IPL and West Indies Cricket
Declining interest in cricket among young men started long before the advent of the IPL. Instead of bemoaning the decision of key players to opt for the IPL instead of playing for the West Indies we should face the realities and embrace this as a blessing in disguise.
In much the same way that the entertainment industry attracts young persons who are seeking a viable means of making a living, the T20 leagues provide an option for many who may not make the cut at the highest level.
Consider the Kevon Coopers who might have been confined to playing regionally for virtually no pay. He and others like him might be inspired to develop their skills in the knowledge that there are attractive opportunities around the world for highly skilled cricketers.
West Indies was strong when we had scores making a living in county and league cricket. The IPL and T20 leagues present a counter-point to basketball and football.
Reflect on the amazing interest in athletics in Jamaica not indirectly linked to the vast opportunities for many who could not qualify for a small squad of elite performers to make a substantial living.
The lessons from a Sunil Narine who rebounded from having to correct his action to earning megabucks in a short period of time will not be lost on many who will now commit to more serious time in the nets. This can only be good for West Indies cricket in the medium and long term.
There is no guarantee that if the IPL players were available we would beat higher ranked teams. Those players are making a far more significant contribution to the development of West Indies cricket.
Time will tell!