First of all you have to thank. There may not have been much cricket in Southampton on Wednesday, just 17.4 overs, but little was played due to the willingness of the tourists.
Present; look past the headlines when Britain was the sick man in Europe; to take a personal risk; to see a bigger picture and the wider good of the game.
What needs to be said, but not, is a pity. For the way international cricket has turned out; for the way three nations have come to rule it at the expense of others; to let the rest wither; for all the little betrayal and sale that has reduced the West Indies to the bad relationships of the test game.
The West Indies deserve thanks for the competition and an excuse for repeated betrayal
The players who command the best grip on England’s highest order on Wednesday did not look like the second level of cricket, the left brain.
Kemar Roach’s opening run of six overs for two runs was the most economical in ten years to bowl in England. Shannon Gabriel took Dom Sibley’s wicket with a ball that swung so viciously that he had no arms left. Joe Denly went almost the same shortly after.
England are a tough team to beat at home, but this looks like it could be a very interesting test and a very interesting summer. And we owe the West Indies for making it that way.
All the more reason to do the right thing in the future. All the more reason to remember who our friends are, to whom we owe the continued popularity of the long-form game in this country; a fascination that was based not only on the visits of India and Australia, but also on a succession of Caribbean teams and players that capture the imagination like never before.
A generation of cricket enthusiasts have grown up, not so much in the Ashes, but fascinated by the challenge of overcoming the fastest bowling lineup in history, and some of the greatest batsmen.
Kemar Roach and Co look like they can give a rigorous examination of England this summer
The reason there is a move to rename the Wisden Trophy – the prize awarded at the end of a test run between these countries – is that West Indian cricket has contributed too much not to be recognized. But renaming a Christmas bauble is the easy part. Michael Holding got off his long run on Wednesday to describe exactly what confrontational racism actually meant. However, he did not bear the literal costs of it.
But what the West Indies and other countries excluded from the cricket top table needs is their fair share: in revenues, opportunities, the future of cricket, whatever it looks like.
In 2018, the West Indies Cricket Board presented a paper to the ICC entitled The Economics of Cricket. It was written by Dave Cameron, a former WICB president.
In a nutshell, here’s what it said: 20 percent of the broadcast revenue to the tour team. Not much, right? One test, in a series of five tests – not that the West Indies get them more from England – or 60 percent of the yield from a single test this summer. In other words, 80 percent of domestic series revenues still go to England, Australia or India – cricket’s mighty triumvirate.
And what happened? It was laughed out of the room. Not even treated as a serious suggestion. Only a fifth of the money sent out. Enough to make Test cricket more competitive, to fund investment and revival or development of the sport. It was treated as a joke.
The West Indies have been repeatedly abandoned and excluded from the cricket top table
And this is of course not only about the power brokers of England.
The Economics of Cricket also argued that some of the IPL revenues should be used for the greater good of cricket worldwide. The West Indies do not have the money to pay their players like some other countries, so many lose the game in short form as rental weapons.
Nor does it help that the IPL coincides with the part of the Caribbean season that Australia or England sometimes visited. Cameron suggested some of the loot as compensation. The BCCI, the cricket board of India, could hardly keep a straight face.
“They all say we love the West Indies, but when it comes to paper to adjust the economy, you don’t get anything,” said Cameron. “It is not a presentation to the West Indies; we deserve it.
“We made Test cricket when no one was looking at it.
Tourists can only hope for more fairness in the future and a favor they will regain
“We don’t ask for 100 percent or 60 percent of commercial income, but there must be equity. There must be a return so that I can travel through your country. If you don’t keep other teams competitive and commercially strong, how will the game continue? ‘
On the day players from England and the West Indies expressed support for equality, this seemed a particularly ironic position. Black lives are important in gestures and slogans, on shirts and banners, and princes feel empowered to lecture the working class on Britain’s troubled history, but little changes in the here and now.
The ECB paid private planes for the tourists and covered expenses, but the wealth generated by this tour remains with the hosts.
The only thing the West Indies can hope for is a bit more honest in the future, a favor that was returned. Pakistan the same.
Colonialism is alive and well, but now trades under a different brand. Throw another statue in the river to show how much we care about you.
VERY SPECIAL DELIVERY TO ENJOY
English test captain Joe Root gives thumbs up after sharing a photo of his new daughter Isabella and son Alfie.
Root misses the first test after his wife, Carrie, gave birth to their second child.
The 29-year-old now has to isolate for seven days at home before he can enter the English team bubble again.
He should be able to return to Old Trafford on Thursday for the second test.
English captain Joe Root poses at home with son Alfie and newborn daughter Isabella