Sri Lanka A started the final day in an uncertain position on 63/4, having a first innings lead of 15 runs. However, on another rain-hit day in which only 25 overs were possible, the West Indies A bowlers almost dismissed the hosts in their second innings.
The miracle of the West Indies is that it does not exist, except as a cricket team. It is not a country, but a region, widespread, diverse and economically straitened, united only by a seductive beachy image. To cohere and grow at cricket to a point where it dominated the game for 20 years, it needed strong, charismatic leaders who reconciled factions and cultivated loyalty and respect. Sir Frank Worrell was one, Lloyd another, and in his own taciturn way, so was Viv Richards.
Together, they made the West Indies not just powerful, but attractive to watch and popular. Worrell's team, though narrowly beaten in Australia in 1961, was given a ticker tape parade in Melbourne as it left. Lloyd chose the SCG for his last Test, and upon departing was accorded an ovation that did not die until he was inside the pavilion. Richards made happy masochists of us all.
But if president of the Jamaica Cricket Association Billy Heaven has his way, board members will be focusing on finding solutions to the crisis rather than bitter recriminations.
"Our task right now is to find a solution to this very embarrassing, distressing and untenable situation that has developed. At this time we have to put aside the whole notion of casting blame. We have to be mature and act in a very responsible manner," Heaven told the Observer late Sunday.
"All parties involved will have to find ways to move forward. This is about West Indies cricket. Whatever it takes, we have to do, we must do, to save West Indies cricket. Cricket must be the winner at the end," Heaven told the Observer by telephone.
Cricket Australia says it is “deeply concerned” over the West Indies players’ decision to abandon the tour of India, especially with the Aussies scheduled to tour the Caribbean next year. Wally Edwards, Cricket Australia’s chairman, described the situation as “deeply concerning” and it was one that needed to be urgently addressed. West Indies one-day players quit the five-match tour of India following the fourth One-Day International in Dharamsala last Friday, after failing to reach an agreement with their union over a contracts and pay dispute. “The situation that has just unfolded, with the West Indian players abandoning the remainder of the Indian tour, is deeply concerning for a game that needs strong cooperation for its survival,” Edwards said. “We are a long way from what has taken place in India and have sought further details so we can understand more as a priority.” Upset West Indies players informed team management last Friday they would be abandoning the tour, with the final ODI remaining in Kolkata on Monday and a Twenty20 to be played in Cuttack next Wednesday.
While a BCCI release made no specific mention of any claim for damages, the Indian board will also initiate legal proceedings against the West Indies Cricket Board.
The board statement also did not mention any action against West Indies players who participate in the IPL. The players were unlikely to be suspended from participation in the league, with franchises backing them.