As such, I'll imagine what would happen if, an announcement came out of the blue that the WICB had imploded, and the countries involved were to play international cricket on their own.
Anguilla is one of the smaller nations that makes up the West Indies umbrella, and domestically they are a part of the Leeward Islands. However, they still have plenty of talent to call upon. Particularly, Omari Banks and Chesney Hughes would be stand-out talents. There is also a large selection of competent players to fill the rest of the side, enough to make Anguilla a difficult team to beat at Associate level.
At Associate level, I would equate the strength of Anguilla to a side like Uganda, a tad below the current top-sixteen.
Antigua and Barbuda is another of the Leeward Islands, but they would be blessed with a surprising number of West Indies players. Spinner Anthony Martin, gloveman Devon Thomas, seamer Gavin Tonge and batsman Sylvester Joseph have all represented the West Indies, and would all be a big part of the Antigua and Barbuda team. Again, there is a good pool of talent to back them up, with Mali Richards, son of Sir Viv, likely to make another re-appearance on the cricketing scene.
Antigua and Barbuda would probably be on a par with Nepal, just short of the WCL Championship sides.
Barbados are one of the big four nations on the domestic circuit, along with Guyana, Jamaica and T&T. They are blessed with incredible bowling strength: Best, Brathwaite, Collins, Cummins, Edwards, Holder, McClean, Roach and Searles all bowl fast, and this battery could be hugely important. The likes of Kirk Edwards, Kraigg Brathwaite, Omar Phillips and Jonathan Carter could also provide enough runs for those bowlers to work with; Barbados could be a very tasty side.
I think Barbados would be a very similar side to Afghanistan, but with less spin bowling.
Dominica is another of the smaller players on the domestic scene, contributing players for the Windward islands. The spin of Shane Shillingford and Liam Sebastien would have an enormous role to play, as the Dominican talent pool is pretty thin on the ground. A lot of the Dominican fill-in players are ageing somewhat, but as a rule, they can hit a cricket ball pretty cleanly, and bowl tidy enough finger-spin or medium pace.
Pretty much a two-man team, I would liken Dominica to Italy in strength, although very competitive if the spinners click.
Devon Smith's Grenada side is another Windward Island, and is once again reliant on a small core of players. Devon Smith and Andre Fletcher would be vital at the top of the order, while Nelon Pascal tries to provide the wickets. Otherwise, they are another of those rather limited sides that you would tend to find in the mid-ranks of Associate cricket.
With their clutch of very able players, but weak reserves, I would liken them to the United States on those rare occasions that their players get time off work.
Guyana is another top Caribbean cricketing nation, despite actually being located on continental South America. A competent all-round side with good batting (Shivnarine and Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Narsingh Deonarine), bowling (Veerasammy Permaul and Devandra Bishoo) and a talented impact player (Christopher Barnwell), they would be confident of competing towards the top-end of Associate cricket.
I would expect Guyana to be one of the top couple of Associates, then to slip down to about the Dutch level when Chanderpaul Senior retires.
Jamaica are an exciting side who would play an entertaining brand of cricket. Players like Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Nikita Miller and Andre Russell would add a star factor, while players like Danza Hyatt, Xavier Marshall and Nkrumah Bonner, with years of cricket still left in the tank, ensure that Jamaica will continue to be a strong team in years to come.
I could see Jamaica also being a top-end Associate, at an Irish level when Gayle and Samuels are on form, and more of an Afghan level when they're in a more mortal mood.
St. Kitts and Nevis is an interesting team to assemble. Part of the Leeward Islands, the two islands have separate associations and were represented individually in the Stanford 2020 all those years ago. I have grouped them together, though, to keep them looking competitive. Kieran Powell would be the obvious choice as skipper, and is the only household name in a squad dominated by moderate domestic cricketers.
I would expect Powell's side to be the kind of team that achieves quietly and is greater than the sum of its parts, of a similar strength to Hong Kong.
St. Lucia's cricket has strengthened a lot in recent years. Bits-and-pieces all-rounder Darren Sammy was the first St. Lucian to represent the West Indies, and despite his apparent limitations has become one of the giants of Caribbean cricket. His leadership would bring the best out of men like Johnson Charles, Garey Mathurin and Craig Emmanuel.
With good leadership, I think that St. Lucia could be the equal of Canada; Johnson Charles could even lead them to the World Twenty20.
St. Vincent is one of the weaker parts of the Windward Islands. They would be a very young, rather weak team on their own, and very reliant on the talents of Miles Bascombe and Delorn Johnson. Romel Currency would be the logical choice as captain, as he has over a decade's experience to his credit. I think they would struggle, though, to challenge even the smaller Caribbean nations like St. Kitts & Nevis, or St. Lucia.
I think that the St. Vincent players would probably be at home against teams like Denmark.
Trinidad & Tobago have the best limited-overs talent pool in the Caribbean: Badree, Barath, Bravo, Bravo, Cooper, Gabriel, Ganga, Khan, Mohamed, Narine, Pollard, Ramdin, Simmons, et al. With a white ball, I would 100% back the Trinidadians to compete with the likes of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, not just the top Associates, although the longer format doesn't necessarily play to their strengths.
Trinidad & Tobago would have the potential not just to be a top Associate, but the top Associate. Ireland, though, would have something to say about it.
The nine remaining full members would likely be there, of course, while eleven more nations could fill in the gaps, many of them from the Caribbean. I think it would be pretty interesting to see the standard. It would also then be pretty sensible for the quarter-finalists to make it to the next World Cup automatically, while the remaining dozen have to qualify. Those eight could also fill a rebooted Champions' Trophy.
Like I say, if this article was to foreshadow reality, it would be a tragedy, albeit a very interesting one to analyse.