When the West Indies beat India to win the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, it was a jolt of good news for a team in need of it.
The victory provided a brief throwback to when Caribbean cricket was dominant. Between 1980 and 1995, the West Indies went unbeaten in 29 straight test series, and their success was given greater meaning, too, for the region. Clive Lloyd, the captain during the start of that dominance, called cricket “the instrument of Caribbean cohesion.”
One of Lloyd’s successors, Viv Richards, emphasized the team’s role in black empowerment, calling the West Indies “the only sporting team of African descent that has been able to win repeatedly against all international opposition.”
Then came the decline for the West Indies, a team that covers 16 nations and…