ONE of the most auspicious honours in the West Indies has been bestowed upon Trinidad and Tobago’s Denesh Ramdin, who has been named the new captain of the Windies Test cricket team.
Ramdin follows in the footsteps of his compatriot Brian Lara, the last T&T player to lead the West Indies full-time, a position which in some eyes is akin to that of a regional prime minister.
Such prominence may no longer be attached to the post, what with the fall from grace of the West Indies team in the international rankings since the heady days of the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, but it is still a very important role and Mr Ramdin merits our congratulations on stepping into the shoes once filled, along with Mr Lara, by outstanding West Indians such as Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Garfield Sobers, Clive Lloyd and Sir Viv Richards.
So no matter the recent record of the West Indies on the field of play in the Test format, it is indeed a rare privilege to be selected as the leader of the players from the various territories that make up the squad, in an endeavour that has generated such tremendous pride and passion amongst its inhabitants for close to a century.
Having been a member of the West Indies team for many years, including serving as vice-captain, Mr Ramdin would be well aware of the expectations attached to such a post...and all the sniping and backbiting that goes along with it.
So Mr Ramdin knows that he is not diving into a bed of roses and will be scrutinised every single day he holds this mantle.
Because, sadly, in this day and age, there is still the sombre shadow of insularity hanging over West Indies cricket, with each respective territory thinking it has the best man for the job and there will be many waiting in the wings to cut Mr Ramdin down to size.
But he has been at the helm since his teenage years, including when he led the West Indies Under-15 team to the Costcutter World Cup in England, and by now his back is broad and his skin is thick and he should be able to stand up to all the slings and arrows thrown his way.
He has gone through his share of ups and downs—unfairly omitted from the West Indies team when bigger names should have been the ones to be axed—and should be now mature enough to take up this “crown of thorns”.
So we wish him well and extend our full support for Denesh Ramdin. He may not have the outstanding players to help him immediately propel the Windies back to the top of the rankings, but we trust that he will give it his best shot and also get the best out of those around him.
At the same time, we should also pay tribute to the man who Mr Ramdin has succeeded, Darren Sammy.
He may not have been everyone’s idea of the consummate West Indies cricketer, far less its captain, but Mr Sammy filled the role when there were not many options, if any, and he did it to the best of his ability.
We are indeed grateful for his efforts and now look forward to his successor maintaining a proud regional tradition.