If the exhibition of batting by the President’s XI against England is any indication of the state of red-ball cricket in the West Indies, anyone interested in the future of this form of the sport should be alarmed. Stuart Broad took a hat-trick, and four wickets in five balls, but the hat-trick would rank as one of the least distinguished ever, not taken so much as donated.
England’s bowlers moved the ball about all day, and they fielded smartly, but the attitude of some of the home players was poor to the point of indefensible as they scored 203 runs for the loss of 19 wickets. The second wicket in Broad’s hat-trick was that of Miguel Cummins, one of six Test players in the home side, who ambled out to bat, appeared completely uninterested, missed his first ball and slouched back.
It was three years to the day since Broad last had a magic spell for England, against South Africa in Johannesburg, and he had taken two Test hat-tricks before. One of his remaining ambitions, he admitted afterwards, is to be the first bowler to take three Test hat-tricks.
“Shame this wasn’t a Test match, I suppose,” Broad said. “The important thing that came out of it personally was the new run-up, the rhythm of the new run-up, a slightly shorter delivery stride and hitting the crease hard.