" Ireland put up a fight and then watch West Indies not even make an effort. At this point I would not even be surprised if Bangladesh beats us.

Now with all that I have said, I will still continue to watch and support the West Indies team. I'm a West Indian and I love my cricket, so I have little choices.

Best of luck with the rest of the tournament guys.

  • 36.
  • At 04:34 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • dennis andrade wrote:

I think you need to send this message to LARA if possible.

He should keep Chanderpaul & Sarwan out of the playing 11. These are the 2 key players not supporting him. If he keeps them out, Windies will win all the three remaining matches.

You may have observed clearly in the match against Sri-Lanka - Their target (Shiv & Sarw) was to increase the required rate to 8 - 9 runs and then get out making it difficult for the new batsman to achieve. So infact Lara is playing with 9 players and not 11.

If he continues with them WI is out of the world cup ? Atleast he can try with new players. They will atleast try..

This is what Ganguly tried to do with Dravid as well while batting first. Play as many dot balls as possible and score the odd single. In a way they would score only 3 runs per over, which any opposition can score very easily.

Do I need to tell you from where this negativity comes from.......

Please let LARA know this..... Atleast he can try to be in the semis

  • 37.
  • At 05:19 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • Shaunette wrote:

The WIndies are a team of amateurs. None of them play professional 1st class cricket of any note. Nothing to compare with county cricket (england) or the professional leagues on the subcontinent or in Aus or SA.

They may be talented but they lack the experience of people who play cricket as a full time job. The progression of a player from club cricket to playing regional cricket for Barbados or Leewards or T&T or Guyana is not enough to prepare them for playing Test and ODI cricket.

The fact that they can sometimes compete (but never consistently or for any length of time) probably shows that they have natural talent coming through. But unless there is a system in place to hone this talent, they won't be succesful at the international level anymore.

It's hard for a region of 5 million to compete with countries with populations of 50 million and over (NZ being the only other country that's close). But when you add the lack of professional cricket-playing experience, they don't stand a chance.

s

  • 38.
  • At 05:53 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • elue chibututu wrote:

If Lara is not fit to lead the Windies, then who is? If you take your most experienced player and ask him to lead you into a World Cup on home soil, then you have to be able to take the good with the bad. What about Shaun Pollock four years ago? He got the axe for what was essentially not his fault( A weather-affected match against the West Indies,eventually decided by the Duckworth-Lewis method). If you blame Lara, where are the Pakistanis and the Indians? I think he deserves some credit for getting the Windies into the super eights at least.

  • 39.
  • At 07:01 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • Alfred Alleyne wrote:


Captain Lara displayed professional skills in the West Indies match against Pakistan. The decisions he made in the subsequent two matches may lead one to believe that bets were placed on certain aspects of the games. For example: 1. That an all-rounder ( Dwayne Smith)would not bowl a single over in a particular match; 2. That an opening batsman ( Lendel Simmons) would go in at N0. 8 position in another match; 3. That Sarwan would bowl in a particular match when he did not bowl in any warm-up matches for the tournament; 4. That the No1 strike bowler would be dropped for the inclusion of the most junior batsman in the 15-man line up. The history of match-fixing and the recent decisions made by Captain Lara raises many questions regarding the state of the modern day cricket game. Let us hope that the foregoing issues are not related to the Betting Game and West Indies players involvement. West Indies fans have now come to realise that Lara cannot be captained by no one and he cannot captain anyone. He must go for the best of West Indian tanents to be productive. Goodbye to the best batsman and the worst West Indian captain.

AA.

  • 40.
  • At 07:57 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • mautan wrote:

Holding is a joke...he should not taken seriously. Guys like Croft and Holding have been Lara's opponents for the last 10 years. Instead of being constuctive, they keep looking for excuse and almost derive pleasure out of slgging Lara and WI. Lara actually did very well to bring up WI in the last year...but something has gone wrong again. Why doesn't these two idiots question Gayle,Chanderpaul, Samuels, Sarwan and their performnaces? Lara is not god, he can only try.
Holding also said the minnows should not be there, I guess he has not commented on that of late.....
What has Holding or Croft done for WI cricket after they retired???Most times they criticize so much that you wonder if they belong to WI.

  • 41.
  • At 09:54 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • ed clarke wrote:

Martin, man I hope you are having fun in Guyana ... and hope you ask Athers bout wh i tell you last time...you know I gave you some pressure originally about your earlier comments but I must congratulate you on hanging in, and showing us your sense of humor. dah cartoon sweet fuh days man...well done man..

...now to some cricket ..I have already had my say about the WI team's apparent lack of motivation to win aginst Sr Lanka...note I say apparent, as I believe they wanted to win as they are cricketers and west indians, nobody wnats to lose but they just didnt know how to show us that they were motivated or wanted to win..I will tell them..go watch the Sri Lanka games on video and see how those fellas have team work and motivation, tell Lara go talk to Jayawardene and tell Bennett go talk to his fellow countrymen Tom Moody or Dave Whatmore and learn a few things on motivation from them.... anyhow ... I think people are blaming Lara for too much on the field, seriously, West Indian fans...did you really expect this team to beat NZ, SL, and AUS, based on how these teams have been performing and the professionalism exhibited by their players since the tournamernt started~~! if you did, then I say you must have been watching different games to me. I was always hoping for ther # 4 spot in semis by winning 4 and at the max 5 games...as we have lost to SL now it will be 4 games max....Our fellas are simply not up to that level of basic cricketing skills, moreso on the batting side, its quite obvious to me, a 2 bit cricketer. I do not think everyone should crucify Lara, if it was not for him , WI would not even make 200 in about 70 % of their 1 day games...check the stats for yourself..when he fails, the WI usually make less than 200..go check for yourself..Yes, I agree that Lara's leadership is poor , no doubt about that , but he has always been like this, do you expect him to become a good leader in the world cup? c'mon people... think seriously about what you are asking...now..who else can lead that team.....the only persopn capable of getting more from these underperforming group of players is not even in the team but hopefully he will be appointed Capt to England in summer, he is by far the best captain in the West Indies, he is DARREN GANGA.. he is Trini, but ask any Bajan cricketer or ardent cricket fan and they will tell you, he has beaten my big up Barbados team 2 or 3 times recently with a team of players with much less expereince and natutral ability than Barbados, he is a thinker and he is the man for the job... but in the interim.... " people...."wunna expect to get blood from stone " man da never happen hey before and um aint gine happen hey now..lehwe be realistic. yuh know West Indians love to pray so lehwe pray for rain to wash out all the SA and Eng games, except the ones vs WINDIES and lehwe beat SA, Eng and Bangladesh and get into semis..then we will hear how great Lara and the fellas are again....ah gone til tomorrow ..
eddoe

  • 42.
  • At 01:44 AM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Desmond Brathwaite wrote:

I think Lara is using the extra day's play against Australia as an excuse for his teams lack of cricket know how. They play five days in a test match so what is all this crap about four days play in 10 days. Lara is not a leader! he is a very good batsman but he cannot motivate the guys, he lacks the discipline to make him a captain. The fact that he was hand picked by the new president of the WICB to lead the team shows that West Indies cricket is ruled by a dictator and Lara does whatever he wants because he knows he has the support of Gordon.
West Indies cricket will always be in the dumps unless we get rid of these old tired businessmen and get past players directly involved in our cricket. There must be a general overhaul of board, players, coach and everyone involved in our cricket.
Ganga must be made captain of the team and Lara must be sent on retirement because if he remains a member of the team he will undermind Ganga because that's his nature: if I am not the boss I will mash it up!
We are out of the world cup; the worst world cup in cricket history.I am ashamed as a Caribbean man after what I have seen.

It is understandable that every beginning has ending,every succes should follow by failure,every accumulation should follow by diminishing effect,once gathered should follow by departure.So do not worrry and it is natural and world behaves in that way.Think on the value of all that happens.Thanks.

  • 44.
  • At 08:58 AM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

AJ I agree fully

  • 45.
  • At 11:10 PM on 04 Apr 2007,
  • Nigel Castleton wrote:

I find the behaviour of the Indian sub-continent in the current world cup,right up to the last two balls played by Sri Lanka against England as the most disgusting travesty of cricket I have ever seen,and I would like to see them all barred from international cricket for five years until their heinous crimes against the greatest of all games in the world are thoroughly investigated by a genuine independent world body.May they never grace the gates of Lords until this happens.

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