Hi West Indies,

You don’t know me.

I am a fellow cricket fan from Bangladesh and thought of writing an open letter to you.

Now let’s be frank – the kind of heartbreak you gave me and the whole nation during Valentine’s Day is quite hard to digest.

But you know what?

Whenever I start thinking of myself as a neutral cricket follower, I cannot but greet you on Valentine’s Day.

A true cricket fan would always relish those who fight back and give their critics a fitting reply.

Like the majority, I was among those, who did not welcome the kind of team you brought to Bangladesh.

Being a follower of cricket since the days of Imran Khan and Sir Vivian Richards, obviously, West Indies are one of my favourite teams. I have seen your team rule the world and let me tell you, it was never a great feeling witnessing your downfall. Like the optimists around the cricketing world, still today I expect the rise of Caribbean Cricket.

But the lack of consistency, short of commitments, off-the-field chaos, and too much interest in Twenty20 formats and not test cricket; always left me frustrated. How could a team lose their interest in the format that was branded with a dash of Caribbean flavour remains a moot question!

Back in those beautiful islands, where the black community always fought hard to establish their own identity – the likes of Learie Constantine, George Headley, Weasley Hall, and Sir Frank Worrell took the willow and ball at their hands, wore the white funnel, and gradually told the world that, the black community from the Caribbean islands are not just born to be overshadowed by others, rather, they can outshine others.

Test cricket had been the medium to take the Caribbean people to the top. The bat and ball were not just the tools for recreation at the beach – it became more than that and it was in Test cricket, where the West Indians showed their class – their talent – their passion – and their determination. Yes, passion and determination took the heroes of the past to the top and attracted millions of fans around the world to think about Test cricket differently.

Test cricket can be entertaining – batting could be full of fun as those in the islands of Antigua while the cherry can be the fireball – forget the Don or the Trueman; Worrell, Sobers, Viv, Holding, and Marshall had arrived –  “Get up, stand up (Oh yeah) stand up for your rights (Lord, Lord.”

Thus, it is hard to believe the current state of West Indian cricket – but at times when you leave each and everyone stunned – here, this fellow cricket fan from Bangladesh – starts dreaming the rise of the Caribbean Kingdom again!

When Kyle Mayers pulled the rabbit out of the hat at Chattogram; the feeling was good from a neutral point of view and after the outstanding finish at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium today; what can I say?

I was broken from inside watching Bangladesh proving themselves not worthy enough for Test cricket yet again and they need to decide whether they are interested to play the 5-day format or not, but then I started to see the brighter side of the whole match – the so-called “below-par” West Indies have painted Bangladesh Maroon and the kind of determination the boys showed during the Test series, hinted, the passion for Test cricket is still alive in West Indies.

Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Rahkeem Cornwall, Jomel Warrican, and Mayers are the bright spots on this tour and the only thing West Indies would need and which are – sense and sensibility regarding managing the players.

Dear West Indies, don’t you remember what the great Bob Marley sang?

“Oh I say

Preacher man, don’t tell me

Heaven is under the earth

I know you don’t know

What life is really worth

It’s not all that glitters is gold

‘Alf the story has never been told

So now you see the light, eh”

The Test series victory in Bangladesh with an inexperienced but fighting unit should be that light, which would guide the way to revive the glory days.

As a fan of West Indies cricket, I want back the Caribbean to rule the roost again.

I firmly believe that you can.

“Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be all right.

None but ourselves can free our minds.”

– Bob Marley

Free your mind. The light can be seen. Follow that light. Everything will be fine.

Get up.

Stand up.

Regards,

A cricket fan from Bangladesh

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