England yesterday became the first team to hold both men's ICC World Cups simultaneously, after beating Pakistan by five wickets in the 2022 T20 World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia.
Our congratulations to England skipper Jos Buttler and his side who, in the process, also became two-time T20 World Cup winners alongside the West Indies.
Yesterday’s English success, however, must also be the signal for the Windies to revamp their fortunes.
If this year’s disastrous T20 campaign by skipper Nicholas Pooran’s side —where loses to minnows Scotland and Ireland saw them dumped from the Super12 — was not enough to signal to Cricket West Indies that a major shake-up is needed now, we don’t know what is.
However, we hope CWI boss Ricky Skerritt is pragmatic enough to know those changes must start from the top, since the team’s woes on the field were a microcosm of the machinations off it.
After all, Windies cricket's problems started with poor management of its administrative affairs, coupled with poor people management. This T20 team's demise, for example, began with coach Phil Simmons getting a second-rate squad because several players were either ostracised by management or disqualified themselves for one reason or another, with some of those issues seemingly to do with the shambolic affairs of the team setting.
Simmons has since bit the bullet by resigning but will the current atmosphere allow for a full recovery?
A lot of England’s current success can be attributed to the England and Wales Cricket Board’s willingness to take hard decisions, albeit sometimes due to the severe pressure from a cricket-mad public. This is how players like Buttler, Ben Stokes, Alex Hales, Sam Curran and Adil Rashid came into the mix to make their latest contributions.
Is CWI ready to do that? Also, can the regional boards put insularity and vindictiveness aside to afford coaches the best possible squads from a clearly limited resource pool?
It is also time to look at whether the CPL is truly grooming T20 players properly, since there currently exists a talent void now that players the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Dwyane Bravo and Sunil Narine are now past their prime.
Finally, Buttler came to the fore after former England skipper Eoin Morgan, realising he could not take them any further, stepped aside.
In the euphoria of yesterday’s success, Stokes had this to say: "When the great man stepped down and Jos took over, you look at how quickly he managed to take control of the team and progress it from the legacy that Morgan's left. Jos has now created his own legacy. He's a guy who everyone follows on the field and it shouldn't be taken for granted how hard it can be making tactical decisions under pressure in this format."
A hard question to be asked now is whether current skipper Pooran can lead a West Indies rejuvenation.
If not, with the next T20 World Cup to be hosted jointly by the West Indies and the United States in 2024, it may be a good time to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. That apart, this media house has called on the CWI to get its act together before and does so once again.