September 26, 2020

West Indies cricket a mirror of society

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SPORT VIEW logoBy Vinode Mamchan From Digital Guardian T&T

We are looking on at the current developments in cricket with some blaming the players, some the administrators, others the groundsmen and others willing to blame anyone who pass near a cricket ground. Then there are some who blame the prime ministers of the region.

I have been closely involved in covering the darkest period of West Indies cricket, speaking to everyone from the top right down to the bottom and in summing up my feelings about the Indian breakdown and the current state of West Indies cricket, all I can say is that West Indies cricket mirrors the Caribbean society.

Let’s take a look at the administrators for a while. What I noticed is that there is a total lack of respect shown by those in power. People say that cricket belongs to them in the Caribbean, but this is so far from the truth. If this was the case, the powers at be would have given a proper explanation as to what really went on in India. Since the situation transpired no one from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has seen it fit to call a press conference and allow the reporters from the region to question them and bring light to the situation for the fans.

Most of the information coming out came from press conferences from different officials from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Even now, the Caribbean has no idea as to whether the WICB will be asked to pay their bill of US$41.9M to the BCCI. Everyone seems to be in the dark concerning this matter. If cricket really belonged to the people of the Caribbean, then someone from the WICB would have seen it fit to come out and give updates.

Another situation where information is not coming forward is the selection of Jason Holder as captain of the West Indies 50 overs team. While the chairman Clive Lloyd gave a statement on his elevation the opportunity was not given to the press to ask the questions they would have wanted. Instead they are fed what the WICB wants out, or so it seems. Dwayne Bravo, Ravi Rampaul and Keiron Pollard out of the West Indies ODI series in South Africa, a statement comes out indicating their average as the cause but Bravo was the second highest wicket taker for the West Indies in 2014 in ODIs—21—and only Denesh Ramdin scored more runs than him. No one gets an opportunity to ask the selectors this question.

The players of today don’t seem to understand the value that cricket brings to the region. There seems to be a breakdown in discipline as it the case with many youths of the day. To just pack up and end a tour is total madness in my mind, regardless of what the situation was. Cricket in the Caribbean has a deep rooted history and many men fought hard to gain respect socially using cricket as a tool.

I had a chat with Clive Lloyd in India after the players left and you could have seen the frustration in the man. He could not understand the youths of the today, throwing away years of cordial bilateral relations with the Indian people. He reminded me of the 1998 strike threat when the West Indies were about to tour South Africa. Lloyd had arrived in the South Africa and then had to return to England to speak to the then captain of the team Courtney Walsh, in an attempt to get the team to tour.

Lloyd said in his day he would have walked to South Africa to play cricket in front of Nelson Mandela but the young ones did not understand things like this.

I agree with his sentiments because today we seem to pay little or no respect to the sport or the icons who went before. Today you would see men laugh when they are dismissed but back in the day, if you did that you could not face Lloyd or Sir Viv Richards when you returned to the pavilion. Those guys played for the people of the Caribbean, we are not seeing that today.

Another problem we are faced with today is the fact that the players are surrounded by over-zealous fans who give them this false sense of being. These fans who are more groupies if you ask me would try to get close to the players and they will fill their heads with all kinds of untruth—giving them the feeling that they are larger than life.

They want to go around town and say that they are friends with this player and that player, or they are allowed to drive around this player, or carry his cricket bag—shameless.

These people need to know that when they swell these players’ head, all they do is destroy them because when they face the real music, they fail. No player is bigger than the game and it is better to be honest to them in the interest of cricket.

So while we await a turnaround in West Indies cricket and point fingers to the administrators and current players, let’s ask ourselves if we should start that turn around right in our very homes.
For more on this story go to: http://www.guardian.co.tt/sport/2015-01-10/west-indies-cricket-mirror-society

See also iNews Cayman stories published today (Jan 15)

“West Indies battle on regardless” at:  https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/west-indies-battle-on-regardless/

“Gayle leads West Indies in record chase” at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/gayle-leads-west-indies-in-record-chase/

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