Better days are coming for Windies by Colin Croft in Zimbabwe
Stabroek News
July 10, 2001

Captain Carl Hooper, coach Roger Harper and West Indies cricket team's think tank have done themselves a massive favour by winning that Coca Cola Cup against India. The addition of a seventh batsman to the West Indies team for the final, something not normally done in any sort of cricket, was a master stroke. After being 252-5, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Marlon Samuels and Ridley Jacobs actually added 48 runs to the West Indies total, runs that were obviously vital, match-winning even, since the West Indies won by only 16 runs.

This sort of thinking the game out, analysing the circumstances, and executing them too, should bolster the West Indies much, despite their continuing horrors of injuries to very important personnel. Even with the injuries to Cameron Cuffy, who will be no longer on the tour, and fellow fast bowlers Merv Dillon and Corey Collymore, who limped out of the final, the West Indies should

be well pleased by their efforts. Progress, improvements, performances and success, overcoming adversity and severe external stimuli, is what maturity is all about. This win would also tell the West Indies that they could do reasonably well, perhaps very well, providing they play to the best of their ability: Coach Roger Harper probably says it best:

"The West Indies simply needs to play well in all departments. We need to be a bit more positive, more aggressive, and set our attitude for these games. We have the talent, but having the talent is not all. That talent must produce, implementing the things we talk about and plan. This win was a tremendous boost for our cricket. If we work hard, and if we play sensible cricket, we can keep on achieving. We simply have to do the basic things well. We also have to believe in ourselves and keep on working to perfect our cricket. We now need to take this win forward and try to do it more consistently. We, especially myself as coach and Carl (Hooper) as captain, must ensure that we do not become complacent. The tour is far from over, and we must want to built on this win, important and enjoyable as it has been. We must now go out and continue to work hard, trying to win that two-Test series against Zimbabwe."

That the West Indies managed 290-6 in the final, the highest total of the seven match series, tells many stories. They managed this without any aid whatsoever from supposed superstar Brian Lara, long since gone home. They managed it with some of the players, like Darren Ganga, who have been promised an extended run, finally showing his true batting colours. Outside of Carl

Hooper, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ridley Jacobs, the probably more talented, but definitely younger and less experienced players, like Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan, came to the fore when it was necessary. This can only bode well for the confidence of the players, especially the younger ones who may never have experienced any winning at all.

Corey Collymore, the "Man of the Match" of the final, actually suggested that this was the first time he had won anything while playing for the West Indies, while Ganga remembers that the West Indies have been beaten badly in three Tests series recently. Both also suggest that this win will help them to overcome anything that comes up now, since this is something new for almost everyone; beating the favourites.

This win, as an re-emerging cricket team, albeit against two nations with the same situation, India and Zimbabwe, and even if it is just for a one-day series, must rejuvenate the positives, enliven the thought processes, even activate the imagination, of things that could follow in the future.

Better days are coming!!