Alex Massie

Cricket Notes: West Indies

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The ICC (that's the International Cricket Council) and the authorities in England keep banging on about how they want to ensure that test cricket remains the pinnacle of the game. Then they keep announcing additional one day and 20/20 competitions. You tell me how that adds up. Allen Stanford, the Texan billionaire backer of the new England vs West Indies 20/20 challenge matches (for $5m each game) says he finds test cricket "boring". Virgil was right: timeo Danaos et dona ferentes...

Stanford sees 20/20 as a way to "crack" the American market. Now I think he is almost certainly mistaken in thinking this is possible but I'm not prepared to even wish him luck in his endeavours. There are many wonderful things about the United States, but the cricket world has no need, my American friends will doubtless be glad to hear, of their enthusiasm. The cricket world is big enough as it is.

In any case, the series between the West Indies and Australia that concluded today offered proof - if you felt it were really needed - that there's life in the old test match dog yet. More hearteningly still, it produced grounds for hope that West Indian cricket can drag itself free of the slough of despond in which it has been mired these past ten years. I do not think it overstating the case to say that a revivified West Indies would be the best thing that could happen to cricket right now.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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