I’ll try not to turn this into yet another lament at the decline of West Indies cricket, but suffice to say here’s something awfully jarring about seeing them slated for just a two match series early next summer – effectively the warm up act before the Australians arrive. Actually, let’s amend ‘summer’ to ‘spring’, as both tests and the one-dayers will be done and dusted before the end of May.
Less than fifteen years ago West Indies tours were as eagerly anticipated as those of Australia, but now if you take the 20/20 World Cup into account, they are actually third on the bill.
Two match series are a horrible idea in any event. You can get away with single test matches as one-offs – normally based around some kind of celebration or anniversary, and three match series can work – especially as they lend themselves to the ‘split summer’ format, but two tests really do nobody any good. Series develop there own themes, sub-plots and rhythms that any cricket lover can savour almost as much as the results themselves.
For example, wouldn’t you love to see the current Flintoff/Yuvraj/KP ‘filth and the fury’ ménage-a-trois continue over three more tests.