Sports

    T20 World Cup 2024: Marshall forgotten in homeland; fans want Windies to legitimise their supremacy in format with 3rd title

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    The Hawk
    June17/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Despite his outstanding achievements, including 376 Test wickets, Marshall's grave is forgotten, reflecting the fading memory of his contributions.

    West Indies celebrating 2016 T20 World Cup

    Bridgetown: The last resting place of Malcolm Marshall, one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, looks like a forgotten piece of land when one passes through the burial site located a few blocks away from the Grantley Adams International Airport here.

    Marshall's achievements are duly recognised by the cricketing world but 25 years after his untimely death, his homeland doesn't seem to remember him the way a player of his stature should be.

    The pacer, who died at the age of 41 due to cancer, rests in peace alongside many departed souls in the churchyard of St Bartholomew's Church.

    The site is of Marshall's mausoleum is unattended and littered with plastic bottles, raising questions on its upkeep.

    The current generation doesn't seem to be aware of his contribution to the game either.

    There were blank faces at the international airport when one asked about the location of his last resting place which is literally a stone's throw from that facility.

    "There is no doubt about Marshall's greatness but as they say 'out of sight can be out of mind'. The current generation was not even born when he was winning games for the West Indies in the '80s.

    "The money and the eyeballs were not as much as they are now. I am sure the modern day cricketers won't be forgotten that easily," said Kevin, a local who is a self-proclaimed fan of the game.

    Besides Marshall, Barbados has produced many greats of the game including Sir Garfield Sobers and Joel Garner.

    Marshall played his last Test in 1991 to end up with as many as 376 wickets at an exceptional average of 20.94.

    The right-arm pacer's legend grew during his county stint for Hampshire who named the road leading to the stadium after the West Indian. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1999 and succumbed to it within months.

    Fans want West Indies to become masters of T20 game

    The West Indies is hosting a men's World Cup after 14 years and the excitement in the entire region is palpable.

    The remote location of the makeshift stadium in New York did not help in promoting the game in an alien land but the organisers in the Caribbean have been able to engage the fans.

    Posters and banners reading the 'Home of Final' are installed all around Bridgetown including the airport with the title clash scheduled at the Kensington Oval on June 29.

    Darren Sammy captained the regional outfit to two T20 World Cup titles and now fans are backing him for a third one as a coach.

    "I want the West Indies to be masters of the T20 game and Sammy can guide them to a third title. He has the ability of bringing everyone together. The world title would mean the world to the fans."

    "One day I also hope we can regain the glory days in Test cricket," said Jerry Newton, who is from the neighbouring island country of Dominica but keenly followed the West Indies' performance even when he was travelling for work in UK last week.

    The expectations are higher from fans as two-time winners West Indies could not qualify for the ODI World Cup in India last year.

    Cricket also does a remarkable job of uniting the Caribbean where it remains the number one sport.

    The Rovman Powell-led side has already entered the Super 8 stage of the tournament and if they do go on to garner more glory in the shortest format, the party in the Caribbean will last for months.

    "If West Indies do end up winning a record third trophy in the T20, the party in the Caribbean will be going for many, many months afterwards, as everyone celebrates what would be a fantastic achievement by our men's team. I can assure you that," summed up Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave.

    —PTI