Windies haunted by 32 years of pain

Updated: 03 February 2011 19:28 IST

When the West Indies captured the first two World Cups of 1975 and 1979, they won nine out of nine matches in two tournaments which lasted just three weeks each.

Windies haunted by 32 years of pain
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St John's:

When the West Indies captured the first two World Cups of 1975 and 1979, they won nine out of nine matches in two tournaments which lasted just three weeks each.

Fast forward 32 years, the World Cup now stretches over an exhausting six weeks and hops around three countries, a crushing schedule which will do nothing to ease West Indies' hopes of winning a third trophy.

See Pics: 1975 World Cup | 1979 World Cup

Cricket's power base has long since shifted away from the Caribbean and long gone are the days when names such as Lloyd, Richards, Holding and Roberts terrified opponents.

Recent West Indies performances in the showpiece World Cup have reflected a trend of decline which has left their heirs struggling to make any sort of impact.

Runners-up to India in 1983, they were knocked out in the first round of four of the next six tournaments.

There were signs of life in 1996 when they made the semi-finals after a traumatic campaign in which they forfeited a match in Sri Lanka over security concerns and then were shocked by Kenya.

In the last four, they lost by five runs to Australia with Shivnarine Chanderpaul's stoic 80 runs trumped by Shane Warne's 4-36.

On home turf, four years ago, West Indies made the second round Super Eights where they lost five of six matches and skipper and world-record setting batsman Brian Lara retired.

Since 2007, West Indies cricket has been dogged by in-fighting, selection rows and wrangling over player-power.

The atmosphere became so ugly in 2009 that the first-choice squad went on strike, forcing the West Indies Cricket Board to field a second-string side in a two-Test home series loss against Bangladesh.

The strike ended but the problems remain.

Chris Gayle, one of the team's few world class players, was stripped of the captaincy last year after he turned down a central contract with the steady, if unspectacular, Darren Sammy being promoted from the ranks.

But Gayle needs to be kept onside as his blistering 333 in the Test series against Sri Lanka in Galle in November proved.

Topics : Ravi Rampaul MS Dhoni Bangladesh Gary Kirsten ICC World Cup, 2011 Cricket
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