National Living Hero Rihanna Graces the World Stage at Superbowl LVII

Run This Town – The Road to Halftime Starts on Rihanna

It is Superbowl (57) today and local talent and one of two living national heroes Rihanna is slated to perform at halftime, one of the biggest slots on the global entertainment program. If you are a detractor or not Barbadians and Caribbean people everywhere will be kicking back to bask in the global spotlight her performance will attract.

Age Discrimination at the Barbados Golf Club

In recent weeks there have been accusations directed at Minister Kirk Humphrey who is responsible for elder affairs, concerning his unwillingness to accept feedback from the public. At the root of the back and forth – two lawyers and a legal assistant in a fit of public civic mindedness drafted a 53 page document, the objective, to inform legislation affecting the elderly. A noble effort by any measure. It therefore boggles the mind why parties concerned have turned this into a battle royale.

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West Indies Cricket on the Skids

President of CWI, Ricky Skerritt(l) and Dr Kishore Shallow(r)

The demise of West Indies cricket continues to be a topic of conversation across the Caribbean. A good observation can be drawn that Cricket West Indies (CWI) , CARICOM, University of the West Indies, Caribbean Examinations Council and a few other regional agencies combine to build greater resilience and scale, as well as enhance bargaining power on the global stage and in the case of sports, competitiveness. Certainly this was the intention of the founders?

Here are comments from two commenters on the blog reacting to West Indies recent failure to qualify for the T20 World Cup.

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Youth Not a Priority – BDF Sports Program on the Brink

The news that the Barbados Defence Force Sports Program is again threatened with being shutdown should be a big concern for Barbadians. Full credit must be given to the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) for bankrolling the program when the threat first surfaced 2019. 

For years the blogmaster has expressed concern about the lack of a comprehensive sports policy by successive governments. Any society unable to give hope to its young people will have to battle with the consequences. It is a matter of public record that BEFORE the pandemic youth unemployment rate hovered around 30%. Without a national youth policy there has been an inevitable crumbling of physical and social structures. The national stadiums are an embarrassment if compared to many of our regional neighbours. By the way, have you observed it is standard for responsibility for youth affairs to be tagged to a junior minister of government. What message does it send to the youth?

Although a comprehensive youth program should not be 100% sports oriented, it is a significant component. In today’s world sports is a pathway to access academic and economic opportunities. As important is the opportunity being missed to create cohesion in the society with our youth feeling incentivized to be connected to society. Almost all of our sports associations are mired at different levels of mismanagement.

Kudos to Walter Blackman for keeping this egregious state of affairs on the front burner on Thursday’s as host of VOB’s Brasstacks Show. The opportunity loss for Barbados not spending $400,000 to manage the BDF program makes it a no-brainer that funds should be reallocated post haste to fix the problem, if it has not been addressed by the time of posting.

Is it a reasonable expectation the same level of protest from John and Jane Public reacting to an increase in the price of sweet drinks should be louder for the closing of the BFD sports program? How can we be that numb (not dumb) as a people to be insensitive to the implications. 

Tokyo Olympics – Petty, Partisan, Political Behaviour Stunting Youth Development

Congratulations to the government of Tokyo and others for being able to execute one of the largest global events on the events calendar during a pandemic. It was an opportunity again for humankind to demonstrate what separates us from the rest.

Man is the only animal that strives to be more than he is…it is the indomitable spirit within that makes him human.

Steven Lang

Barbadians although happy to support the 8 member team selected to attend the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – special mention to Sada Williams who missed out on qualifying for the 400m final by the narrowest of margins – there was the disappointment of not being able to experience the euphoria of a podium finish. The every four year post evaluation will now take place with the usual mouthings from government and supporting bodies to suggest they will work to ensure local athletes are ready for the Paris Olympics in 2024. 

The obvious question Barbadians on the street always ask is why Jamaica, Trinidad, Bahamas, Grenada and a few other regional countries continue to produce podium ready athletes. A visit to those islands to see the stadia gives a first clue. In the same way a tradesman needs the right tools to satisfactorily complete the job, athletes need adequate facilities and ancillary support to be able to deliver and sustain top performances. The local national stadium is a sight for sore eyes and an embarrassment all Barbadians should share. When current and aspiring athletes have to attend or perform at the local stadium, it cannot be a positive physical or mental exercise. How many times have NAPSAC and BSSAC events had to be relocated to ‘cow pastures’ or cancelled in recent years because of the unavailability of the national stadium? What has been the long term effect of those decisions?

We wonder why there is growing cynicism and apathy shown by Barbadians? For as long as the blogmaster can recall both administrations – DLP and BLP – have given lip service to supporting sports in a meaningful way. The sports ministry is almost always attached to the most junior minister in the Cabinet. Case in point Minister Dwight Sutherland, before him John King. From time to time the BU family has joined others to inquire about the development and implementation of a relevant National Youth Development Strategic Plan

The other challenge worthy of mention is the ‘professional’ sports administrators- a small group of individuals who are recycled at the various sporting associations, Barbados Olympic Association, Barbados Football Association, Barbados Cricket Association, Amateur Athletic Association and others, engaging in questionable transactions and behaviour with zero accountability. In the same way members of the political class close ranks to protect their own, so too sports officials in Barbados. The blogmaster has unsuccessfully reached out to several of them to encourage a blowing of the whistle on unethical and possibly illegal behaviour. Our athletes struggle to deliver world class performances, no fault of theirs but the administrators continue to enjoy the travel per diem, accommodation at 4 and 5 star hotels and other perks attached to roles. Enough already with the retort that administrators are volunteers.

The government and NGO bodies responsible cannot be serious about developing the potential of our young people and continue to commit inadequate resources to a relevant sports program. The benefits of developing such a program operating under the umbrella of a National Youth Development Strategic Plan are well documented. If we do not create an outlet for our young people to channel talent, it will give rise to problematic behaviours. Although there is opportunity for some to gain from athletic scholarships overseas, the majority will benefit from positive lifestyle choices and interpersonal relationships. It is a win win for the quality of society.

Despite challenging economic times government should commit to proportionately carving 100k from respective budget heads in the next appropriation exercise. Leading sports associations should commit to zero travel and 50% reduction of per diem to be reallocated to DIRECTLY support to the athletes. This is a simple suggestion to ram home the point that we we are doing is not working.

Our young people are no different to those from other countries, what separates them is the lack of opportunities created for them by the establishment. We continue to fail them. We prefer to engage in petty, partisan, political behaviour while the leaders of tomorrow are not prioritized.

West Cricket Takes One Step Forward and Two Backward


Submitted by Wayne Cadogan

It appears as if the new West Indies Cricket Board is going to continue in the same downward trend as the past Board did if they select Floyd Reifer as Head Coach of the West Indies senior team.

I am in full agreement with Michael Holding on the issue of Reifer being selected as acting coach because of a cricket bully who bullied the Board in 2009 and screwed up West Indies cricket by making a cricket failure at the test level captain of the West Indies team and seven players from the UWI team that came through the back door in local cricket.

West Indies cricket will not go forward if this cricket bully is allowed to have things go his way because he now wants to bully people into thinking that Reifer is capable of coaching the West Indies team ahead of experience cricketers that have made their mark and name in cricket in the likes of Richards, Lloyd, Greenidge, Haynes and Simmons.

The problem is that none of the names that I mentioned are yes men and cannot be bullied. I know that the current President of the West Indies Cricket Board cannot be bullied by anyone and he is definitely not a yes man like the past president.

Cricket is a business and should be operated in a like manner and not like a big boy friendship club. What West Indies cricket needs is a strong manager who is not a yes man to lead West Indies cricket back to its glory days.  One that will select its best eleven players to represent the West Indies and give 200% for the team.

West Indies cricket is not a fashion club, it is serious business. Given the current behaviour and attitude of our young people, I cannot see Reifer getting any respect from many of the current players especially since they all are friends, party and hang out together. I might be wrong in my thinking but I am sure that I might not be too far off.

When the West Indies had a chance to turn our cricket around by selecting Tony King as its Manager, they turned their back on him because he was a disciplinarian who did not tolerate foolishness and was all business. As a result of that decision West Indies cricket was the one to lose out and is one of the reasons it is in the current state.

Reifer has not proved himself to be capable of leading the West Indies team at this juncture.  If he is selected as the Head Coach it would be a case of one foot forward and two backward for West Indies cricket, maybe down the road but not at this time.

I hope common sense will prevail here. I expect there will be feedback I do not like my own and all of that, but I am a realist who has a mind of my own and not one to jump on a bandwagon. I sincerely hope that West Indies cricket can get back to where it was but the West Indies Cricket Board has to go about it in the right manner.

Dave Cameron Has FAILED West Indies CRICKET

President of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Dave Cameron is being challenged for the position by Ricky Skerrit in an election scheduled to be held in Jamaica on the 24 March 2019. The blogmaster does not have a horse in the race, however, of concern is the autocratic manner the Condé Riley led Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) has involved itself in the contest.

It is a standard affair in any democratic process for all persons contesting an election to be given a chance to present a ‘manifesto’ to  those casting the vote.  The decision by the board of the BCA to decline a request from Ricky Skerritt and his running mate Dr. Dr Kishore Shallow – the challengers to incumbent Cameron and Nanton –  disregards all reasonable convention and ‘good taste’ as far as right thinking observers can see. Acknowledging that the rules of the BCA indicate that the Board is not obligated to seek direction from its membership on the  matter.

It is noteworthy the BCA board invited Ricky Skerritt and Shallow to present when news broke that the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill- to its credit-  had invited them to share plans in a public forum. As if to trivialize the invitation AND magnify its collective ignorance – there was a simultaneous item running in the media confirming BCA’s support for Dave Cameron and his running mate Emmanuel Nanton.

The decision by the Condé Riley BCA Board violates all guiding principles around good governance of a Board of Directors. There is the irony that that the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) has extended an invitation to Skerritt and Shallow to present their Cricket First plan for developing regional cricket. If the irony has escaped anyone, Dave Cameron is from Jamaica and in all likelihood will gain the two votes from the JCA which has not declared public support for either side as far as the blogmaster is aware. Twelve votes are available from the six regional boards which comprise the CWI. Skeritt has the support of Trinidad and the Leewards and Cameron that of Guyana, Barbados and the Windward Islands.

It will never happen but the blogmaster wishes for it all the same. The BCA membership should trigger an extraordinary meeting to express a lack of confidence in the Board of the BCA regarding the decision to give unconditional support to Cameron while barring Skerritt and Shallow from presenting to the Board. If we pretend to be a democratic people utilizing democratic processes then a project to democratize the BCA must be a priority by its membership.

On what basis does Dave Cameron command unconditional support from the Boards of Barbados, Windward Islands and Guyana anyway?

In 2012 West Indies was ranked #7 in Test, #7 in ODI and #8 in T20. 

In 2019 West Indies is ranked #8 in Test, #9 in ODI and #7 in T20.

In summary, after 4 years as president, Cameron the incumbent, has not been able through his leadership to improve the performance of West Indies team on the field in ALL forms of the game. The blogmaster will resist including in the analysis of Cameron’s performance the cancellation of the 2014 tour to India, his unprofessional trumplike Twitter tweet directed at Chris Gayle in 2015 and the lack of respect shown to Caricom governments through his tenure by his Board – one of two key stakeholders.

West Indies cricket is one of the few regional entities which serves to thread the former British colonies together. It is unfortunate and ironic that the process to elect the President of the CWI does not reflect the very democratic ideals practised by all the countries CWI represents.




The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – In re Gabriel: hard case…. bad law?

West Indies cricket supporters, both of the born-again and the true-blue variety, are naturally feeling aggrieved at the recent decisions of the match referee in the current Test series to impose varying match bans on the captain, Mr Jason Holder and fast bowler, Mr Shannon Gabriel, for their respective infringements of the playing regulations and the Code of Conduct of the International Cricket Council [ICC].

The pique surrounding Mr Holder’s exclusion from the final test in the already-won series appeared to have been a reaction to what was perceived as the “most unkindest” cut of all, given his stellar performances in the first two matches and, especially, that the offence in question pertained to a failure to complete a required number of overs in a given period, when the match itself was completed in fewer than three days! However, as cogently argued in another section of the press last Sunday by three commentators, much of the huff here is misplaced, especially since a similar ban was previously imposed on Mr Holder when the opponents also won the match in three days. It is all about a single day’s play, not the duration of the match.

The Gabriel matter has evoked a similar disparagement of the ICC and more than a few individuals have levelled fanciful and baseless charges of some sinister plot by that governing body to weaken the regional team’s chances in the remainder of the series. Mr Gabriel was charged with an infringement of Article 2.1.4 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel that prohibits “using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting to a Player, Player Support Personnel, other Match Official or Match Official Support Personnel or any other third person (including a spectator) during an International Match

According to the guidance notes for the offence –

Article 2.1.4 includes: (a) excessively audible or repetitious swearing; and (b) obscene gestures which are not directed at another person, such as swearing in frustration at one’s own poor play or fortune. In addition, this offence is not intended to penalise trivial behaviour. [Emphasis added]

When assessing the seriousness of the breach, the Umpire shall be required to take into account the context of the particular situation and whether the words or gesture are likely to: (a) be regarded as obscene; (b) give offence; or (c) insult another person.

This offence is not intended to cover any use of language or gestures that are likely to offend another person on the basis of their race, religion, gender, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin. Such conduct is prohibited under the ICC’s Anti-Racism Code and must be dealt with according to the procedures set out therein.

According to Mr Gabriel’s account of the matter, “The exchange occurred during a tense moment on the field. The pressure was on and England’s captain Joe Root was looking at me intensely as I prepared to bowl, which may have been the usual psychological strategy with which all Test cricketers are familiar.

“I recognize now that I was attempting to break through my own tension when I said to Joe Root: ‘Why are you smiling at me? Do you like boys?’

“His response, which was picked up by the microphone, was: ‘Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.’ I then responded: ‘I have no issues with that, but you should stop smiling at me.'”

Clearly, if we accept this version of events, and it has not been contradicted to my best knowledge, the charge would have been based on the premise that the language used by Mr Gabriel to Mr Root was obscene, or offensive or insulting. Arguably, at the very least, it was not obscene, and even if “offensive” is taken in an objective sense to mean “liable to be reasonably interpreted as offensive”; I am of the opinion that it would not meet that threshold, given the nature of the statement in its interrogative form. For the same reason, it could be deemed “insulting” at a stretch only, given the nature of Mr Root’s response indicating that while in his view Mr Gabriel might have intended it as such, he was not himself insulted, added to the unlikelihood of a reasonable man feeling insulted by such a query in that context.

In my view, Mr Gabriel’s question was converted into an assertion of fact and thus construed as offensive and insulting at the same time. This altered construction would have been owed substantially to Mr Root’s response that treated Mr Gabriel’s question as an allegation that he, Mr Root, was gay.

Otherwise put, Mr Gabriel’s question was transformed into one of those in Latin preceded by “Nonne” or “Num” that suggests the answer –

The second method of forming questions in Latin is used when a specific answer is anticipated or preferred. “Nonne” is used when a yes answer is expected and “Num” is used when a no answer is expected.” The distinction is among “You like boys, don’t you?” [Nonne]“You don’t like boys, do you?”[Num] and “Do you like boys?”[Gabriel]

A perusal of the historical incidence of the use of this Article to punish offenders makes for interesting contrast. On January 9 last year, Taranjit Bharaj of Denmark, after not taking an obvious second run, shouted “F…” which was heard off the field of play… it was so loud. Then, on August 30, Bilal Khan of Oman used offensive language towards the opponent’s wicket keeper after hitting the winning run. Earlier, on March 8, our own Ashley Nurse, after a delivery of his was hit for a boundary, shouted an expletive very loudly which was picked up by the stump mike. And, for identical conduct, Rubel Hossain of Bangladesh was reprimanded on August 18 while Syed Aziz of Malaysia was even more flagrant. According to the ICC website, when bowling, Aziz ran towards the batsman and yelled an expletive-

From these scenarios, it can be inferred that the mischief aimed at here is the use of audible expletives on the field, whether or not directed at oneself, a player or official, an instance far removed from Mr Gabriel’s confessed infringement in this case.

It is acknowledged, nevertheless, that players, by their participation in ICC matches, agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of any Match Referee, Judicial Commissioner or Appeal Panel convened under the Code of Conduct to hear and determine charges brought (and any appeals in relation thereto) pursuant to the Code of Conduct; and not to bring any proceedings in any court or other forum that are inconsistent with the foregoing submission to the jurisdiction of the Match Referee, Judicial Commissioner or Appeal Panel. –Article 1 of the Code.

More over, in any case, whether rightly or wrongly (!), Mr Gabriel pleaded guilty to the charge. So matter fix’. I would have advised him differently, though. And is a demerit point the most rehabilitative remedy in the circumstances?

Cricket Lovely Cricket!

screenshot 2019-01-12 at 08.34.04

Richard Pybus

ONE thing West Indians can be certain is that on the eve of an international cricket Test series there will be at least ONE controversy to serve to distract the team from the job of winning. And to expose the failings of our regional institutions.

The ICC Men’s Test Rankings support the view that #8 ranked West Indies out of 10 Test playing countries will have its work cut-out to beat a #2 ranked England team. The first Test is scheduled to start in Barbados on the 23 January 2019.

The question West Indians fans must ask therefore- why do our cricket administrators continue to debate issues that should be resolved in the board room and at the Secretariat? Perhaps there is a naive view held by the directors of Cricket West Indies (CWI) that shouting across island boundaries will not impact player performance AND the moral of a dwindling spectator base. The current state of West Indies cricket continues to spiral southward and it is worthy of note that although the current #8 Test Rankings positions West Indies above Bangladesh, we were beaten by them in the last series and they are just ONE point behind the West Indies.

What is the latest brouhaha?

The decision by CWI to appoint Richard Pybus has triggered a shouting match between two CWI Directors Enoch Lewis from Antigua and Conde Riley from Barbados. Lewis is critical of the process that led to Pybus’ selection. Riley has rebutted Lewis by sharing with the public on a radio show that the matter was discussed at Board and voted on.

At this stage of the argument it does not matter who is right or wrong. What matters is the inability of our cricket administrators to manage the cricket utilizing the best governance practices readily available.It has not gone unnoticed by the blogmaster that many of the Directors were educated in the region. We were unable to find a link to the CWI Board of Directors to determine level of formal training.

The blogmaster has held his nose to develop the view on the merit of appointing Pybus as Head coach of the West Indies team given his unflattering resume. 

Here we are – as a West Indian cricket fan – having to witness the spectacle of cricket administrators and supporting cast, embarrassing the hell out of a people AGAIN. Although Test cricket does not hold the high place on the list for sports fans in the former colonies compared to the past. Let us accept that our inability to efficiently lead cricket reflects a large failing by people of the region to effectively lead most things.

Barbados Sandy Lane – One of the World’s Best Golf Courses

Submitted by Jenna Heidstrom, Marketing Manager,

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Eastern Golf Course, Australia

El Camaleon Riviera, Mexico

Emirates Golf Club Majli, Dubai

Furnace Creek Death Valley, USA

Kawana, Japan

Leopard Creek Country Club, South Africa

Oconee, Reynolds Lake, USA

Pebble Beach Golf Links, USA

Primland Highland Course, USA

Punta Espada Cap Cana, Dominican Republic

Real Club Valderrama, Spain

Sandy Land, Barbados

Yas Links, Abu Dhabi

Relevant Link: 20 World’s Best Golf Courses

Elombe Mottley Speaks!

BabaElombe Elton Mottley posted the following text to his Facebook page a couple weeks ago. The lack of focus on the Arts by successive governments continues to be of interest to the blogmaster. Why? We boast on a daily basis that our people are our greatest asset, yet, we do close to nothing to develop the Arts (The blogmaster exerts editorial license to expand the definition of the Arts to include Sports).

Governments of Barbados continue to allocate billions to the education budget annually, however. show a reluctance to to create the opportunity to harness and release the cultural expression of the people.  Surely there is a case to be made against successive governments for suffocating the cultural expression of Barbadians?

-David, blogmaster


Restoration of the Empire is a must. To refurbish the building, replace seating, outfitting with sound and video equipment, etc, will not be a priority at the moment as I see it. Unfortunately it has a seating capacity of under 800 seats. Years ago when I was involved, the seating capacity was to be extended to about 1200. In order to do that and also to provide a larger stage, dressing rooms and storage, it would have been necessary to utilize the space behind the building. Unfortunately, the same government of the day allowed the construction of the building behind the Empire. There may still be enough room to do that and should be considered. The Globe theatre has a seating capacity close to 1200, but has no access to parking. Same problem with the Empire.

Government investment and ownership of buildings used by its populace leaves much to be desired. Government does not depreciate its investment in buildings, nor does it provide for maintenance. I invite you to go up behind and around the museum and see the abandonment of those buildings allowing them to fall apart. [CHECK THE NUMBER OF BUILDINGS IN BRIDGETOWN AND ACROSS THE NATION, the buildings that are not maintained, government owned lands that are over-run by bush while the possibilities of involving the country to participate in the production of our own food is ignored.

Let me highlight some of the stupidity of the governments of Barbados.

Why would you refurbish the Daphne Joseph Hackett Theatre, install an unnecessary elevator, remove the rehearsal building, the former kitchen area, removed the old stable which was also used as a rentable gallery for artist. Now why should the NCF charge $2500 to use the theatre? That amounts to $12.50 a seat before you advertise. Is this any way to promote the development of the arts? The capacity is under 200 seats. On top of that, there are the taxes to be paid on that. Are we serious about the development of the Arts?

When I set up years ago the National Cultural Foundation, I insisted on having a maintenance department – I had all of Queen’s Park, Community Centres island wide, and maintenance of the equipment coming out of CARIFESTA 1981.

Who does the maintenance of the facilities? Is it going to be farmed out to political hacks? Let me give you an example. I received a notice from a Permanent Secretary to hire some company to treat all the facilities managed by the NCF that would cost the NCF $15,000. I responded and pointed out we treated our buildings for less than $2.00 per facility because we had a program in place. I heard nothing more from the Ministry.

If government does not have a plan to restore some of these heritage buildings, why don’t they offer the public long term leases (30+ years). The lessee could restore the buildings and use them rent free for20 – 30 years with all the rights. Maybe a company can do the restorations and rent out the properties!

Back to the start. It makes no sense for government to restore these buildings and then make it impossible to be used by the artists of the country. Anyhow, for a population of under 300,000 people, how to we maximize the benefits for all our citizens. I mean all, all, all. GOVERNMENTS MUST STOP RIPPING OFF OUR COUNTRY…..PERIOD.

The NCF is not only a producer of Festivals as I keep hearing. Festivals are important to identify and provide channels for our youth to develop. Performance is the rewardable process of measuring our development. This process cannot be treated willy-nilly.

Ask yuh self a few questions. How come the NCF is short of money and yet Radio stations over the years can give away cars and the NCF has not been able to upgrade its sound and lighting equipment?

Why was the community development officers detached from the program of strengthening the development of communities and using the services for the development of the arts from the community level?

I want to draw your attention to some facts.

Every radio and television service in Barbados MUST give Government (and its agencies) 10% of its broadcast time for its use. This amounts to 2.4 hours a day. This is part of the license. These same stations use the products of the NCF to make enough money to buy cars and give them away yet some of them want to object to the NCF using this time to develops Governments development programs. Without the programs of the NCF, none of them would be able to generate that audience nor would they be able to give away cars.

When I set up the NCF, it was actually the Ministry of Information that had responsibility for the Community Development department which was absorbed into the NCF to organize the workshops and research in various communities. The technical officers (dance, music, art, writing, et al) organized the content, and the persons to teach these workshops. Most of the time, local artists were used and paid to run these programs. We also used all of the content of various ministries to provide information and education to the communities thru the use of qualified persons to speak on the topics developed by those institutions.

Let me state clearly, I am not looking for any job in any form or fashion. However I know from experience that there is too much ad hoc planning on the continued development of Barbados. What makes an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, 166 square Miles, and less than 275,000 people, rated #9 in the world in Education by the World Economic Council, and we continue to devalue ourselves with foolishness.

Racketeering at any and every level in Barbados must stop and that includes the NCF if such exists. Newspapers, Radio Stations, the TV station, bloggers, must reflect more on the development of the country. There are too many areas that does not require government’s involvement. How many reviews of plays, concerts, books, musicals, and performances are covered in any of the 3+ newspapers, the Radio stations including GIS, on TV of various internet channels, dot com sites, on Facebook social media, et al? These are important to the artists/performers and offer critical assessment of their work. There are many people in Barbados who can do these reviews. Why isn’t it being done? Why are the creative people – musicians, actors, dancers, writers, performers, et al so silent on these needs? Are the owners and editors so removed from the society in which they live, work, play, raise children and families that all of them hat the food for development and the achievement of excellence is a real and important aspect of our total development. The editors, owners and general manager got to do better than what they are doing now.

Ah gone.

Recommended Open Letter from Ryan Brathwaite to Rihanna

Submitted by PUDRYR

Attn: Ms. Rihanna Fenty

My name is Ryan Brathwaite and I am a Gold Medallist from Barbados (110 metres hurdles 2009 World Championships).

I have a question related to developing a support mechanism for talented Barbadians that I hope might be of interest to you.

I am starting an NGO called Outside the Winners Circle whose focus is to provide support to local talent, young (and not so young) bajan men and women  who currently depend on government support which is, as you may know, not at an optimal level. 

This initiative would focus on things like athletic scholarships,  support for talented artistes, or indigenous initiatives in need of financial/technical support I propose to build a virtual mechanism to support these resource-needy applicants, persons who are already “tried and tested” and are already “in the business” but fall just short of that “tipping point” and success.

I propose to create a Portal at to manage the enrolment and critical facilitations for our best (and while I am an athlete our portal will reach out to our best)  and, with your support, I plan to demo that system via an online encounter with you (wherever you are in the world) on 30th November, from here in Barbados.

I know that you have a lot of experience in “what the local talent and performer sector needs, and currently lacks” and I am wondering if you would be interested in supporting this initiative.

I am promoting a virtual gateway for young people seeking investment, irrespective of the initiatives with a view to generating jobs for new breed entrepreneurs.

Do you think I should be focusing on a self sustaining web infrastructure or a business development/promotion option? 

What do you think of us doing a limited pilot (which would be a combination of both elements mentioned above) and then, given the buy-in, decide to focus on promoting the web portal model or the dedicated business financial support aspect?

In summary the portal would assist people like me, who might have “finite windows of opportunity”, but may have slipped out of “the Winner’s Circle”, not because they (we) dropped out, but because they (we) did not have the additional resources needed.

I’d love to know your thoughts Miss Fenty.

As a separate matter, I was also wondering if you’re seeing any possibility for you to promote a Second Tier Performer circuit which would bring lesser known performers to Barbados as your “guests” and create a following using such an activity to promote tourism and expose our local performers. I believe that many local hoteliers would support that program via discounts etc. 

It would be leveraging your name for what could be called The Rihanna Get Together. Do you think there is some currency there? It’s a bit hard to assess if that idea can work and if you could would assist it but, it might be a way to help Barbados if say you got Port Ferdinand and a few other hotels to band together with this.

Miss Fenty, thanks for reading this….you’re probably up to your eyeballs with the Rihanna vs. Beyonce Concert in addition to your World Tours at the moment. 

Continued success with your career I remain one of the many Barbadians who have so much pride and joy in your success and ongoing achievements

Best Regards


Ryan Brathwaite


Outside the Winners Circle

UK Government Deports Collis King

[Barbados Underground] It is unfortunate that Barbadians and what is suppose to be a cricket loving region has not felt the urge to stridently protest a decision by the UK government to deport Collis King. There is no need to detail the cricket bio of the 67 year old all-rounder. His crime: he applied for a visa to live with his British wife while resident in Britain, this type of visa must be requested while residing outside of the country. From all reports Collis King has been living and working in the UK for the last 40 years.


Caribbean Life Newspaper, July 29 – August 2, 2018

The captioned article refers to an offer by Colin Graves, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to ‘assist’ Collis King in his immigration ‘matter’.   The blogmaster unhesitatingly adds his tuppence to the discussion by calling for the UK government to do the right thing and at this late stage extend all courtesy to Mr. Collis King- a famous cricket who has lived in that country for decades. The manner which he has been treated so far not least the confiscation of his passport at the airport as he was ibeing deported to Barbados.


The blogmaster will resist pulling the race card. However, how can anybody explain why the UK foreign office (government) would not have felt compelled to intervene? The UK is a cricket playing nation – creator of the cricket game – surely there was time to halt the deportation action when the name Collis King was whispered to someone at King Charles Street?

The pride of a great West Indian warrior has been forever harmed, however, there is still the opportunity for the UK government to deliver ‘satisfaction’ to King with the urgency the matter deserves!

Many will remember Collis King for the innings he played in the 1979 World Cup final in a partnership with Viv Richards.

The blogmaster makes special mention of Heather Cole for bringing this matter to the fore.


Our West Indian Cricket Shame Only Deepens

DAVID A. COMISSIONG, President, Clement Payne Movement, Citizen of the Caribbean, and Lover of West Indies Cricket

How  shameful  it was to witness the gleeful rejoicing of the members of the West Indies cricket team in the wake of their fortuitous and totally undeserved victory over Scotland — a non- test status, associate member team of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

These men — supposed heirs to the  great West Indian cricketing tradition of such immortals as George Headley, Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Garfield Sobers, Clive Lloyd, and Sir Vivian Richards — seemingly had no qualms about celebrating the fact that it took  a manifestly erroneous umpiring decision, the intervention of a shower of rain, and the complicated calculations designed by Messers Duckworth and Lewis to “gift” them a 5 run victory over a Cricket team that is regarded as a minnow in international cricket!

But, as hurtful and shameful as this experience was, it should not have come as a surprise to any of us.

Let us recall that less than a year ago – on 20th June 2017 to be precise – Darren Sammy, our former West Indies cricket captain, prophetically warned us as follows:-

“I am very scared for the future of West Indies cricket …………I am scared that we might be relegated to the league of the Irelands and Scotlands, playing against these guys which is very, very sad — if something doesn’t change. And at the moment, the guy (Cricket West Indies president, Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron) has just been re-elected for another term. I can’t see it happening for us. It’s very sad for us.”

                                                                       (Published in the Nation Newspaper of Barbados on 21-06-17)

At the time, I came out publicly and stated that I totally agreed with Darren Sammy . West Indies cricket, I felt,  would go nowhere but DOWN under the immature, self-centered, and self-righteous leadership of current Cricket West Indies president Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron and the social class that he is a representative of.

I also took the opportunity to renew my call for the resignation of Mr Cameron – a call that I had first made when he presided over the backward decision to remove the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) team from our regional one day cricket competition on the most ridiculous and frivolous of grounds, and I repeated the Call when his irresponsible and self-centred actions led to the abandonment of the West Indies cricket tour of India.

As far as I was concerned, the honourable and responsible thing for Mr. Cameron to do – in his capacity as President and leader of the WICB – was to publicly accept a considerable measure of responsibility for the Indian fiasco that had taken place; to publicly apologize to the Indian Cricket Board; and to resign from office.

Needless-to-say no such resignation was forthcoming then, and none ever will! And the reason it will not happen is not because of any special peculiarity of Mr. Cameron’s character or personality! Rather, it will not happen because the members of the Caribbean social class that Mr. Cameron belongs to simply do not behave in that manner!

The sad reality throughout our Caribbean is that a new bourgeois class has taken over the key leadership positions in Government, in the professions, and in important areas of national and regional life such as Cricket Administration. And it is such a self-absorbed class that its members find it extremely difficult to accept personal responsibility for anything, or to recognize that there are causes or institutions whose interests take precedence over their own personal individual interests.

These social elements have capitalized on the relative apathy and marginalization of the working class, and have constituted themselves into an entrenched elite or in-group, equipped with their own narrow group interests, and with a narrow, self-serving value system. Furthermore, many, if not most, members of this “class” have convinced themselves that they are entitled as of right to positions of privilege, wealth and comfort in our societies. This, in turn, is manifested in their unceasing jockeying for and pursuit of positions of status – privileged “jobs” – in national and regional political and Administrative structures, not least of which is the leadership and administrative structure of the WICB.

Many, if not most, of them are contemptuous of the working class base from which they have sprung. As a result, they possess no substantial roots in our region’s history of race and class struggle, and are therefore incapable of truly appreciating the value of the fruits of such struggles – whether such “fruits” are the sacred cultural institution of West Indies Cricket or — in the case of my island home of Barbados — the famous Barbadian system of free secondary and tertiary education!

The same social element that is incapable of perceiving that the interests of the people’s institution of West Indies Cricket dwarfs their own personal interests, is the same social element that – in national governments throughout our region – is incapable of recognizing and defending the precious social-democratic gains that generations of Caribbean sufferers struggled so hard to achieve.

We, the masses of Caribbean people—the so-called ordinary citizens of the Caribbean– therefore cannot simply sit back and expect these supposed leaders to act responsibility and selflessly, not even where our beloved game of West Indies Cricket is concerned. Left to Cameron and his ilk, they will complacently look on while the once mighty West Indies Cricket team is reduced to a genuine and certified “minnow” in contemporary international Cricket, as long as they –the so-called Administrators– can continue to enjoy an elevated social status and the financial rewards that go with that status.

Some form of determined mass activism has to emerge from the base of our societies if our Caribbean Community is to get back on track with its historic liberatory struggle!

If we truly want to preserve the WICB, West Indies Cricket, “free” education, public health care, welfare provisions, worker rights, national sovereignty, and the list goes on – the people at the base of our societies and such working class-based institutions as the trade unions and the grass-roots cricket organizations (like the “Barbados Cricket League“) will have to bestir themselves and unite around a concrete people’s agenda.

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Cricket: The Laws, “playing culture” and Ethical Conduct

Jeff Cumberbatch – Chairman of the FTC and Deputy Dean, Law Faculty, UWI, Cave Hill

“It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game that matters” –Gerry Richards in a postscript to his radio sports show in the 60’s

For the second year in succession, the West Indies Under-19 cricket team at the International Cricket Council’s World Cup competition has been involved in the dismissal of an opposing player that while unarguably within the laws of the game, may nevertheless conflict sharply with what some choose to call the spirit of the game.

It should be recalled that last year in the tournament in Bangladesh, the team ran out the non-striking Zimbabwean number eleven batsman with the match hanging on a razor’s edge; I believe that Zimbabwe needed to score three runs only to win the game. That decisive run-out was effected by way of the “Mankad”; the eponymous dismissal whereby the bowler pauses mid-stride in his run-up to break the stumps and thereby catch the non-striker, who is backing up too far, out of his ground. The spirit of the game, according to some, would have required that the bowler first warn the batsman not to venture out of his crease again otherwise he will suffer the consequences and be run-out.

On this occasion, against South Africa, the South African batsman played forward to a delivery which rolled back dangerously towards the stumps. The youngster, perhaps mindful of the rumoured perils of hitting the ball twice, watched the ball’s progress carefully, without touching it with his bat or hand, until it had come to a complete stop. He then proceeded, as he must have seen a number of his seniors do on countless occasions in Test and other matches, and in a spirit of assistance, to gently lob the ball to the wicketkeeper-captain who immediately proceeded to query the umpires as to whether this did not amount to a dismissal. In fact and in law, it does, and the batsman was accordingly given out for “obstructing the field”.

According to Law 37.1.1

Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if, except in the circumstances of 37.2, and while the ball is in play, he/she wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action.[Emphasis mine]

 Two points bear further observation here. First, it is doubtful whether the impugned action in this instance could be reasonably considered to have been a “wilful attempt to obstruct the fielding side” as is stipulated and, second, had the batsman indeed struck the still moving ball, he could not have been given out as he appeared to believe, on my interpretation of Law 34.3 –

The striker may, solely in order to guard his/her wicket and before the ball has been touched by a fielder, lawfully strike the ball a second or subsequent time with the bat, or with any part of his/her person other than a hand not holding the bat. [Emphasis added]

 Cricket might be popularly known as a game of glorious uncertainty. It is also a game of quirky oddities among which the current controversy might well be numbered. Unlike other games, cricket is not satisfied with mere rules; rather describing its regulations as the more lofty “Laws”. Moreover, befitting its appellation of the “gentleman’s game”, there exist a number of conventions that are applied in the course of the game and that, by definition, do not always accord with the letter of the Laws or require their strict enforcement.

For instance, there is nothing to prevent a batsman from taking advantage of a throw at the stumps that strikes his bat and goes away into the outfield to run extra runs as overthrows, but it is just not done. According to another axiom, it is not cricket. And while the “Mankad” form of dismissal may be justified in that the non-striker is availing himself of the advantage of completing a run over a shorter distance, and is thus contributory to his own demise, no similarly unfair or dishonest act was perceived in the most recent incident.

These behaviours are all part of the “playing culture” of the game. In their text, Sports Law (2001), Gardiner et al define playing culture as “informal and rarely defined rules of strategy”. The authors emphasize the negative aspects of this concept, instancing the use of “sledging” in cricket, but they also make reference to the clamant need for fair play generally in modern sport, as is illustrated at a general level by the prosecution of participator violence, the prohibition of drug abuse in sports and the proscription of the exploitation of young athletes.

The Council of Europe in its ministerial document, Code of Sports Ethics: Fair Play- the Winning Way (1992) defines fair play as “much more than playing within the rules. It incorporates the concepts of friendship, respect for others and always playing with the right spirit. Fair play is a way of thinking, not just a way of behaving. It incorporates issues concerned with the elimination of cheating, gamesmanship, doping violence (both physical and verbal) exploitation, unequal opportunities, excessive commercialization and corruption.”

The difficulty of applying these criteria directly to cricket would appear to be derived from the protean nature of the game where it is sought to assess a particular incident for fairness. The laws go in one direction, the playing culture or winning strategy goes in another and the code of ethics in yet a third way. It is this conundrum that makes it so complicated a task to critique the recent appeal of the West Indies captain. He was clearly within the laws; and the strategy of appealing proved effective in that context.

Should it at all matter that he is reported as saying that on reflection, given the identical situation again, he would not have appealed? This might suggest that his conscience is sufficiently pricked as to the ethical nature of his decision, but alas, there are no “do-overs” in this context.

The glorious uncertainty referred to above might appertain to more than the unpredictability of a result.