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Sunil Gavaskar’s suggestions to bring West Indies cricket out of slump

By Akanksha - 2023-07-17 12:49:52
Sunil Gavaskar’s suggestions to bring West Indies cricket out of slump

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Cricket fans around the world have long admired the once-fabled West Indies cricket team, with their glorious legacy featuring legends like Clive Lloyd, Malcolm Marshall, Viv Richards, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, and Joel Garner. However, in recent years, the West Indies team has been struggling, facing big stage failures and early exits from major tournaments. The former Indian skipper, Sunil Gavaskar, believes that the shift in the sport's economics might be the root cause of this slump. In this blog, we will delve into Gavaskar's suggestions to bring West Indies cricket out of its current downturn by increasing Test match fees, eliminating central contracts, and focusing on performance-based payments.

Never before in the history of cricket had the West Indies missed out on playing in the Men's ODI World Cup, but unfortunately, they failed to qualify for the 2023 tournament in India. Their woes did not end there, as they had a group stage exit from the T20 World Cup in Australia the previous year – a competition they had won twice before. The troubles extended to Test cricket as well, with the team experiencing a dismal outing at home. For fans who remember the glory days of West Indies cricket, this decline is hard to digest.

Gavaskar identifies the 'laid back temperament' of the Windies cricketers as a key factor contributing to their lackluster performances. While the relaxed attitude might have been an asset during the era of legendary players, it may not yield the same results in the modern game. The West Indian greats of the past had the motivation to perform at their best in every Test match because each match represented an opportunity to earn extra income.

During that golden era, Test matches were not as frequent, and players were not guaranteed hefty sums through central contracts. This financial setup meant that every run scored or wicket taken translated into more money earned. In contrast, contemporary players enjoy the security of central contracts, receiving a fixed salary irrespective of their performances.

Gavaskar raises concerns about the effect of central contracts on the motivation and hunger of West Indian players. When players already have a substantial sum in their bank accounts before stepping on the field, he questions whether they would feel the same drive to perform at their best. In other words, the financial security provided by central contracts might inadvertently diminish the players' hunger to excel.

To rekindle the competitive spirit and drive in West Indies cricket, Gavaskar proposes a two-pronged approach: increasing Test match fees and eliminating central contracts. By doing so, he believes players will be rewarded based on their performance, incentivizing them to push harder and perform consistently. With their earnings linked to their cricketing achievements, the players would have a direct financial stake in their success.

If Gavaskar's suggestions are implemented, West Indian players may develop a different attitude towards the game. Rather than taking their place in the team for granted, they would need to continuously prove their worth through exceptional performances. The hunger to succeed and the desire to earn more income could reignite the competitive fire that once made the West Indies team unstoppable.

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The decline of West Indies cricket has been a disheartening sight for fans and followers of the sport. Sunil Gavaskar's suggestions to increase Test match fees and abandon central contracts present a compelling argument for restoring the competitive spirit and passion in the team. By paying players for their performance, the Windies could recapture the magic of their golden era and reclaim their position as a force to be reckoned with in international cricket.

It remains to be seen whether cricket administrators and West Indies cricket authorities will consider Gavaskar's advice. However, one thing is clear: a hungry and motivated West Indies team would be a thrilling sight to behold and could add a new chapter to the storied history of Caribbean cricket. As fans, we can only hope for the resurgence of West Indies cricket and the return of its former glory on the world stage.

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