CWC qualifiers 2023: West Indies fail to qualify for ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Reasons of West Indies' exit from ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers 2023.
The scary, dominant West Indies of the 80s and 90s will not be part of the 2023 Cricket World Cup! No, don’t wake up from your dreams, because this isn’t one. The times when Viv Richards used to chew the chewing gum and spit the bowlers for sixes and fours for fun; the times when Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh would just tear through the opposition's batting lineups; the times when modern greats like Chris Gayle’s hammering against the best of the best, Dwyane Bravo and Kieron Pollard’s calypso beats used to dismantle the opponents. Everything has become a thing of the past as the bold, charismatic and stylish West Indian team failed to qualify for the 2023 CWC in India on the back of three consecutive defeats in the World Cup 2023 Qualifier games.
After ever-so-sneaky victories against the USA and UAE, the West Indies somehow managed to make it into the top six, and boom! Their poor run continued as they were crushed to their knees by the ever-growing Scotland in the Super Six stage. And this would be the first time ever in cricketing history that the West Indies would not be a part of the Cricket World Cup.
Is this a one-time blunder for the Windies?
One might say that this is a rare occurrence for the Caribbean nation to miss out on a world event. No! This was long overdue. First, they failed to qualify for the Champions Trophy 2017 event when the world thought it was just a flop season. However, it was just the beginning of the nightmarish decade that has been following the West Indian team. Post that, they ended up being the ninth placed team in the round robin stage of Cricket World Cup 2019 and were utterly disappointing, to say the least, even with the likes of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell in the eleven.
If that wasn’t enough insult already, the two-time T20 world champions failed to qualify for the Super 12 stage of 2022 T20 WC in Australia after winning just one game in Round 1 of the competition. So, it’s not just been a poor season or multiple poor seasons for the Windies; it’s been a pattern that has been observed. And that pattern has unfortunately been a downward one for them in the past 8 odd years.
Corrupt Administrations, poverty and unstructured management: the root cause?
In the recent past, many West Indies modern generation stalwarts have come out in public to speak against the corrupt administration and management at the helm of the West Indies Cricket Board. Players like Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine have all raised concerns over the political and biased governing board of cricket in the island nation.
In fact, it has become so bad that even the coaching and management staff have been altered more than required in an attempt to find glory. The latest change in the coaching staff has been the addition of two-time T20 World Cup winning captain Darren Sammy at the helm; however, even Sammy hasn’t been able to bring goodness to the nation. The question then arises: is lack of money or poverty within the nation forcing players to look for other options? If one looks elsewhere, the likes of Zimbabwe and Nepal are still powering through given all the economic hurdles their respective countries face.
Rise of franchise cricket stealing talents from the West Indies national team?
The nation that glorified T20 cricket and the entertainment it brought with it with the likes of Chris Gayle hammering and setting the stage on fire in the inaugural T20 World Cup; Keiron Pollard setting everything ablaze with his finishing skills; Dwayne Bravo delivering those slower yorkers and celebrating the "Champion Way"; and Andre Russell's wild slogs the island nation’s cricketers have been the true show stoppers in the T20 world. However, the same has brought downfall to their own nation while enlightening the rest of the nations through franchise cricket.
A 30 to 40-day tournament in different parts of the world: be it the cash-rich IPL or the lacklustre PSL, West Indies players are part of every single T20 tournament in the world. Forget the T20 tournaments, they have been active participants in the T10 tournaments too. Name any franchise tournament, and you will find a West Indies player somewhere in the team. One would ask, why is that so? Is it because of the experience? The answer is a BIG NO! It’s the easy money. Yes, players earn roughly eight times the amount playing franchise cricket throughout the year for different countries, whereas the corrupt and almost bankrupt West Indies Cricket Board serves the players with peanuts for the expected workload. It’s just a human tendency for the players to want more for less effort?
To sum it up, one wouldn't be surprised if sooner or later the West Indies team calls it quits and opts out of 50-over cricket or red-ball cricket and focuses completely on the franchise or T20 model. It’s a combination of the players, the management and everything between them that has been causing the once dominant West Indies to be dominated by the rest of the world.