THERE was something quite comforting – in a nostalgic kind of way – about the West Indies defeating England in third test at Bridgetown earlier this month and therefore drawing the series.

Although England may have endured their trials and tribulations over the past 12 months, those temporary blips and fall-outs pale into insignificance compared to the downward spiral the Windies have endured since being the kings of the sport in the late 70s and early 80s.

Hopefully the Windies can kick on from that series and reverse the trend that has seen leading cricketers chase the big bucks in the IPL and the once cricket-devoted population turn to football and athletics.

International cricket without a strong West Indies on the circuit is like the football World Cup finals without Brazil.

It is 40 years since I was, purely by accident, drawn to cheering the Windies after a notice in the hall way of the Prudential Buildings in Victoria Square had caught my eye.

The insurance firm were sponsoring the inaugural Cricket World Cup in 1975 and that poster detailed the eight-team limited overs competition .

Unlike the football equivalent the previous year, at least England qualified for this one, but they were destroyed by the Aussies in the semis.

Although I began watching that first final as an eight-year-old neutral the intervention of one player in particular changed that and for the next four decades I have been gladly failing Norman Tebbit's 'cricket test'.

Maybe the fact that Clive Lloyd was already an adopted Lancastrian cemented that bond.

Admittedly Lloyd was unlikely hero; a slightly ungainly appearance given his 6ft 4 frame and, with the notable inclusion of Wimbledon winner Billie-Jean King, was among that rare breed of bespectacled elite sports stars.

When he strode out that afternoon the Windies were in trouble at 50-3 after Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson had removed the openers cheaply.

What followed was a Supercat masterclass, stroking the 'terrible twins' around the ground with a match-winning century from 88 balls.

The Aussies chased well and the match went on all day, finishing at 8.40pm in one of those momentous sporting TV moments.

Sadly, those days of events like that captivating a wider audience of millions have gone and it is a real pity that international cricket is no longer on 'proper telly'.

Although sporting governing bodies and clubs chase money to bankroll their sport, there should be intervention to make sure that World Cup and Test cricket makes it on free to air broadcast.