Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Dec 2018 14:14:28

CURRENTLY two teams in international cricket, Sri Lanka and West Indies, appear to be unable to arrest their downhill slide. While the Sri Lankan team is suffering from internal management problems within the country’s cricket board, besides sudden dearth of talented players, the West indies too appear to be treading similar path. Their players too appear to be nursing grievances against their board over payment issues and biases in selection process. All these are showing their adverse effects on the two teams’ performances over the last few years with teams that were considered minnows like Bangladesh thrashing them in series after series with ease. 

The West Indians, currently on tour of Bangladesh, recently suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Bangladesh in the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series. The team was looking to end the four-year drought of series win and make a good preparation for next year’s World Cup. But the Bangladeshis have poured cold water on their plans by winning the ODI series 2-1. Thus the Windies appear to be in no position to regain their old charm that used to mesmerise cricket fans the world over in their days of sublime glory. If internal management is one factor affecting the game in the island nations, there appears to be dearth of upcoming talent as well.

Of course the rise of Bangladesh in recent years as formidable competitor in international cricket cannot be lost sight of. Atleast in the shorter version of the game they are the most unpredictable bunch of cricketers who can be relied upon to cause surprises in international cricket. As the team progresses to be among the top cricketing teams, new crop of talent is appearing on the Bangladeshi horizon. As the days of World Cup near, the Bangladeshi team is sharpening its weapons and the recent series win against the hapless West Indies should give them the much needed pep.

While in Bangladesh a new cricketing powerhouse is appearing, Sri Lankan cricket appears to be in disarray. Frequent changes in the top level management, sacking of skippers and coaches, drying of talent pool, all appear to be afflicting the Sri Lankan cricket. Sri Lanka has produced some of the great cricketers not very long in the past. Until recently, cricketers like Sanath Jayasuria, Mahela Jayawardene and several others were dominant force in international cricket. Since their retirement a sudden vacuum has appeared. While graduation of minnows like Bangladesh to top league of international cricket is always welcome, the decline of West Indian and Sri Lankan cricket is saddening. The cricket boards of these countries need to take steps for revival of their past glory.