Sir Beck­les: Sammy and Tay­lor No Or­di­nary Lead­ers!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - – Bar­ba­dos To­day

Vice Chan­cel­lor of The Univer­sity of the West In­dies, Pro­fes­sor Sir Hi­lary Beck­les, has hailed Sun­day’s dou­ble win by the West In­dies men’s and women’s teams in the global T20 cricket tour­na­ment, say­ing it has re­stored the re­gion to “a pin­na­cle of global cricket lead­er­ship.”

“By win­ning World Cups in the cov­eted, cash rich T20 for­mat, West In­di­ans, burst­ing with pas­sion, proved to the world of crit­ics with­out com­pas­sion that they are ad­vo­cates of a so­phis­ti­cated civ­i­liza­tion per­fectly ready for win­ning per­for­mances in the pres­sur­ized global space that seeks to marginal­ize our small states,” Sir Hi­lary said in a let­ter to me­dia edi­tors.

“Our women and men have sent a pow­er­ful mes­sage into the uni­verse,” he added.

Sir Hi­lary went on: “2016 is the epit­ome of a long, hard jour­ney to jus­tice. From 1886, when the West In­dies team was in­vented and went on its first tour that year to Canada and the USA, to 1927 when it re­ceived Test sta­tus, to 1950/1 when it ended Eng­land’s rule and moved on to chal­lenge Aus­tralia for the World Test ti­tle, to 1978 to 1995, when it dom­i­nated first the Test nest and then the One Day In­ter­na­tional (ODI) arena, to this day, 130 years later, West In­dies cricket has been sur­rounded by men­tal­i­ties lack­ing in gen­eros­ity and sci­en­tific ob­ser­va­tion.”

“This mind,” the top re­gional aca­demic said, was now rep­re­sented by English writer/com­men­ta­tor Mark Ni­cholas whose com­ment that the West In­dies team lacked brains trig­gered a strong re­buke from T20 cap­tain Dar­ren Sammy who said it only served to in­spire the team to great­ness.

Said Sir Hi­lary: “Com­ment­ing upon our loss of Test dom­i­nance, Ni­cholas says that he sees noth­ing in West In­dian so­ci­ety to in­di­cate that the team has any fur­ther lead­er­ship role. He con­cludes that so in­tel­lec­tu­ally back­ward and bank­rupt is Caribbean cul­ture that our golden years of dom­i­nance in Tests and ODIs should best be de­scribed as a ‘fluke’.”

“As he and his co­hort watched the Windies rise [on Sun­day] and take con­trol of the T20 game, in much the same way that they did Tests and ODIs a gen­er­a­tion ago, it is un­likely that he re­flected upon the mis­er­able na­ture of his mus­ings. The jaun­diced mind sees no light in space even in the face of the blaz­ing sun, but the trail speaks for it­self.”

Sir Hi­lary, an ar­dent en­thu­si­ast of the game, un­der­scored that no other cricket na­tion, ex­cept the West In­dies, has dom­i­nated all ver­sions of the cricket game. “Ni­cholas might wish to take this fact into his fes­ti­val of folly,” he said.

Sir Hi­lary went on: “Cap­tains Sammy and Tay­lor are no or­di­nary lead­ers. With their play­ers drawn from a na­tion of post-colo­nial cit­i­zens, they stood against teams from coun­tries with pop­u­la­tions and gross do­mes­tic prod­ucts thou­sands of times larger, and pro­ceeded to mo­bi­lize their men­tal­ity that knows no bound­aries.

“A young woman [Hayley Matthews] and a young man [Carlos Brath­waite], both debu­tantes, green be­hind their ears in the ma­roon wear, al­lowed their imag­i­na­tions to run away with them. In their flight, they took the game with them. They had the au­dac­ity and the nerve to be bold and coura­geous, and to say to the old foes ‘We are West In­dies’ in a fash­ion only David Rud­der knows best.”

Sir Hi­lary con­tended that British Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron’s call on Caribbean peo­ple to for­get their col­lec­tive his­tory, made in re­sponse to the re­gion’s cam­paign for repa­ra­tions as com­pen­sa­tion for colo­nial­ism and slav­ery, and to move along, had some­thing to do with the resur­gence of West In­dies cricket.

“And this is why we have The Univer­sity of the West In­dies that stood el­e­vated, again, as Brath­waite, its stu­dent and cap­tain of the Cave Hill cricket team, raised to ex­cel­lence within its fac­ulty and the Com­bined Cam­puses and Col­leges cul­ture, dug deep into our past and came up with an in­tel­lec­tual an­swer for the fu­ture,” said Sir Hi­lary, re­fer­ring Brath­waite’s mas­ter­ful bat­ting dis­play in the fi­nal over when he struck four con­sec­u­tive sixes to pi­lot the West In­dies to vic­tory over a vis­i­bly de­mor­al­ized Eng­land.

“All that is now re­quired is for the WICB, pres­i­dent and di­rec­tors, to com­plete the over. There are two balls left to face, one is to ac­cept the governance re­form that calls for the Coun­cil of Stake­hold­ers as set out in the Pat­ter­son Re­port, and the other is to rec­og­nize that by ac­cept­ing the governance in­ter­de­pen­dence of cricket and so­ci­ety is not to lose au­ton­omy,” Sir Hi­lary said.

“The play­ers have done their job on the field. It is now for the pres­i­dent, whose heart re­sides in cricket as much as any one of us, to do his and lead his board boldly into the rest of the decade with pub­lic sup­port and pop­u­lar le­git­i­macy.”

“With­out this re­form,” Sir Hi­lary warned, “West In­dies runs the risk of be­ing razed to the ground by in­ter­nal con­flict and ac­ri­mony. The golden mon­u­ment we have all built as a tribute to our cul­tural tenac­ity and col­lec­tive wis­dom must come first. This is your task, Mr Pres­i­dent. It’s a duty of your gen­er­a­tion.”

Bravo! Sammy and Gayle do­ing the Champions dance.

True champions and lead­ers: West In­dies cricket

cap­tains Stafanie Tay­lor and Dar­ren Sammy.

Sir Hi­lary Beck­les

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