It must be a really good season of sports TV in Guyana. With World Cup Football, the NBA playoffs, the recently concluded Montreal Grand Prix and of course the West Indies first test against South Africa. I could not help but notice an exchange in the letter columns about the relegating of cricket coverage to highlights to make way for World Cup Football.
While in ‘ordinary time’ test cricket with the West Indies team would be the dominant sport on TV, we must realize that World Cup Football comes around once every four years and therefore should be allowed significant air time.
While I know some cricket fans might be fuming because they were not able to see the full length of the test match that was played in Trinidad, they must understand that unless they are supporting South Africa nothing much was missed. The West Indies team operated with their usual lack lustre, unprofessional, incompetent sporting displays ensuring South Africa won by 163 runs!
But I know some sporting fans that support cricket are fiercely divided and saturate all the social networking sites trading insults, bets and seemingly infallible predictions for the scorching hot NBA playoffs between the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics. This year’s playoffs have been deeply rooted in rigorous competition with both teams displaying their skill, strategy and execution and an unshakable desire to win. With a game seven in the playoffs for the first time in five years, one can understand that tensions and expectations are high. The Lakers-Celtics rivalry is an old one and it’s good to see a young generation keeping it alive. Sadly fans find it hard to replicate the same excitement and anticipation with West Indies cricket because our cricket has been consistently taking a beating for almost two decades.
If only sporting fans can see some of the determination, professionalism, strategy, discipline and execution being displayed in other professional sports in the West Indies team, then by their mere performance they could command more airtime when other sports are being broadcast. But until then, and as long as we continue to see a West Indies team persisting on serving up its natural losing performances, not only do they run the risk of being the first to be dropped from mainstream TV if other more interesting sporting events are on, but they can also run the risk of finding sponsorship soon. No serious business wants to be associated with a losing brand!