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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Will West Indies regain their lost glory at Beausejour Cricket Ground

The mid 70s to mid 80s – a time when West Indies ruled the cricketing World.  Clive Hubert Lloyd had fearsome battery of fast bowlers ranging from Boyce, Holder, Julien, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Wayne Daniel, Colin Croft, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Patterson and more… WI were considered unbeatable and the stray victories the other teams had were celebrated.  After Lloyd’s retirement (sad he lost his final ODI as also the Test); West Indies have had many Captains -: Alvin Kallicharran,  Deryck Murray, Isaav Vivian Alexander Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Richie Richardson, Courtney Walsh, Brian Lara, Jimmy Adams, Carl Hooper, Ridley Jacobs, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Daren Ganga, Chris Gayle (you get to see him only in club teams now a days), Dwayne Bravo, Floyd Reifer (I read about him only this morning of having captained WI in 2 tests) to their present captain - Darren Sammy, who is really striving to take to newer heights.  Newer because, in the recent past, WI had hit the nadir, regularly losing to all Nations and becoming a second string side. 

WI is a group of islands and Saint Lucia  is a beautiful island among them. It infact is an island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean.  Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados .  It houses one of the most picturesque grounds – the Beausejour Cricket Ground  located at Gros Islet, St Lucia, renowned for  its natural beauty, for its rain forest mountains, waterfalls, secret coves and long, lazy sandy beaches.  The ground set in 22 acres beneath the hills, the 13 000-capacity stadium is highlighted by modern infrastructure, including four stands with bucket-type seating, 18 hospitality suites and a fashionable pavilion that contains large dressing-rooms and lounges for both teams. Its outfield, a perfect oval, is predictably lush green.

More than the serenity of the island, it is the status of the Series that could attract people to today’s Onedayer.  Certainly not the result any expected and certainly not the way Aussies wanted. They were expected to streamroll their opponents but now struggling to emerge with a draw.  WI cannot lose – they are 2-1 up and would desire to make it 3-1 which would be a great pleasure of Darren Sammy to secure his first ODI home series win at his home country.  This would mean a lot to a side which has not  beaten Australia in a one-day series since 1995.  Shane Watson led men came here with victory in CB series and were expected to cool their heals. 

The venue could continue to haunt Australia as it was here on 23rd Mar 12, they lost the 4th One dayer by 42 runs.  The Windies total was aided by a powerful blistering 102 off 70 balls by Kieron Pollard who was batting so low in T20s that he used to get 2 or 3 overs and 5 sixers were the expected ones from him- that he struck 8 sixers and only 5 fours showed his brutal batting prowess.

WI had been tasting reverses with 13 defeats in a row against Australians – but this series has proved different – they have already won 2 and perhaps win today’s match too.  Darren Sammy may not have been the most talented and most respected but certainly has been an inspired leader, taking WI to newer heights and one hopes that WI wins today’s match and wins the ODI series against Australia

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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