The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Day of the Double Downgrade

I trust that readers are not misled by today’s caption into thinking that I am writing for a second successive week on the economic misfortunes of Barbados; a circumstance that I chose to refer to last week as “our darkest hour”. As would be widely known by now, Barbados’s sovereign credit rating was downgraded on Thursday of last week by Moody’s, thereby confirming a similar and earlier failing assessment of its fellow rating agency, Standard & Poor’s.

I suppose that for those among us who are given to counting these things, these would amount to two downgrades in raw numbers, although I am more partial to the notion that the latter assessment should serve merely as corroborative of the first rather than a discrete downgrade itself; indeed, on paper it appears to be ostensibly better than the S&P rating-Caa3 as opposed to CCC+. So it is not a cumulative downgrade or a downgrade from S&P’s earlier assessment; it is, rather, a downgrade from Moody’s last assessment. Not to put too fine a point on it, it remains an unacceptable rating nevertheless.

Even more nettlesome is the turgid notation to the Moody’s rating, -“the stable outlook on the Caa3 rating reflects the high probability of a credit event in the next 2-3 years, and reflects a balance of risks between lower and higher levels of loss given default”.

I readily concede that I am not versed in the jargon of global financing but my limited skills in the interpretation of language inform that a “credit event” does not foreshadow the granting of a sizable loan on easy terms, in much the same way that a “cardiac event” does not portend a love affair! And while a “high probability” does not equate to certainty or even places the matter beyond the familiar reasonable doubt, it carries the sense of being “more likely than not”. Against this likelihood is the enviable Barbados record hitherto of never failing to repay a debt incurred. We trust that this shall continue unimpaired.

Suitably stung by this poor grade, the governing administration has chosen to react as would have any student identically situated and to urge focus not on the mark awarded but on the overall integrity and cultural capacity of the individual examinee. “You may give a failing mark but you do not thereby make me a failure”. I have heard it often throughout the years. After these initial reactions of incredulity and rationalization should come that of acceptance and, ultimately, the resolution to improve. This last is not always readily forthcoming, however.

I choose today, however, to focus on another downgrade, perhaps of lesser consequence, that also occurred on Thursday last. This was the relegation of the regional cricket team to a lowly ninth position in the world rankings and therefore currently, though temporarily only, out of the running to qualify for the next ICC ODI World Cup in 2019 that will comprise the top eight teams.

Let me here enter the caveat necessary whenever a commentator who has not at least played cricket at least in the local first division attempts to offer an opinion on the state of the game at any level in the region. I console myself, nevertheless, with the celebrated dictum from CLR James “What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?”

And the decline of the regional side seems an apt metaphor for the decline in our economic fortunes over the years. In one sense,there has been an undesirable devaluation of the brand in both cases. Time was when Barbados was ranked at a heady level among the developing countries of the world and commended for “punching above its weight” whatever that meant, as was once the West Indies ODI side during the decade of the seventies when we won the first two World Cup contests in London in 1975 and 1979 and lost the final in the third by 43 runs to India in 1983.

Both entities have subsequently descended rapidly from those lofty perches, and while I am prepared to leave it to others perhaps better informed to ascribe the reasons for the decline in our economic fortunes, I posit that our cricket decline may be attributed to a cocktail of bizarre selection policies, a preoccupation with self, a failure to come to terms with a changing environment, a regrettable absence of self-confidence and a woeful dearth of the concentration and focus necessary to succeed in any undertaking.

Having written these, I suppose that it might fairly be argued that the metaphor is even further actualized and that similar reasons might be advanced for our current economic misfortunes.

Our selection policies in the recent ODI series against England beggar belief. Apart from changes enforced through injury, we seemed to have been content to field the same team throughout the three matches in spite of some rather novel and exciting additions to the original squad. Second, we remain engrossed with the number of locals in the team as if that were a relevant and not a distracting factor in the moulding of a necessary team spirit. Third, we appear to be victims of our history whereby a single outstanding performance by a player in a different context is liable, after the fashion of the ancient Greeks, to guarantee that player the keys to the city and a pension (or, in this case, a spot on the team) for life.

So far as the changing environment is concerned, just as we have been substantially smitten in certain respects by the global economic downturn given the vicarious dependence of our economic fortunes on those of others, we appear in the cricket context to have over-relied on our historical status, blithely ignoring the reality that others have restructured their modus operandi to confront the opposition. We are thus preparing to play 1980 Australia and England while they are fielding remodeled teams of the twenty-first century against us.

The surface difference of course is that in the economic context we might be considered to have been innocent victims of circumstance while we may fairly be charged in the cricketing context with having failed to adapt to our habitat, a certain recipe for destruction. However, in both cases it may be submitted that we have failed to adapt in that in the economic context we have persisted with the same paradigm despite the change in the global economic outlook.

Much like another metaphor, that of the boiling frog.

50 thoughts on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Day of the Double Downgrade

  1. In both spheres politics has caused the downgrades. In our economy, party politics is responsible for placing incompetents in positions to make decisions that have proven to be ruinous. Likewise in West Indies Cricket politics govern team selection rather than the ability of players.

    • Bear in mind the leadership of the WICB is achieved through horsetrading at the expense of who is the best man for the job.

  2. @ Jeff
    There is a common problem with our cricket, with our politics, business, education, other sport, utilities etc.
    That problem is a lack of a coherent long term vision, and of the basic wisdom and intestinal fortitude to sell, and then to realise that vision.

    Cricket is a good case in point.
    It is a stupid game that takes up too much time in todays busy world, and whose history is grounded in aristocratic times.
    The ‘West Indies team’ (whatever the hell THAT is) was created by the English with the intent of demonstrating to the folks back home how the White boys could easily whip the collective asses of the low-witted slaves.
    We use it now to brag about which territory can get the most players into the money….

    People Like Sir Frank Worrell recognised the REAL issues and took the steps to required to beat the racists at their own game.
    What happened since…?

    Did we then TAKE CONTROL OF THE GAME and set up academies in the Caribbean?
    Did we force changes to the rules that suited OUR style of play?
    Did we produce administrators, coaches, trainers for the world when we ruled the roost?

    Shiite, we just hired a foreign coach… Give Bushie a break!!!
    We allowed the others to set the rules to disadvantage us..
    We copy what the damn white teams do….

    You guessed it….. Brass bowlery.
    Our cricket downgrades will mirror the economic ones….

  3. Jeff,

    We had academies before the Australians, we called them schools – Kolij, Lodge, Combermere all played in the first division, graduated to Spartan and Empire, then many played for Barbados and the West Indies.
    We just have no confidence in our own innovations.

  4. An apt analogy between the downgrade in the ODI ranking of the WI team and the Barbados economy. The defeated feeling is the same given where we have fallen.

  5. David,

    I do not like talking about cricket, most of all with Bajans, but we had a good system. I have said before the best cricket the world has ever seen was Spartan versus Empire in the park.
    Wes Hall and Mayers bowling for Spartan, Hall from the Hospital end, Mayers from the Kolij end.
    They were bowling to Francis Scott and Seymour Nurse.
    Even thinking of that game now brings tears of joy to my eyes. Empire had Charlie Griffith and Ralph Walker, with Ossie Gill behind the wicket. Spartan had Cammie Smith and Peter Lashley opening. Empire wiped the floor with them. Oh what joy.


    • @Hal

      Engaging in bouts of nostalgia has value in reinforcing happy feelings. All good for keeping the well being of a human finely tuned. The reality however is that some variables in the local cricket equation have changed. There is less interest in the game now for a myriad of reasons discussed in this space and elsewhere. Bear in mind the selection pool was already limited.

  6. @Jeff, you write well. This would be an excellent ‘entrez’ for any economics of business studies teacher or professor really for many introduction courses in any setting where cricket is an integral part of the social fabric.

    Informative and engaging from start to end.

    So I have only one small additional comment.

    When you say ” preoccupation with self,… a regrettable absence of self-confidence” isn’t that perhaps mildly contradictory?

    Particularly when many would say that WI cricket was plagued too often with regrettable abundance of over-confidence and arrogance when these modern players often approached their tasks as if they were the stars of the ’75 and ’79 teams.

    They had the skills and talent but lacked that temperament which you described as a “woeful dearth of the concentration and focus necessary to succeed in any undertaking”.

    A different perspective on that point.

  7. There was a time when Barbados was a virtual 2 sport country. Cricket and Football.

    Things changed. Youngsters have a lot of “distractions”. Video games and “the Internet”.

  8. “They had the skills and talent but lacked that temperament which you described as a “woeful dearth of the concentration and focus necessary to succeed in any undertaking”.

    A different perspective on that point.”

    @DPD, thanks as usual for your kind comments. The contradiction that you perceive is owed to my own weakness of expression. The “preoccupation with self” is really an assertion of the presence of insularity rather than an individual cricketer’s preoccupation with himself.

    We may’ve to agree to differ on the reproduced passage above. I for one cannot disaggregate “talent” from concentration, focus and discipline.

    Trust that you got my response to your query last Sunday.

  9. David,

    That is not nostalgia. That is the nearest I will ever get to Heaven. By the ay, Seymour Nurse also played football for Barbados.
    Who remembers the West Indies football team?

  10. Jeff

    The issues cited with WI cricket may appear, on the surface, as management problems.

    And maybe they are to some extent.

    However, underlying those perceptions, we are now willing to openly argue, that something fundamental is uniquely wrong with Caribbean people, the Caribbean mind.

    We live in a world where 8 people have more resources than 3.6 billion.

    Yet, the culture of management in of the WICB(C) continues to arc towards a dictatorial or colonial ethos. It is never to be untethered.

    And it seem that the more backward the rule of the WICB(C), the more pleasure that Board seems to derive from practices which are clearly inconsistent with popular norms.

    We have had successive Boards insisting that they and they alone could determine whether players have a human right to make a living.

    That regardless of the players’ perceived usefulness, to the Boards, that that institution can act in ways to make it impossible for out of favour individuals to make a living.

    That our best current players could be sidelined, given early retirement, banished to far-flung places and the like.

    We’ve had the case of Bravo recently. Two Bravos. A player who had to take the WICB to court to win his freedom, manumission. For to the WICB(C) a slave has to be properly tarred and feathered to bring the fear of the Board in the spines of the others.

    It surely does not help, when you have a slave of the Barbados variety in the captaincy and with a majority within the team. For the Bajan typology of slavery is maybe, in the annals of history, the best renowned.

    So while we seek to apply modern day management methods to the WICB, the culture of the Board is located firmly within a bygone colonial era. And the Board ruthlessly insists on such.

    We could never understand why a WIBC(C) would continue to think that coaches from Australia or England or Zimbabwe or South Africa or India should be in charge of our cricket.

    And this management response comes after this Board has been responsible for the largest development failure in the history of mankind.

    We are speaking about its failure to deploy 20 years of global dominance to transform WI cricket, the region.

    But these are the individuals who can today ignore the wishes of regional peoples, regional governments and openly continue dictatorial, archaic, policies in service of their imagined masters in England.

    That they should ignore issues of race and class. That they are the modern day Peter Short, Jerry Gomez, et al and that they rule WI cricket for White people in the mythical mother country.

    We started this rant by indicting Caribbean peoples for accepting mediocrity, dictatorial tendencies, for failure to, by any means necessary, shake off the cultural impulses of left-behind politicians and a mal-formed Caribbean ethos.

    But the truth is that cricket is an adequate metaphor for politics and everything else in the Caribbean.

    Failure is the acceptable norm. Success, like under Worrell, Lloyd and Richards was a deviation from that norm.

    So the downgrades for Barbados have a long history in the Caribbean as well. It is just that we never wanted to accept failure as the norm it has long been.

    To every extent, there are no differences between the clowns in the government of Barbados and those at the (WICB(C).

    This is the time for a great and sacred shaking off!

    • @Pachaa

      Sir Garry, the living legend, agrees with your point that there is no need to recruit foreign coaches. Since 2004 we have had Bennett King, John Dyson, Ottis, Phil Simmons and not Stuart Law. The problems of WI cricket to restate are bigger than where we recruit the coaches. It is the mindset and structure that make us even consider recruiting from foreign given our rich cricket legacy.

  11. Yes I did @Jeff. Thank You. That is/was a very interesting case considering Barbados has now well established common-law ‘lived wid’ rules.

    And indeed let’s agree to disagree. I am at one with your main thrust.

    The difference on the margin or dare I say, just outside off, re skill/talent as it relates to focus and discipline is interesting.

    A talented lawyer (gift of gab, authoritative presence before the bench, knowledge of law) who does not integrate that with preparatory focus and discipline for every case will eventually be found wanting… when that inherent talent, lacking prep, fails him and gets him caught out by a judge who ‘bowls’ very well!

  12. When Barbados is great the whole West Indies is great…………oft repeated in days of yore……seems to have some merit as all things Windian is suffering at the moment.

    Hopefully Guyana once its new found wealth starts to poor in will help its brothers and sisters in Bim despite the arrogance and xenophobia in days gone by some of us.

    Like Empires,Tribes or Countries they cannot be great forever,our time has come and gone,we can but tell the grands of our once great country that used to punch above its weght……..ah nostalgia…..good for us aging geezers on this blog….our time soon come.

  13. “But the truth is that cricket is an adequate metaphor for politics and everything else in the Caribbean.

    Failure is the acceptable norm. Success, like under Worrell, Lloyd and Richards was a deviation from that norm.

    @ Pachamama, my sentiments exactly. I have already expressed them elsewhere.

  14. David

    We have to look at all areas of influence.

    If you go to the UWI you’ll find evidence of a submission to the mythical masters as well.

  15. West indies cricket is not competitive after 20 overs. Test cricket , forget it! that baby has died since the late 90s. T20 has finally driven the last nail into that coffin. The players nowadays are prideless , they rather chase T20 money and glory.

    • The state of our cricket is best measured by the cry from many quarters for a 300 pound man to be elected to represent the WI team. The fact that he is a regular selection on the regional team reinforces the point.


    Some say the white man came from above oh oh!
    That is if you believe that supernatural stuff. UFO
    The locals treated him not like a beast
    Like the three wise men from the East

    Like how Columbus founded the West Indies
    Then try to convert the poor Indians! Please!
    When that failed they went buffalo butchering
    Leaving the Red Indians starving and cowering

    Coveting land from humble folks with their flags unfurled
    Settling up their own towns and villages all over the world
    But in their wake they left many in tears day after day
    All over the good land which was never theirs any way

    They maltreated many a people who cried long tears
    Someone got to be punished for we know God cares
    You can sing, and run and jump with all your might
    For karma is bitter sweet when it comes back to bite

    When some countries got their freedom
    Their governments thought they’re dumb
    They too tried to do like the Caucasians
    Who maltreated the local Amerindians

    They built cities and made kingdoms
    Living it up drinking coke and rums
    They lived the good life like the imperial master
    As they too put the little man on the back- burner

    As their own folks live in poverty
    Amidst their masters’ proclivity
    For years the people took it and did nothing
    The doers willfully neglecting them sneering

    The reapers of the ill gotten gains in their castles in a moat
    You take it staying quiet for you don’t want to rock the boat
    Tears have been shed every day many going insane
    And someone has to pay, here comes karma again

    Living the likes of a hog as they shed tears of joy
    As they plot and scheme to carry out their ploy
    Wives, mothers and children became high brows
    Covered from head to toe as their belief allows

    But the poor farmers keep toiling and trod on
    Eking a miserable living to bring in the bacon
    And months became years and fades
    And decades ran into more decades

    Until the people ran out of tears
    They swear and shed their fears
    Their anger reached every man, child and wife
    For all they ask for is just to live a simple life

    Their anger reached a pitch they want to get even
    They were ready to face torture of even an AK47
    The cry for freedom and democracy was in the air
    And every man in South East Asia wanted a share

    And so in Tunisia, one day in a little town called Tunis
    Using a format called Facebook the locals found bliss
    The folks sent messages to one another
    Innocently talking and in serious chatter

    When Muhammad Bouazizi, a farmer doused himself in kerosene
    Which was seen all over the world to show his wrath of that mean
    Ben Ali, dictator who lived like a hog for over 27 years
    As unemployment grew, people die shedding long tears

    All about their welfare and hardship in rage
    Actually, bottom line they wanted a change
    Citizens were called to silent arms and demanded democracy
    Ben Ali trembled in his boots but stuck to his despotic policy

    And when the smoke cleared the dictator was kicked out
    The people rejoiced as they sang tears of joy and shout
    As they pray and hope for a better tomorrow
    But the fires were burning all the way to Cairo

    Hundreds and thousands were alerted who care
    And they all met at the famous Tahrir Square
    And the words that went out were “We have taken up
    Enough of this, we’ve to bring this nonsense to a stop”

    The news spread like wildfire all the way to Benghazi
    But was trampled by tanks, guns of an insane Hosnie
    And Mubaruk refused to budge as the people persevere
    Strengthened by the victory in Tunisia they didn’t care

    T‘was do or die they made up their minds shouted out their demands
    To oust Mubaruk after 30 years of stealing the wealth of their lands
    Eventually he packed up his bags and left after 30years of conniving
    As the Muslim Brotherhood stood silently on the sidelines watching

    The fires had already spread to Libya a kettle of a different brand
    Democracy was a word Muammar Gaddafi could never understand
    As he dined with prostitutes in Cannes in Europe like a leech
    At home he ruled with an iron hand banning even free speech

    Bucket a guh a well everyday, one day
    Eh battam guh lef my Nannie used to say
    As Tripoli seethed and the people protested
    As men women and children were slaughtered

    Using jet fighters, tanks and mercenaries from Africa
    As his own soldiers refused to kill their own in Libya
    Hiding behind his high walls madly raving
    With his two evil sons aiding and abetting

    After 42 years of wallowing in the Libya’s troughs he can
    He said he’d kill any opposer to the last woman and man
    The world is shouting that this is a crime against humanity
    But all words fell on the mad ears of a man bent on insanity

    As the UN and the USA threatened and warned
    That no more innocent Libyans should be harmed
    Gaddafi answered by sending planes to shoot at oil rich
    Threatening before he goes he’d burn the oil wells of

    I said we get the Gov’t. we’ve chosen
    Sometimes the voters are left frozen
    And they have to put up and abide
    Their time and flow with the tide

    Cause they’re evil forces at work out there
    And the innocent are cornered in dire fear
    Like what happened in the 1960’s in Guyana
    When the British stealthily agree with the USA

    To stifle the PPP and oust Dr.Cheddi of Guyana
    For they thought Guyana would be another Cuba
    History has proved after 28 years Cheddi was not
    But Burnham was and that was what Guyanese got

    In Africa and Europe dictators arose
    All eventually got the peoples’ blows
    Those who don’t have it want it
    But really can they handle it?

    Democracy is what they want
    They shouted give us in any slant
    In the garage we want a good motor
    An oven, a stove and the refrigerator

    A detached home is so so
    A townhouse or a condo
    A job in the bank and money inside
    No matter what they promise to abide

    We see water it’s not a mirage
    We also want a car in the garage.
    Many times we have seen great incorporations
    And the architects ending up in incarcerations

    Look back in History with the great Mahatma
    When he and Jinnah were fighting for one India
    Jinnah caused India to split is a fact
    He was the brains of the Luknow Pact

    Jinnah never wanted an Independent India
    He was too violent even rejected satyagraha
    Every time Gandhi preached cooperation
    It was met with the Lahore Resolution

    The same thing happened in Guyana’s PPP
    When the Muslims rejected the Jagan’s Party
    In that case the CIA’s puppet Mr Langley
    Gave Richard Ishmael $2.08M for perpetuating the 80 day strike
    Also to the Muslims and the Trade Union Council and their like
    The Muslims split the Indian vote and formed a PNC coalition
    Joined with Burnham who later kicked them out in

    Greedy rulers from Stalin  to Mussolini
    From Ben Ali to Mubharak to Gaddafi
    And the others in poor Africa
    Even Burnham from Guyana

    All have one common denominator
    And that is the built in greedy factor
    Their coffers are bare yet they spend much on war
    Their people go hungry as the leaders dine on caviar

    Even the educated started our good then made a mess
    This shows greedy rulers can’t rule I have to confess
    How can these so-called leaders sleep deep at night
    When their people sleep with a bug infested plight

    When they practice the opposite what’s preached in Mecca
    Covering their women from head to toe sheltered by Sharia
    Laws as they defile and use other women like play things
    Paying top dollars for sexy women who party and sings

    They pray 5 times per day pointing towards Mecca
    As they bank the people’s money to be used later
    At the Cayman Islands, Swiss or the country they all hate
    Or just invested it in stocks and bonds and in real estate

    Since the last time we spoke
    Some thought it was a joke
    Since then we saw the fall of the South East Asian Empire
    A dire land of totalitarians and some secular pundits for hire

    Tempered by monastic vows
    Treating their women like cows
    Governing wretched peoples yet who sneered and
    Praying to their God when the Twin Towers fell and were

    A people who always want the green US dollars
    But funneled the money for domestic owned wars
    And sat and took it decade after decades
    As that part of the world became Hades

    Fast forward to Toronto in Ontario, to live
    With the Liberal Party vs the Conservative
    You would never believe politicians can be so sick
    One would surely think one is in a Banana Republic

    Wasting and covering it up is the order of the day
    And all the poor taxpayers don’t have a darn say
    Billions of dollars wasted to save their party some seats
    As erasing tapes and emails done secretly at their meets

    The fists would fly and guns would be drawn
    But all dumb Ontarians do is smile and yawn
    But really you have to blame it on the naive lesbians
    Pride has voted as a block maybe they got the billions

    When the people put party before sound economics
    It always come back to bite them where it ticks
    Only time would tell in the next few years
    But then it may be too late for long tears

  17. “But the truth is that cricket is an adequate metaphor for politics and everything else in the Caribbean
    Frighteningly so…

    From the nonsense non-entity of Caricom comparing with ‘West Indies’ in cricket….
    To the poor leadership selections based on everything else but talent and performance…
    To the albino-centric focus on money ..rather than on quality and continuous improvements..
    To the continuing decline into failure and misery
    and to the apparent hopelessness in terms of an obvious way out.

  18. Bushie

    Chuckle…….You may or may not be aware that the original Egyptians (as attached below) where very dark skinned individuals even darker than you…..despite popular myths to the contrary.

    The barter system which is the fore runner to capitalism existed there long before the melanin deprived tribes of europe thought of it……more than likely taught to them by some conquering african tribe.

    Did ancient Egypt have money? How did it work? – Quora
    Ancient Egyptian society used different forms of money before using coinage in the first millennium B.C. The Egyptians used non-coin forms of silver and gold currency, such as silver rings and gold pieces shaped like sheep, centuries before minting coins out of the metals.

    Metal Weights
    Before they started using coins around 500 B.C., Egyptians used a system of value based on the weights of various metals, especially silver and copper. According to the British Museum, records from the 18th dynasty (1550-1295 B.C.) reveal that the metals themselves were not exchanged between people at that time even though they were used to determine value. Silver became such an important metal used as money that the Egyptian word for silver, “hedj,” eventually came to mean “money.”

  19. The rise of WI cricket to its heights in the 1980s was due to the enthusiasm; passion; and obsession for cricket at the “grass roots”. It was an accident and was not planned by the WICB or any WI Government.

    The reasons why Barbados produced world class cricketers before the 1990s include:

    A very high percentage of the Barbadian males played cricket. Hence, there was a larger pool of cricket talent from which cricketers could be selected.
    Cricket was a “way of life” and played 24/7. Practice makes perfect. Barbadian males were very proud and competitive about their cricket performance. Such pride and competitiveness was easily transferred to any level of cricket.
    Barbadian males played various forms of cricket, e.g. marble cricket, tip-a-run, first-hop, tennis ball, rubber-line ball, tape ball. These forms of cricket improved their cricket skills, e.g. playing cricket with a rubber-line ball improved a player’s batting against fast bowling.

    Our past cricketers were products of the cricket environment that existed before the 1990s. If such an environment no longer exists – how can we expect our present cricketers to be as good as our past cricketers?

  20. @ Tony TrotmanMarch 12, 2017 at 2:47 PM

    “Barbadian males played various forms of cricket, e.g. marble cricket, tip-a-run, first-hop, tennis ball, rubber-line ball, tape ball. These forms of cricket improved their cricket skills, e.g. playing cricket with a rubber-line ball improved a player’s batting against fast bowling.”

    Almost perfect analysis for explainingthe current state of W I cricket. Those glory days are gone for ever.

    Men played cricket out of love and passion for the game; not as an easy avenue to instant riches and popularity among fickle fans.

    BTW, batting against rubber-line bowling turned you into either a good ‘hooker’ of the ball or a keen spectator of a very dangerous game.

  21. The only other top 10 ten cricketing nation the English team could smack around on its home turf is Zimbabwe, so that should tell us how we rank in world cricket. Tony Trotman gave the reasons why we no longer have world class cricket talent in the region. There are no world class bowlers in the region, and as a result average batsmen look good-great in regional competitions. When we play against international competition, our ordinary bowlers can’t get the opposition out and the average batsmen are undone by bowlers, some of whom are by no mean great, but are more disciplined that ours.

  22. I admire the ease with which Jeff was able to switch between politics and cricket.

    He could have extended this parallelism farther, for after all what he was describing was is the slow death of two different aspect of Caribbean societ. At some stage he will have to describe the last desperate clutch of the chest of many of our institutions as they are all rotting and will suffer a sudden death.

    American have this expression “three strikes and you are out”. Here we have a set of jokers at the ‘crease’ for 17 strikes and still holding their heads high and being arrogant at the same time.

    Is there no shame? Is there no passing (or failing) mark? Is this a case where possession is 10/10 the of the law and we must allow these fine gentlemen to stink up the joint until the next election. It is painful to see yardfowls emerging and saying “we like it so”.

  23. “Cricket was a “way of life” and played 24/7. Practice makes perfect. Barbadian males were very proud and competitive about their cricket performance.”

    Perhaps. at that time we were truly “punching above our weight”. But I think the demise of West Indies cricket began with Packer. The cream was siphoned leaving our B players had to face each other whilst our A team helped develop the A and B teams of other countries.

    We think we can sell everything and not perish.

  24. The BU household extends a heartfelt thank you to all members of the BU family who have and continue to submit articles, post comments and share important documents. BU would not have achieved the milestone of 10 years earlier this month without your support. Let us continue to be the David who shadow the always-present Goliath of issues.

  25. Strangely enough no one is mentioning economics, clearly all of the leading cricketing nations are investing more money into their cricket development than the WI can afford.

    At times we will obviously achieve a victory here and there but consistency will not be the norm.

    A main cause of our underdevelopment is due to start and stop system that we currently have, where players are not immersed in a professional environment for a prolonged period because of the lack of financing.

    Hence after a two to three weeks camp prior to an upcoming series players are not as fine tuned as there should be in all areas. This was quite evident in the last ODI series where there was a clear chasm between the fielding of the two teams, a commentator even made his observation known that a day prior to the start of the match the West Indies fielding practice lacked intensity as compared to their opponents. This intensity will not be achieved after two weeks despite that there will be moments of brilliance.

  26. @ David

    Congratulations on the 10 year mark. BU is the only bright spot in our civic life. We need to give more encouragement to whistle blowers to come forward. They are understandably scared but they need to be assured that BU is a safe place for them to share their knowledge.
    Thank you for your invaluable work, David. You are a treasure.

  27. Bushie begs to second that motion from Old Baje…

    BU is like an oasis of light, in a desert of brassbowlery.
    It is compelling, addictive and enlightening…… it even got Carl Moore by the balls – he can’t stop reading here even when it hurts…
    The alternative views, intriguing arguments and patriotic fervour displayed daily … and on a wide variety of topics, provide a ray of hope that somehow, despite all evidence elsewhere to the contrary, …. we can overcome….

    May BBE continue to bless David and family, and to inspire and guide all bloggers who open themselves to his light.

    ….and to those who instead, choose to worship at the Garrison…..
    well – frig wunna!!!
    BBBBB!! 🙂

  28. Hal Austin recalls the glory days of local titans of cricket Empire and Spartan,the beneficiaries of the cricket academies of Kolij,Lodge and Combermere and went on to recall a particular encounter which just happened to have featured Lodge 1,Kolij 1,Combermere 5 combatants in that match.I am not sure of the year of that game but I do recall the Advocate newspaper in 1974 with a huge headline….POLICE BOWL OUT EMPIRE FOR 24.
    Cricket in Barbados has suffered the consequences of political interference in education.Co-education has destroyed our game.Cricket is not only a sport.It teaches a way of life.Mixing boys and girls at primary and secondary levels is taking away the fortunes of our future development.Talented 4th,5th and 6th formers of today do not have the pleasure of playing to the gallery as in my day.Walking to the crease,batting with aplomb bowling and fielding knowing you are under the microscope by the QC,St Michael or Foundation camp followers was all the encouragement needed for success.If you get lucky she might allow you to hold her hand on the way to the Probyn Street bus stand.

  29. Congratulations on ten years David. I think I joined in 09. Gabriel, Probyn Street bus stand, right next to the Plaza. You are a country boy then and of my vintage.

  30. Congrats on the BU 10 year milestone and for having Jeff and Caswell and many others.

    • It was just yesterday BU reminded James Paul on FB who sits in the speaker’s chair in his capacity as chairman of committees how repugnant he should be feeling.

  31. @ David
    Congrats on a very impressive ten years. Profound thanks for allowing me to
    contribute to BU.

  32. @ David congrats and thanks for the ” gift ” of providing me with a place to express my

    opinions for FREE.

  33. Are there any on BU who recall the spider men on the waterfront.These guys were nimble of foot and accurate to a T when at work.I had an excellent vantage point from my dad’s business place off Broad Street.These barefoot sprinters would load a barrel of sugar or rum from the waterfront warehouse,on to the spider,take off with it to the loading bay in the outer basin,offload it and return to the warehouse all under 3 mins.All the while they are repeating a kind of mantra which I couldn’t fathom but I learned later was a communication to other spider men to “hold yer side” or “lower yer hand”but in a more native waterfront only language,not to be confused with brassbowl language.It was a spirited lingo in tandem with the speed,accuracy and control required in keeping to your path in a congested ‘war’ zone of fast moving traffic of goods and personnel.The Spidermen of the 40’s and 50’s.

  34. I hope that thiefing attorney did not spend that disabled woman’s money, the case should have been settled by now, her excuse is weak…a stroke victim would have guardians ad litem appointed by any district court in the US…if she was a real attorney and not a thief, she would have researched court records in the US and confirm those 2 were guardians…or contact the claimant’s US attorney, her client’s attorney to have the necessary paperwork done…..instead of running back to Guyana all smug thinking she got away with ripping off a sick person…, her own client….the petty thief…, she should be imprisoned

    “But, following the sale, the Plaintiff said that Sanford-Johnson only wired to the plaintiff the sum of US$11,838.81 which amounted $2,486,150 of the total GY$35M.
    The ailing woman claims that she has since been unable to reach Sanford-Johnson. She therefore opined that the defendant had no intention of remitting the funds she acquired from the sale of the property.”

  35. Guyana is riddled with corrupt politicians headed by one Bharrat Jagdeo.Reading the litanies of woe that have become that once wonderful country remembered as the most courteous and hospitable among the English speaking Latin American and Caribbean community of peoples,Guyana is lost in wutlessness and thievery on a very large scale and at the highest level especially among the Indian cabal.The arrest of Jagdeo and his PPP gang of criminals should meet their just deserts when the Pradoville scam goes to the level of the courts there.The criminal mind that is Jagdeo wishes to put it abroad that as a former president he is immune to prosecution.Jagdeo is possessed of a canecutter mentality plain and simple and cannot keep out of the public eye so he forced himself on the PPP to secure him the title of Leader of the Opposition and continues to insert himself in the politics of the country and expect to be immune from prosecution.He should be given a few years behind bars for all the wrongs he has committed and all the murders,sweetheart deals,corrupt decisions most of which benefitted family,Indian businessmen and Indian friends intending to keep the African Guyanese in servitude all his life.Granger! wake up and take off your kid gloves,don the steel knuckles and destroy the Indian cabal one time.Let Guyana revert to its original position of decency with principled humanity.No wonder Forbes Burnham became the person he was.

  36. David

    Congrats on the 10 year and keep up the good work of leaking what govts and others wish to keep hidden from public view.

    The forum also allows us old farts with time on our hands to lambaste each other and come up with some good ideas.

    • David

      Congrats to you on the tenth anniversary of BU. You have more impact than you might even realise. I recall a retired judge telling me that he agreed with something that I had written as a comment on BU. If BU did not exist, there would be people trying to create it. You are doing a necessary and an unmatched service to this country. It is indeed unfortunate that we would not see you being featured in the Independence Day Honour’s list. But for your service, I will think of you as Sir David King.

      Sent from my iPad

  37. Another shooting and Stetson interviewing the block element who insist…. ‘dem en do nutten,we does just sit dung hey and play sum dominoes,mining we bizness,we doan trouble nobody.We en kno why dah white car stop hey and just start shootin at we’.
    Mistake no 1 of Errol Barrow.State funded secondary education for all.Big mistake.Waste of money.
    Mistake no 2.Interfering with the Constitution for naked political reasons,not for improved governance.Big mistake.Croneyism is never ever going to equate good governance.
    Drastic measures are required to deal with the gang culture of guns,drugs and lawlessness.

  38. @Hants March at 8:37 AM … I am curious of the point you are making with this post.

    I was surprised by the headline ruling as there have been numerous instances where men have been mandated to provide parental support under broadly similar circumstances when it has been proven that they are not the biological father.

    From a brief reading of the news report it appears that the judge highlighted key mitigating circumstances to reach the judgement.

    I particularly noted the point that “[a]t the divorce hearing, she admitted that her husband was not the child’s biological father and sought no child support, with the Ontario judge warning them that paternity was not necessarily determinative of child support obligations.”

    And too that when she changed her tune the lad was as long outside the influence as he was under that influence of the man he originally accepted as ‘daddy’.

    She deserves to lose her claim.

    At day’s end her poor initial decision at the divorce proceeding was an act of poor parenting to the innocent lad.

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