Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features >

Chris Gayle and the West Indies bring the rock show back to cricket

Chris Gayle and the West Indies bring the rock show back to cricket

Unlike other teams that celebrate with gnashed teeth and clenched fists, the West Indies do it with a smile and Gangnam-style jig, as Chris Gayle (above) shows it © Getty Images

 

As if his brutal onslaught on the Australian bowlers at the World Twenty20 semi-final didn’t suffice, Chris Gayle underlined in one cheeky presentation the x-factor of the West Indian juggernaut. He said sorry to Sri Lanka because the World Cup was West Indies’!

It is hard to imagine any other current cricketer saying that with a big grin on his face to the home crowd and also getting away with it. We have waited nearly 20 years for it, but the Caribbean rock show is back in town.  

 

I have been asked before, probably by people not too familiar with their legacy, what was so special about the West Indies. Citing their formidable team of the ’80s is usually not enough to pacify such people because the past is irrelevant for them. They are entitled to that stance, because it is not just their statistical achievements during the ’80s that made the West Indies special. It is the art of winning by entertaining, winning with a smile on the face – of the players as well as the spectators – that makes West Indies unique among all cricket teams. 

 

Cricket has relied heavily on the international circuit where sports like football and basketball have ceded ground to domestic leagues. This means that jingoism is pretty much the norm in cricket. Friendly armchair conversations may be neutral and ‘objective’, but out in the stadium, it’s war – it’s us vs them. That means typically the home crowd falls silent when the opposition is going great guns….because their immediate concern is the possibility of defeat for their own team. That is, except when the West Indies are on fire. 

 

 

It doesn’t matter whether the fans in question are Asians or Englishmen; if there’s one team that people can root for irrespective of nationality, it’s the West Indies. Like a Maradona or Zidane in football, they enchant spectators with the unorthodox beauty of their cricket.   Nobody’s going to complain about brutal bashball in Twenty20 when the West Indies batsmen demolish opposition bowling lineups, because they do it their own special way.  Also endearing is their genial irreverence which is at odds with their almost frightening talent and brutal intensity. Not for them the gnashed teeth and clenched fists of the Aussies (with due respect to the great teams led by Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting).  They celebrate with victory jigs, done Gangnam style.

 

Perhaps, it is all the more heartwarming because they have been away for so long. Not literally away, but they have struggled to give a good account of themselves in international cricket generally and looked a pale shadow of a once invincible team, to put it mildly. But the Indian Premier League (IPL) offered the likes of Keiron Pollard, Sunil Narine and, of course, Chris Gayle a fresh platform to demonstrate their talent. 

 

Once they became stars in their individual capacity in the leagues, it was a matter of time before, after all the usual internal squabbling, they gelled as a unit and began to play to their potential. It appears that the inspirational feats of Usain Bolt and Yohann Blake at the London Olympics also spurred them on. Or did Bolt’s professed desire to play in the Big Bash League scare them? Whatever it was, everything fell into place against old foes Australia on Friday in a glittering showcase of the Calypso brand of cricket.     

 

Up next is Sri Lanka, the one team that well and truly outplayed and outthought them in the Super Eight. While the West Indian batting line-up could brutalise Brad Hogg and Xavier Doherty even on a turning track, the going may not be easy against wily Rangana Herath and the unpredictable Ajantha Mendis. Sri Lanka’s lower order has also swung into action in their last two games so West Indies can ill afford the complacency they showed in the closing stages of Friday’s match.  

 

Still….the result hardly matters at this stage. It is just fantastic to see West Indies strut their stuff on the biggest stage of cricket after a long time. Is this yet another false dawn or is a rebirth in the making? Time will tell. Until then, let’s enjoy the rock show while it lasts.  

 

(Madan Mohan is a 26-year old chartered accountant from Mumbai. The writing bug bit him when he was eight and to date, he has not been cured of it. He loves music, cricket, tennis and cinema and writing on cricket is like the icing on the cake. He also writes a blog if he is not feeling too lazy at http://rothrocks.wordpress.com/)

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 72 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Chennai Super Kings won by 93 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Delhi Daredevils won by 4 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 7 wkts

Photos

CSK vs DD, IPL 2014 Match 8 at Abu Dhabi

Videos

IPL: Tanmay Mishra talks shows the contents of his kit

IPL 2009: Yusuf Pathan leads Rajasthan Royals to memorable win over Kolkata Knight Riders in Super Over

Who else but Shakespeare on the World Book and Copyright Day?

IPL 2013: Shane Watson’s scintillating century against Chennai Super Kings goes in vain

John Small — The first man to use a straight bat

IPL 2014: Dwayne Bravo’s absence a major blow for Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils Glenn Maxwell India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab KXIP vs SRH KXIP vs SRH 2014 MS Dhoni Mumbai Indians Rajasthan Royals Royal Challengers Bangalore Sunrisers Hyderabad

Sachin Tendulkar greater than Don Bradman, claims new book titled ‘Greater Than Bradman’

Lasith Malinga named Sri Lanka T20 captain, Lahiru Thirimanne vice captain in all formats

Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2014, Match 11 Preview: RCB look to maintain winning momentum

Peter Moores — Most unsuccessful England coach of modern times: Report

IPL 7: Chris Gayle returns as upbeat Royal Challengers Bangalore face off against Kolkata Knight Riders

Meg Lanning, Arran Brindle and other women cricketers who have led at a younger age than ther male counterparts

IPL 2013: Chris Gayle’s monumental 175 against Pune Warriors India

Aditya Verma waging war against BCCI for future of Bihar cricket

IPL 2014: Sunrisers Hyderabad need to have a relook at their top-heavy batting line-up

Hasan Raza: The youngest Test debutant

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

622 Posts | 7 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli's 77 during India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 2014 final at Dhaka

Top 10 rock songs to take your workout to the next level

Top 6 natural remedies to keep your liver healthy

Janaki Vishwanathan: Yeh Hai Bakrapur has been getting widespread appreciation even before its release

DGCA allows in-flight use of mobiles, laptops on flight mode

Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2014, Match 11 Preview: RCB look to maintain winning momentum

India Elections 2014: How does an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) work?

An astonishing list of women cricketers who captained at a younger age than their male counterparts

Kajol: A visual delight as a pin-up girl!

Also on cricketcountry.com