North Sound (Antigua) June 10: The beleaguered West Indies one-day side is in a painfully familiar situation. It is 2-zip down in a 5-match home series against an apparently more cohesive and strong visiting side. One would imagine at least at this pitiful juncture, warring parties on stage and behind the scenes would bury the hatchet, patch up and unite for a common cause.
But no, the one man that could pivot the series on its head - Chris Gayle - is nowhere on the scene. It seems egos have come to the fore and that the consequent cold war between him and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) continues to play out even as the "war" against the World Champions is close to being lost.
On all counts, it seems that Windies (management and team) have become immune to humiliating defeats and it would take more than a dire situation for the concerned parties in Caribbean cricket to jointly find a solution to their perennial predicament.
The ostensible reason provided by the WICB as to why Gayle is not in the squad for the crucial third ODI is that he has not yet met with the board since his return from his stint with the Indian Premier League (IPL). The real reason for his absentia however, could be that he continues to be out of favour with the board since a controversial radio interview he gave in which he claimed that the board hadn't kept him in the loop about a supposed injury.
Despite this all-important and necessary change to the Windies squad which will not take place, the board has anyway gone and tweaked the make-up for the third encounter against India. Dwayne Barvo and Ravi Rampaul have been rested while Jamaica batsman Danza Hyatt (who played in the lone Twenty20 match against India) and Kemar Raoch have been brought back in the side.
One hopes that the controversies of West Indies cricket will cease to take centre stage and give good old-fashioned competitive cricket a chance again...