"We want it."
"Give it a chance."
"We need this now that they are shutting down Petrotrin."
Without saying a word…without spitting out sentences in anger…West Indians, all over the world have been embarrassed again, shamed...Their lives now indelibly stained by the notation of a demotion.
Demotion is never easy to accept, especially when one believes rightfully or wrongfully that it is unfair, unjustified, inequitable and downright unnecessary.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced last week, what we all expected but still hoped would not materialize, that the West Indies team is now outside of the top eight ranked teams in Test cricket for the first time in our history. And I should say, that takes some doing, given the teams below us, as only Zimbabwe has recently been introduced back into the Test arena and newcomers Ireland and Afghanistan will shortly join the fray. Effectively we are last.
Naturally, if all of this mattered to Cricket West Indies (CWI), then there could be serious concern among the various territorial boards and even in the countries themselves, but sadly that is not the case. Because like it or not, Insularity has not only raised its ugly head under this current administration but it has also soared to new heights.
How else can anyone explain that the once proud Barbadians accepting mediocrity in West Indies cricket? There was a time when the Bajans fill seven out of the 11 starting positions, including the captain, then chief selector and a coach here and there? That would have never been accepted by men like Wes Hall, Seymour Nurse, Frank Worrell, Garfield Sobers, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Conrad Hunte, and Malcolm Marshall.…Even now I sense Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge are unhappy.
Jamaica, likewise seems to have become flummoxed by all that is going on with their journalists in a spin, from attempting to support their countryman to wanting what is best for the sport.
It is a dilemma that few fair-minded Jamaicans seem to be considering other than the mutterings of a few. In this country, it is something called “ Eat a Food “, and it appears that the Board’s food is too tasty for many of the once relevant Jamaicans to refuse. Unlike Barbados, former Jamaican players are not as plentiful in airing their views in public, but I am certain that in the private chats, they too are upset about the pathway that the Board currently occupies.
Meanwhile, Guyana has a problem of a different kind, that country’s Board has been described by some as being “illegal” or “unconstitutional“, but whatever is said, the current executive appears to have the backing of the regional Board, so as we say in the region, “one dares not bite the hand that feeds you”.
In other words, Guyana’s silence is not only golden, as it appears to be riddled with unanswered questions and after the distasteful treatment most recently to the once hailed “saviour” of cricket, Clive Lloyd.
Antigua, the home of Sir Vivian Richards, Andy Roberts and Curtly Ambrose, has made efforts in the past to express its displeasure with both Board and players alike, but it has come to nothing, because unfortunately the Board Head office is based in Antigua and therefore, Antigua has a lot to benefit when matches, functions and meetings are held on the island.
For the rest of the countries in the region, The Board has already worked out that by ensuring that tours, matches are played at these locations, and the tourist money flows in, most of them will be silent, even if their respective Prime Ministers at times (Grenada and St Vincent in particular raise an enquiry)
As for T&T, we have no say, our local board appears both ineffective and impotent and the current body is so much concern with keeping their positions that the cricketers and cricket have no value and do not matter.
The Future is not just bleak, it is terrible, there is no way this West Indies team in is current selection mode can win anything, much less a World Cup, we are now categorised as an erratic, unpredictable team that may win a single match, but never a compelling series against those above us.
And yes, I know there are not too many below us. Perhaps we need to stop swinging to the cow’s corner because not only is the smell bad, but there are too many West Indian officials stationed there, absorbing and it appears enjoying the odour of their legacy.
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