By John Weaver
New Delhi: Feb 27, 2011
West Indies legend Clive Lloyd remains confident the Caribbean side has a bright future despite seeing the former kings of cricket plummet alarmingly down the rankings.
Under Lloyd the West Indies, helped by their fearsome pace attack, became the top team in world cricket, winning the first two World Cups, but a relentless decline has seen them tumble down the pecking order. West Indies have not beaten a Test side in a one-day international since June 2009 and their opening World Cup defeat to South Africa saw them slump to a dismal ninth in the ODI rankings, below Bangladesh.
The team's familiar weaknesses were on show in New Delhi on Thursday as they let promising positions slip, going down to a seven-wicket defeat, with the one bright spot being a dazzling 73 by the promising Darren Bravo. "I suppose they haven't done extremely well really where one-day cricket is concerned and then they have the injury to (Dwayne) Bravo so they are probably struggling a little bit at the moment," Lloyd told AFP.
"I thought they looked a little better when they lost a couple of wickets and regrouped but then they faltered again. But there's still a long way to go and they just have to put in a little better effort." But the former skipper, who won the 1975 and 1979 World Cups, insists there is light at the end of the tunnel for the long-suffering West Indies' fans.
"We have one or two green shoots - (Darren) Bravo, (Adrian) Barath. We have (Kemar) Roach and one or two young players. "Let's hope they come through. The wicketkeeper (Devon Thomas) looked really good batting so it will take some time. It's not going to be done overnight." When asked if he was disappointed to see the former titans of the world game struggling so badly, Lloyd said: "The point is that they're young players and they're finding their way and I remain confident for the future."
The West Indies can hardly afford another slip-up when they take on the Dutch, who include big-hitting Ryan ten Doeschate in their line-up, in Monday's day-night match in New Delhi. But they must do without the services of key all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who was ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with a knee injury suffered during the South Africa defeat.
The West Indies lost opening batsman Barath and wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh to injury before a ball was bowled in the tournament, with Kirk Edwards and Devon Thomas called in as replacements.
News © AFP