Con­flict­ing Cameron

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

WThe fact that the Ja­maica Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion in re­cent years has ba­si­cally marginalised the play­ers emerg­ing from the league as it re­lates to mean­ing­ful national se­nior se­lec­tion; has had an im­mea­sur­ably neg­a­tive ef­fect on the mar­ketabil­ity of the play­ers and ul­ti­mately the league, which also trans­lates into less and less play­ers gain­ing the ex­po­sure needed to in­vite sig­nif­i­cant over­seas con­tracts.

There has long been an emerg­ing sense of hope­less­ness as it con­cerns to the vi­a­bil­ity and sus­te­nance of the lo­cal Premier League.

Lots of hot air is still be­ing emit­ted re: the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a fran­chise sys­tem as the saviour, which is yet to be trans­lated into any sem­blance of ac­tion.

The Red Stripe Premier League is cry­ing out for help but the cries seem to be fall­ing on deaf ears. The league has been rel­e­gated to ITH A lot of cricket be­ing played around the world, it is usual to ex­pect that the game would be prom­i­nent in global sport news. The English are locked in an in­ter­est­ing tus­sle with In­dia, Aus­tralia is bat­tling South Africa and the West In­dies are due to play in a tri­an­gu­lar se­ries with Zim­babwe and Sri Lanka. As an added bonus, West In­dian women’s team play against In­dia, know­ing that one win in three games would see the team au­to­mat­i­cally qual­i­fy­ing for a place in the ICC World Cup, sched­uled for Eng­land next year. For the West In­dian cricket fan, how­ever, as usual, the only news is bad news. Our ladies suf­fered an­other batting melt­down to lose the sec­ond straight game to In­dia, putting more pres­sure on them­selves (and us fans) be­fore game three to­mor­row, des­per­ately need­ing a win. The men of the West In­dies cricket team, com­ing off a rare win in a Test match, al­beit in a dead se­ries against Pak­istan, are looking (once again) to turn the cor­ner in their quest to re­sume rel­e­vance in World cricket. But along comes an­other “con­tro­versy”. Hav­ing their over­tures to Kraigg Braith­waite and Mar­lon Samuels re­buffed, the board was asked to ex­plain the of­fer­ing of a “C” con­tract to their sec­ond best player in the past year, Dar­ren Bravo. Rush­ing into a tele­vi­sion stu­dio to an­swer this and other ques­tions was the pres­i­dent of the WICB, Dave Cameron. That de­ci­sion, to have the Pres­i­dent at­tempt­ing to ex­plain the ac­tions of a Board con­stantly un­der fire from the ma­jor­ity of the re­gional fans proved to be a costly mis­take. The pres­i­dent of the WICB doesn’t have a good history of out­ing fires and sooth­ing the ire of play­ers. Ever since he was ig­nored at a cricket func­tion in South Africa by play­ers, who he ap­par­ently felt owed him a debt of grat­i­tude for their im­proved earn­ings in world cricket, our Pres­i­dent has con­sis­tently shown us how thin-skinned he re­ally is. He has no prob­lem in mak­ing dis­parag­ing tweets etc against West In­dian play­ers, but if any­one dares to re­spond in kind - sanc­tion! In that in­ter­view last week, our pres­i­dent ex­plained that Dar­ren Bravo could not ex­pect to keep his ‘A’ con­tract if his av­er­age keeps fall­ing in the pre­vi­ous twelve month pe­riod, as there would be no in­cen­tive for an ‘A’-con­tract player to im­prove his on-field sta­tis­tics. That sounded rea­son­able, but a quick fact check re­vealed that our pres­i­dent did not state the facts. Dar­ren Bravo was (fac­tu­ally) the sec­ond best West In­dian bats­man in the twelve-month pe­riod un­der re­view by the Board. Sec­ond, Mr. Bravo NEVER had an A con­tract.

Third, Dar­ren Bravo—a test team vet­eran was of­fered a ‘C’ con­tract sim­i­lar in terms to one of­fered a new­comer to the team, and fourth, Mar­lon Samuels, a player with a de­mon­stra­ble in­fe­rior av­er­age in the twelve month pe­riod used by the Board to cal­cu­late con­tract val­ues was of­fered a ‘B’ con­tract. Dar­ren Bravo, a West In­dian ca­reer crick­eter, who gave up play­ing the shorter form of the game to im­prove his sta­tis­tics in the longer and purer form of cricket, felt hurt and in­sulted.

DIS­RE­SPECT­FUL RE­SPONSE

He re­sponded in a man­ner that was dis­re­spect­ful to his pres­i­dent, “the owner fe de yard” who ul­ti­mately de­cides who gets paid and who does not. So in a true “Trump-like” man­ner Dar­ren Bravo is in­stantly dis­missed and sent home from the tour­ing team. But, I am yet to see any at­tempt by our Pres­i­dent to cor­rect his er­ro­neous state­ment or to apol­o­gise for his un­for­tu­nate and in­cor­rect cat­e­goris­ing of Mr. Bravo’s pre­vi­ous con­tract. So, an­other one bites the dust. One by one, the bet­ter play­ers of cricket in the West In­dies are side­lined for per­ceived ‘in­sub­or­di­na­tion’ and the team is filled with un­tried and un­proven play­ers who are too scared to voice (or tweet) any opin­ion about con­di­tions un­der which they are forced to play. The result, de­feat af­ter de­feat and a re­lent­less and con­tin­u­ous slide down the In­ter­na­tional rank­ings, with elim­i­na­tion from the re­ally im­por­tant ICC com­pe­ti­tions. So it’s on to the Tri-Na­tion se­ries in Zim­babwe, mi­nus our best spin­ner, Su­nil Narine, who has with­drawn from the tour ‘for per­sonal rea­sons’.

Where will it end? When will West In­dian fans, whose hard­earned dol­lars sup­port this WIBC Board and their spon­sors, have the guts to say to our pres­i­dent — No mas, No more, please, please, leave us and give West In­dies cricket a chance to be rel­e­vant.

FILE

Dar­ren Bravo

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