West Indies’ woes are hard to endure

JUST as a strong Yorkshire is good for the health of English cricket, with our history, tradition and catchment area, so a vibrant West Indies is important for the health of the international game, writes Chris Waters.

Cricket is woven into the soul of the West Indian people, which is why it is so sad to witness the team’s fall from grace in recent times.

At present, the West Indies are eighth in the Test and one-day international rankings.

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Writing as one whose boyhood hero was the great Viv Richards, their present predicament is scarcely credible.

Now things have taken an even greater turn for the worse following the abandonment of their tour to India, owing to a pay dispute between the players and the West Indies Cricket Board.

This has left the Indian board an estimated £31m out of pocket and could have dire ramifications if they opt to sue their West Indies’ counterparts.

In the meantime, the West Indies’ forthcoming trip to South Africa is under threat, as is their participation in next year’s World Cup, which is closely followed by a home series with England.

Most seriously of all, crowds in the Caribbean are dwindling rapidly as more people fall out of love with the game.