Cricket needs a writ­ing rev­o­lu­tion

Jamaica Gleaner - - ACROSS THE NATION - Tony Deyal Vince A.R. Wil­liams Guest Colum­nist

THE IN­TER­NA­TIONAL Co­coa and Cho­co­late Or­ga­ni­za­ton has deemed to­day, Oc­to­ber 1, 2016, World Co­coa and Cho­co­late Day. But they’re wrong. Ev­ery day in my lit­tle mi­cro­cosm of a world and the macro­cosm out there is world co­coa and cho­co­late day.

Re­gard­less of lo­ca­tion, age, or sex, whether you’re on Mars or the Milky Way, in Bournville or Charleston, hav­ing a Cuban Lunch or Den­ver Sand­wich, a Mara­caibo 65 or Babe Ruth, life is all Smooth Sailin’ when there’s cho­co­late around.

San­dra Boyn­ton,

IS AXED coach Phil Simmons or cap­tains of con­tem­po­rary vin­tage the to­tal­ity of our fail­ures? Thought we dis­carded ‘Con­trol’ from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in 1996?

If Simmons could atone for poor judge­ment, even be­trayal, in his 2015 run-in with chair­man of se­lec­tors Court­ney Browne, surely re­cently re­ported “dif­fer­ences in cul­ture and strate­gic ap­proach” could be re­solved with­out work ter­mi­na­tion.

Simmons ap­pears to be an­other un­wanted child of ne­glect­ful par­ents – an em­bod­i­ment of ad­min­is­tra­tive fail­ure. If WICB CEO Michael Muir­head’s re­port is ac­cu­rate, non­par­ti­san me­di­a­tion should have en­sued, given Simmons’ ac­knowl­edged coach­ing skills and pos­i­tive chem­istry with play­ers.

Is Simmons’ dis­missal in­su­lar­ity, vin­dic­tive­ness, or an at­tempt to quell a dis­sent­ing voice? The out­spo­ken, yet oft-mea­sured Simmons be­ing de­lib­er­ately si­lenced is cred­i­ble but not suf­fi­cient as­sess­ment.

Un­fold­ing just ahead of a tour, his ax­ing, we can agree, is ill-timed. Given the board’s re­sponse to the Simmons-Browne in­ci­dent, his fir­ing also seems un­mer­ited – if not vin­dic­tive and un­just – symp­to­matic of a con­trol­ling board un­hinged.

Re­call that we were grudg­ingly but pre­dictably kicked out of the English cricket league. The pre­text: Our cricketers were ‘un­der­de­vel­op­ing’ Phil Simmons was re­cently sacked as West Indies coach.

theirs, sup­pos­edly rob­bing them of team places.

Re­gret­tably, dur­ing this golden era of Windies cricket, ad­min­is­tra­tors failed to part­ner with re­gional gov­ern­ments to fund a par­al­lel in­fra­struc­ture – in­clud­ing a pro­fes­sional league – thereby fa­cil­i­tat­ing the con­tin­ued dom­i­nance of brand Windies. Ap­par­ently, our prize money and gate re­ceipts then could af­ford same as our cricketers’ salaries, high­est world­wide, were bud­geted by our WICB.

Al­though in­su­lar­ity has been an un­com­fort­able fea­ture of Windies cricket, never was it in­sti­tu­tion­alised. Os­ten­si­bly, Simmons could be viewed as an in­su­lar ca­su­alty, the Trinida­dian be­ing re­placed at short no­tice by the Bar­ba­dian, Joel Garner. How­ever, the weight­ier con­cern should be the con­sis­tently poor judge­ment ex­er­cised by our WICB, again ev­i­dent in rea­sons for Simmons’ dis­missal.

Our board needs to atone be­fore our cricket is ir­re­deemably sul­lied.

Es­sen­tially, it is our WICB, en­trapped by in­op­er­a­ble poli­cies, that over­saw the fre­quently dis­puted team se­lec­tions and salary dis­putes, the last cul­mi­nat­ing in aban­doned tour ig­nominy.

It is our WICB, pos­sessed by a spirit beck­on­ing ex­or­cism, which, de­spite its ap­proval of the gov­er­nance re­view com­mit­tee, re­fused to hon­our the rec­om­men­da­tion for board dis­so­lu­tion (Pat­ter­son Re­port, 2007). It is our board that re­mains deaf to the in­sis­tent Caribbean echoes thereof.

Un­doubt­edly, our WICB has com­mend­ably man­aged in­ter­ven­tions such as Kid­die Cricket in schools.

Not­with­stand­ing, since our board main­tains it was wrong to blame its gov­er­nance for Windies play­ers’ per­for­mance, and, given all its sins, the ques­tion arises: How can we, car­ing li­ons, tran­scend tar­geted roars of mis­trust and in­su­lar­ity to redeem our Caribbean pride? With ONE CRY: sus­tained, so­lu­tion-ori­ented open let­ters ad­dressed to our WICB.

Cricket lovers, are you game? Write for change! It is time for a writ­ing rev­o­lu­tion to­wards Windies ex­cel­lence re­gained. Stand with pen ready.



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