WI set to be force to reckon with: Srinath

West Indies winning the ICC championship not only suggests the rebirth of Caribbean cricket, but also redefines the status of the teams in world cricket.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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The West Indies winning the ICC championship not only suggests the rebirth of Caribbean cricket, but also redefines the status of the teams in world cricket. The West Indies' ability to assimilate and to retain their traditional cricketing values had long vanished with some poor and uninspiring performances. In the last decade, the Caribbean cricket was more or less depended on individual feats and records of geniuses likes Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose and few others. The famous quadrate in Roberts, Holding, Marshall and Garner could only inspire to produce the two greats -- Ambrose and Walsh. After this, the West Indies cricket failed to discover fast bowlers of same lethal quality, which made their team the most dreaded one. Caribbean calypso This victory is so vital to Caribbean cricket's sense of self-belief. The celebrations one witnessed on the ground after their victory was an ample evidence of how badly the West Indies needed this win. Such triumph can also lead to a transition to become a better team. Winning a tournament of such magnitude will certainly spring up a few long lasting players with real characters. The in-form England team could not match the flair of the West Indies. The game went into the course of roller coaster before siding with the team that held the nerves till the end. England coach Duncan Fletcher must be a worried man to see the team slip up from the position of strength. His plans for all other Windies players were executed perfectly, but it did not work when it came to Bradshaw and Courtney Brown, who were rather unknown names till this eventful Saturday evening. Even 217 was a winning score on a wicket, which seamed the whole day. England to blame The English bowlers must blame themselves in the end for the poor show. These are the same bowlers, who bowl in their English conditions day in and day out. But on Saturday they committed the blunder of bowling as many as 25 extra balls in wides and no balls. Although the West Indies too were guilty of committing the same mistake, the home conditions should have been better utilised by England. The England captain read the situation wrong in completing the quota of his strike bowlers in Harmison and Flintoff. Somehow, Darren Gough doesn't fit into the bill of being the strike bowler anymore when Harmison and Flintoff are around. England would have won the match only had they not have bowled those extra balls. Flintoff, the world's best all-rounder at the moment, failed with the bat but made amends with the ball in breaking the backbone of West Indies batting. Not many in the West Indies dressing room expected to win after Flintoff's burst with the ball. Bradshaw impressive Bradshaw, a true all-rounder in the making, showed tremendous determination to win the match along with Courtney Brown. Calm and collective, the duo showed what pressure can do to any bowling attack. I am sure that the plan between the two was to play out the 50 overs. A bowling attack, which looked so menacing till the 42nd over, wilted under pressure and gave back the advantage to the batsmen. The partnership of 70 odd runs between Brown and Bradshaw was chanceless and it proved the authority with which they played the final overs. A knock under pressure like this one is valued more than many centuries scored in different situations. I hope the West Indies become a force to reckon with after this success. The ICC championships had a lacklustre beginning, but a magnificent end. The hosts, however, could not break the jinx of never winning the World Cup or the ICC championship despite coming close to it on so many occasions. (PTI)