President Randy Harris, weak but strong

President of Barbados Football Association (BFA) Randy Harris has occupied the office although the performance of Barbados football has slipped to an embarrassing level during his tenure.

BFA President Randy Harris and FIFA President Gianni Infantino 

It helps us to stay healthy, fit, and active. It teaches us the value of teamwork and encourages us to work hard and never give up. Sports also help us develop discipline, dedication, and commitment, which are essential values for success in life. It is also a great way for people to socialize and make new friends.


It must be obvious sports is not only everything EDUCBA describes, it is also a trillion dollar global business. Where there are big business decisions being made expect to find political factors at play and corruption.

The world’s most popular sport is football (soccer). In recent weeks a controversy triggered by suspended president of the Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales planting a kiss on a female player in his exuberance at Spain winning the women’s World Cup, and the ensuing debate amplifies the importance placed on holding on to executive positions in sports, especially soccer. In the face of global condemnation he refuses to resign.

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Sports needs an Oba

The lack of commitment to sports in Barbados is exemplified in a dilapidated National Stadium.

Charles Griffith
Charles Griffith, Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment 

Two voting events caught the interest last week. First the election of a Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and the announcement Olympian Obadele Thompson has thrown his hat in the ring to challenge for president of the Barbados Olympic Association.

It was reported Conde Riley was returned as president with 75 votes to narrowly fend off Calvin Hope 72 votes and Senator Gregory Nicholls 37 votes. A grand total of 184 votes were gathered between the three candidates. From all research the BCA registers a membership of close to three thousand members. At a time cricket is struggling to maintain its position as the preeminent sport in Barbados, less than 200 members showed the interest to vote for a president of the BCA.

Oba: A ruler of any of several African peoples of western Nigeria 
—used as a form of address

Mariam Webster

The other related news was 2000 Olympian Obadele Thompson’s announcement to challenge for a director’s seat at the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA). What makes his decision interesting is the fact he lives in the United States of America. How does it reflect on the local talent Thompson feels compelled to contribute to the development of sports in Barbados via Zoom? In defense, we live in a Digital Age.

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Fresh Start

Submitted by Dr. Grenville Phillips II

Every four years there is a Cricket World Cup. The West Indies team won the first two Cricket World Cups in 1975 and 1979, and were runners up in 1983. We were champions of this sport, but have been in the basement of the 8 top cricketing nations’ rankings for so long that it was only a matter of time before we would not qualify for a major tournament. That time has come.

This year, we did not qualify for the 2023 Cricket World Cup. The new head coach reportedly wants the players to believe in themselves and in the team. The captain wants a “fresh start” and our support. Beliefs and fresh starts require firm foundations. Our support requires an exceptionally difficult conversation.


Our players are talented, winning matches against much higher ranked opponents. Our players are also hard working, doing what coaches ask of them during practise. But in competitive sports, talent and hard work must stand on firm foundations – and our boys had them.

Our players qualified for a place on the West Indies team full of promise. They were trained by school coaches and had the support of their families, schools and churches. Then something seems to go terribly wrong soon after they join the team.

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West Indies Cricket – regional institutions in decline

June 26, 2023 will be remembered by fans of cricket and in particular those who support the West Indies team as another dark day. It was a day orange was the new maroon. It was a day an Associate Member team humiliated a West Indies team by scoring 374 runs to tie a 50 over game in an ongoing competition and finally won it in a super over. A super over which saw Jason Holder struck for 30 runs.

On July 13, 2009 a blog titled The Darkest Day In West Indies Cricket was posted by Barbados Underground. Not many West Indian cricket fans would have envisaged the precipitous decline in our cricket thirteen years later. Baby boomers in the BU household who were fortunate to witness triumphant West Indies cricket teams of the 70s and 80s have had to stop being fans of regional cricket, including the blogmaster.

To be honest the blogmaster feels unqualified to unpack the may problems obviously affecting West Indies cricket. What cannot be refuted is that the passion with which former players from the golden era played the game has long faded. The game has been commodified and our top players from all reports are paid very well, BUT, the passion that is a prerequisite to give of ones best is gone.

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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.

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Submitted by Jenna Heidstrom, Marketing Manager,

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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.

Rugby 7s Ready to Tackle US Tournaments

Submitted by  Amy Goulding, PR Consultant

Bridgetown – Barbados’ male Rugby 7s team is heading off on a weeklong tour to the United States which will see them compete at an international level in two separate club tournaments in New York and New Jersey.

In partnership with the Barbados Rugby Football Union (BRFU), the team will be called the ‘Barbados JetBlues’ and will play in both the Saratoga 7s Rugby Invitational on Saturday 15th July, and in the Blazing 7s Tournament on Saturday 22nd July. They will come up against club teams from various countries and do battle in five games per tournament, keeping their sights set on winning qualifying points for the Empire Series in New England.

George Nicholson, Manager of the Local Organising Committee for the Rugby Barbados World 7s, said the purpose of the tour was not only to improve the team’s competitiveness and prepare for the Rugby Americas North (RAN) Regional 7s Championships taking place this November in Mexico, but also to directly market the upcoming December Rugby Barbados World 7s Tournament to an international audience.

We are thrilled to be able to take our team internationally to compete at this level. The experience for them is priceless, and it’s a great stepping stone towards promoting our tournament on home soil here in December. We want to encourage teams to come and play in Barbados, as well as showcase our beautiful island to the world as a premier tourist and sporting destination,” he said. Nicholson also thanked sponsors JetBlue Vacations, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) for their support financially and in promoting the December event.

This year, the Barbados JetBlues will consist of Sean Ward (Captain), Zayn Nicholson, Jordan Gomez, Nickolie Bonnett, Kris Carrington, Shane Howard, Mitchell Morris, David Burke, Dario Stoute, Mikyle Walcott, Shane Taylor, and Enrique Oxley. The team will be staying in Toronto, Canada between tournaments to train with two Canadian teams and to further promote the Rugby Barbados World 7s Tournament internationally.

Team Captain, Sean Ward, said the tour is a great way for local Bajan players to experience the global rugby fraternity and to pick up some new skills along the way. “Some of these boys have never left the country before and this tour will be an eye-opening trip for them, both on and off the field. It’s a wonderful bonding experience and is great for the future of rugby in Barbados. If we can continue to get this kind of support and promote rugby in Barbados to our international brothers and sisters, it would be a great development tool for us. I look forward to leading the team and hopefully we can come away with some good results,” he said.

The 2017 Rugby Barbados World 7s Tournament will be hosted from 9th to 10th December in Holetown, St. James. Originally known as the Tobago International 7s, the Tournament is the longest running Club Rugby 7s Tournament in the Caribbean and was relocated to Barbados from Trinidad last year. Teams from Canada, USA, Scotland, England, and Trinidad and Tobago have already indicated their intention to participate in this year’s Barbados Tournament.

For more information, visit the Rugby Barbados World 7s Facebook page, or visit the Rugby Barbados World 7s website at

Darren Sammy Couldn’t be more Right about Cricket West Indies Dave Cameron

Submitted by  DAVID A. COMISSIONG, Citizen of the Caribbean, and Lover of West Indies Cricket

Darren Sammy

In an article published in Barbados’ NATION Newspaper of Wednesday 21st June 2017 under the headline Sammy Slams CWI Over Decline, former West Indies cricket captain Darren Sammy stated 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.

I totally agree with Darren Sammy! West Indies cricket  can 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 !

This is a matter that I addressed in a Newspaper article some two and a half years ago, at the time of the imbroglio involving Mr Cameron and the Cricket Board of India. That article was entitled “Deconstructing the WICB’s Dave Cameron And The Class That He Represents”.

In light of Darren Sammy’s poignant and righteous heartfelt CRY, I think it would be useful  to re-publish the said article. I now do so as follows:-

“By a letter dated the 31st of October 2014, the “Board of Control For Cricket In India” (BCCI) wrote to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) as follows:-

Dear Mr Cameron,

The WICB gave the BCCI a binding commitment that it will field its team in India for a total of 9 matches………..

On the eve of the first ODI in Kochi on 8th October 2014, you intimated to the BCCI that, on account of some disputes between you and your players, the WICB was considering pulling out of the tour………

Finally, after the fourth ODI at Dharamshala on 17th October 2014, you pulled out your team and communicated your decision to cancel the remainder of the Tour.

The adverse financial ramifications and the negative impact of your action to unilaterally cancel the remainder to the Tour was well within your understanding, yet you still went ahead and cancelled the Tour…………………

The consequences of cancellation….. is a monumental disaster for the BCCI…………… In plain economic terms, the BCCI can tentatively quantify its losses as ……… USD $41.97 Million.

The BCCI calls upon the WICB to formally inform the BCCI, in writing, of the steps it intends to take to compensate the BCCCI towards the losses quantified above as well as those losses yet to be quantified…………..

Pending resolutions of all disputes the BCCI suspends all bilateral cricketing relations with the WICB.

Yours faithfully


Hon. Secretary, BCCI

The President of the WICB – Mr Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron – received this chilling letter against the background of an earlier warning delivered to the WICB by their accountants – KPMG – that the WICB was already in such severe debt that there was “substantial doubt that the company (the WICB) will be able to continue as a going concern”.

Mr Cameron also received this letter in the full knowledge that he himself had contributed significantly to the escalation of the crisis that is now threatening to engulf and destroy West Indies cricket, by his prideful, obstinate and arrogant refusal to communicate any willingness on his part to compromise with the disaffected West Indian cricketers. (Yes, some blame can be attached to the players, but clearly the bulk of the blame has to be laid at the feet of Mr. Cameron and his fellow administrators, for, as leaders of the WICB, the proverbial buck stops with them.)

And so, what was Mr. Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron’s response to this situation of grave existential crisis facing the historic and crucial Caribbean institution  that he has been entrusted with the sacred duty to lead, guide and protect?

Well, according to the Nation Newspaper of Tuesday 4th November 2014, one of Mr. Cameron’s responses was to avail himself of his internet Twitter account, and to tweet the following message to the world at large – and no doubt to the officials of the Indian Cricket Board:-

They’ve criticized you. They’ve doubted you. They’ve lied on you. They’ve done all they can do, but one thing they can’t do is stop you.

Really, Mr. Cameron? Is that the appropriate response to the life and death situation facing the WICB and West Indies cricket? Even when faced with such a monumental threat to the institutions that have been entrusted to your care, you still can’t see beyond your own personal interests, your own pride, your own sense of grievance? Even now, as we totter on the precipice, is it still all about you?

As far as I am concerned, the honourable and responsible thing for Mr. Cameron to do – in his capacity as President and leader of the WICB – is to publicly accept a considerable measure of responsibility for the fiasco that has taken place; to publicly apologize to the BCCI; and to resign from office, thereby clearing the path for a new and reconstituted WICB leadership to engage with the BCCI in an effort to negotiate away the financial death sentence that is currently hanging over the head of West Indies cricket.

But, I can assure you that this will never happen! And the reason it will not happen is 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.

This is the class of crassly self-centered and opportunistic  people who , in the 1980’s, we used to refer to as YUPPIES or BUPPIES. 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 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.

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. They, at the very least, have to be pushed, and we have to be the ones pushing them – howling and screaming – in the direction of duty and responsibility!

Some form of determined mass activism has to emerge from the base of our Caribbean societies! If we want to preserve the WICB, West Indies Cricket, “free” education, public health care, welfare provisions, trade union power, worker rights, national sovereignty, and the list goes on – the people at the base of our societies and their institutions (trade unions, churches, sports clubs, community based organizations, cooperatives, credit unions etc. ) will have to bestir themselves and unite around a concrete people’s agenda.

West Indies cricket is as good a place as any to start! I therefore say – let there be such a loud and determined expression of outrage by the legions of ordinary cricket fans of the Caribbean, that Mr. Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron is forced – howling and screaming– to do the right thing!”

And so, we have a very serious structural class and socialization problem that we have to deal with, and it will not be easy to do so. Indeed, it will call for a determined, long term effort to bring about the transformation of culture and cultural values in our regional nation.

But let us at least — in the immediate short term– deal with the egregious problem of Mr. Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron !

As we continue to witness the tragic and humiliating constantly accelerating decline of West Indies cricket, it has become absolutely clear that the only “right thing” where Mr. Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron is concerned is that he MUST go !

Cameron must be removed from the leadership of West Indies cricket in order that committed servants of the game– cricketer patriots of the ilk of Darren Sammy for example and administrators who genuinely love and are committed to the game of Cricket –may take up and play their rightful roles in helping to revive and rebuild West Indies cricket.

What a Carifta Games Tragedy for Barbados

DAVID COMISSIONG, Former President, United Athletic Club (UAC)

So, Barbados’ athletes  won a mere 12 medals at this year’s Carifta Games— down from last year’s total of 21, and one of our country historically lowest Carifta medal totals for many years now.

But none of this should surprise us. Almost exactly one year ago I wrote an article in which I referred to “the devastating impact” that the sad neglect, deterioration and closure of our country only national Track and Field stadium would have on our athletes, psychologically and otherwise.

When a National Sports Council, a Ministry of Sport, or a Government could so callously neglect their responsibility to maintain and preserve Barbados’ national stadium that the facility is condemned and closed, they are sending a very negative subliminal message to the athletes of the nation. And that message is :- “We really don’t care too much about you or your Sport !”.

So, in addition to the damage and dislocation to the national Track and Field programme that the loss of the stadium as a fully functioning facility wrought, there is the more subtle psychological damage that was and continues to be inflicted .

There is also the tragic joke of the Ministry of Sport publishing a drawing of a spanking new $150Million national stadium on the front page of the Nation newspaper a full year ago and assuring the  traditionally gullible Barbadian public that plans for the construction of this new impressive facility were “in the pipe-line”. At the time I publicly referred to the news story and the talk of plans being “in the pipe-line” as an “All Fools Day joke”!

This is what I wrote in April 2016 in a Press Release entitled “Is It An All Fools Day Joke” :-

“I maintain that this story qualifies as a “joke” because when one actually reads the reported speech of Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley, one discovers that:-

. “funding is not currently available within the normal financing arrangements of the Government…”

.  “perhaps we will start it on a phase basis…”

.  “we are going to have to look at the possibility of getting grant funding, and that is what we are really preoccupied        with now….”

.  ” the sports council will be looking at a crowd funding initiative….. although this initiative can be somewhat slow…”

In other words, there is no money available for this project, and the Government really does not have much of a clue as to where money can or will come from !”

Almost exactly one year after publishing that impressive drawing of a new national stadium the Minister of Sport finally speaks about the matter, but has nothing to say about the “grant funding” or the “crowd funding initiative” that they were supposed to be actively pursuing, other than to make some vague and nebulous request to Barbadians to each contribute a $10 bill.

So, we are just not serious about this. Indeed, we are “making sport” at our young athletes and doing them a grave injustice. It is really a sad and tragic situation.

Stephen Lashley, Gimme $10.00

Members of the BU household love sports. As we type this blog we are congregated in front of the TV watching the Grenada Invitational. Those who cannot access ESPN 2 here is the link to the online stream.

The image above shows an emotional coach of the St. Michael School athletic program being comforted by principal of the school Dr. Yvette Mayers after being regaled as the 2017 Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Champion.  Check the beaming facial expressions of the athletes in the background. Does anyone doubt the positive effect participation and success in sport can have on the youth of a country?

While Grenada  just next door opened the Kirani Stadium today and is currently hosting 126 athletes from 26 countries. Our Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley is begging each Barbadians for $10.00 to refurbish the National Stadium. There is little need to prolix on this issue to state how we feel about the state of sports in Barbados.

The millions collected by the lottery every year -what do we have to show for it besides the bevy of officials who get to travel the world and stay at four and five star hotels including Minister Lashley? The ramshackle space that is the National Stadium is a sad reflection on where Barbados now finds itself.

The dilapidated National Stadium


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.

When A Chinaman Bowls a Googly

Submitted by Pachamama.

Diego Costa

Diego Costa

In cricket, a googly has a deceptive bounce. Whereas the chinaman is delivered by a left-arm bowler to a right-arm batsman, spinning from the offside to the legside. The Chinese may only be playing cricket in Hong Kong and we are uncertain as to its mass appeal on continental China. However, soccer and cinema are areas of social activity that are being targeted by Chinese oligarchs for assertions of global dominance.

This comes with the economic and strategic support of the titularly communist government in Beijing. They are showing that corporations are still at the leading end for global conquest. And the Chinese are demanding the world’s attention.

They want to control our opinions, our doubts and fears, our emotions. They have determined that the West needs a rich, thousand-year culture, to guide it. And cultural dominance helps them to leverage internal population control through the distractions that are sports, movies, games, etc.

So while the WICB is in no immediate danger of having to confront such a vicious strain of Chinese capitalism in the arts and sports, the six leading Hollywood production studios and Europe’s most established soccer leagues are under severe pressures. Pressures exerted by deep-pocketed Chinese sporting companies intent on a growth strategy of mergers and acquisitions.

Only this week, Diego Costa of Chelsea was offered 30 million pounds a year or 570,000 pounds a week, without taxes, by two leading Chinese soccer teams. Costa is unlikely to play no more than one match per week – 90 minutes.

Admittedly, he may also train or practice an additional 4 or 5 days a weeks.

Currently, he earns 150,000 pounds per week, before taxes, to lead the line (striker) and is the top goal scorer in the Barclays Premiere League, so far this year.

That intervention has caused rifts between his manager and his club. This, along with a recurrent behavioral issue, sees him missing the game at Leicester on Saturday, as the league leaders (Chelsea) meet last year’s champions in what is billed as an epic.

The Russian billionaire owner/oligarch (Abramovich) of Chelsea is insisting that Costa is ‘not for sale at any price’ but the player’s head has obviously been turned by the astronomical pay day from the Chinese. It’s equivalent to 6 years ‘wages’ at Chelsea, for one year with the Chinese.

We are yet to determine whether the British like the Russian oligarchs owning they most sacred soccer teams than the new Chinese intervention into the most Holy of Holies.

It reminds us of the cricketers’ dilemma in going to Apartheid South Africa. We are sure the Chinese have reminded Costa that his prime responsibility is to feed his family. Not to care about the fans who sing his name, his worshipful praises, at Sandford Bridge. Gods of soccer come and they go!

Costa has seen players come and go as well. Players dispensed with by ruthless owners. Players, if injured, can only expect the contracted payments, nothing more. Why would we expect him to be any less ruthless than his ‘owner’? Any less ruthless than they expect of him when in front the goal.

Without Diego Costa, Chelsea are unlikely to win the BPL even with a narrow 5-point lead after 20 games.

Only a few weeks ago, in this transfer window, Oscar, another Chelsea, Brazilian midfielder, also left for China. With difficulty getting into the starting eleven the Chinese offered his owners 60 million pounds for him. He left wages of 120,000 pounds a week for about 400,000 pound a week with the Chinese.
Oscar was sold for 60 million pound though his buy-out clause could have been between 20 and 25 million. The market in the trading of top ‘human cargo’ has been made crazy by the Chinese quest for dominance in soccer and the movies/television. There is an unnerving chaos is the markets.

On November 3rd, 2016, the Chinese government announced plans to take over all six major Hollywood studios. Of course, there were many alliances or partnerships with Chinese firms on a large number of film projects, over many years. However, this announcement shocked the US entertainment and financial markets.

The ‘big six’ – Fox, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Columbia and Warner would give the Chinese an extremely powerful position over global entertainment, everything we hear and see. They will control the largest sets of catalogues in the world. Virtually nothing could be seen or listened to unless royalties payment head to Beijing.

Even before this recent binge. Hollywood studios were already angling for the Chinese markets. American movies were more and more introducing Chinese themes, starred Chinese looking actors, were filmed in Asia and were presented in Mandarin, at least.

The economic slowdown in China. The predictions that its quest for global dominance has been derailed. Hopes that a world war could have been avoided, in spite of Trump. Are not as potent as might have appeared. The googly, may be the ball which gives us a massive New Silk Road Project finally catspraddling the stumps of the West after 500 years.

The Demise of West Indian Cricket?

The following Advocate Editorial is reproduced for the benefit of the few loyal cricket fans to be found lurking on Barbados Underground.

west_indies_cricketMaybe to those of a certain age, popularly referred to as the millennial generation, sometimes as millennials, or frequently as the quizzically titled Generation Y, it may merely be classed as the stuff of legend, but there was indeed a time when our regional team stood at the apex of the cricketing world; when most fans in the region stayed awake all night to follow the commentary when we played in Australia; when people walked with transistor radios glued to their ears, inevitably requested time and again to provide some inquiring stranger with the latest score; when schools were granted an entire day off during local Test matches and when it seemed that all was right with the region and, indeed, the world.

Alas, these times have changed significantly and what was once our passion has now become enveloped in a pall of disinterest consistent with much else in the region besides; a disinterest that even our two successive triumphs in the lottery of World T20 cricket competitions have been unable to diffuse.

And this lack of accomplishment appears moreover to pervade the entire cricket administration – from the CARICOM sub-committee on cricket whose chairman, Gr Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, resigned this position earlier this week because he felt that his colleagues had undermined his chairmanship by reneging on earlier agreed positions to the players themselves.

Given the degree of Dr. Mitchell’s avidity to replace the current management of West Indian cricket with an alternative administration, it is scarcely surprising that this enthusiasm is not wholly shared by some of his regional colleagues who might see their own electoral fates reflected in that of the West Indies Cricket Board [WICB] through an identical loss of popular support.

The current morass does not stop there. The WICB itself, no model administrator, has managed to alienate many of the fans of the regional game over the years with its apparently dictatorial approach and its crass adoption of an attitude of master and servant to its relationship with its employees and the players.

Nor, as earlier suggested, are these last any less culpable, even though there are more than a few fans who, as Pontius Pilate did, can find no fault in any of them. Nevertheless an alarming and unarguable lack of performance, together with a regrettable sense of entitlement, has managed to estrange a significant number of former cricket aficionados over the last two decades.

Of course, there is the view that all this disenchantment may be put down to our relatively disappointing record and there may be some validity in such a thesis. After all, we are a people that revel in victory and are highly intolerant of defeat, especially those of the humiliating kind.

We have clearly reached a critical point in our cricketing culture, one that requires us to consider whether the game is so embedded in our psyches and that we have invested so much in it financially and emotionally that any contemplation of its abandonment as a regional outfit is out of the question, or whether we may yet continue as individual units or whether, despite the historical significance of the game, the time has come for us to bid it farewell and to concentrate our energies elsewhere.

This, we accept, may be viewed as an extreme circumstance. It may be pure coincidence however, that as we are preparing this, the West Indies has just succumbed to Pakistan in Dubai by another large margin of defeat in a T20 match, the version of the game in which it has reaped most global success.

$150 Million National Stadium Coming – "IS IT AN ALL FOOLS DAY JOKE"?

Submitted by DAVID  COMISSIONG, Former President of the United Athletic Club (UAC)

national-stadiumSurely the Nation Newspaper was cracking an early “all fools’ day joke” when it published a full colour drawing of a spanking new $150 Million National Stadium on the front page of last  Wednesday’s newspaper, and asserted that “plans are in the pipeline for the construction of a new National Stadium to replace the run-down facility at Waterford”.

I maintain that this story qualifies as a “joke” because when one actually reads the reported speech of Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley, one discovers that:-

  • “funding is not currently available within the normal financing arrangements of the Government…”
  • perhaps we will start it on a phase basis…”
  • “we are going to have to look at the possibility of getting grant funding, and that is what we are really preoccupied        with now….”
  • ” the sports council will be looking at a crowd funding initiative….. although this initiative can be somewhat slow…”

In other words, there is no money available for this project, and the Government really does not have much of a clue as to where money can or will come from!

The Minister also made the following very revealing comment :- “The stadium is a plant that has really deteriorated with hardly any attention to it. We need to understand that…. we have to refresh our facilities….we have not done that in our country….. We have rust falling from the ceiling and cracks in the walls of the VIP stands.”

So, before we even talk about building a new $150 Million stadium, we need to talk about why little or nothing was done over the years to maintain, upkeep and improve the current National Stadium!

We need to talk about whose duty it was to maintain and upkeep our one and only National Stadium; who failed in carrying out that duty; and who– if anyone– is going to be held accountable.

And while we are at it, perhaps we can talk a little about the devastating impact— psychologically and otherwise — that the deterioration and tragic closure of our country’s only stadium has had on our Barbadian athletes.

The National Stadium was opened in the year 1970 — some forty-six years ago. If it had been properly maintained, up-kept and improved  over the years, it would still be a fit and functioning facility today!

There are far too many instances in Barbados of Government facilities not being properly maintained and up-kept! Indeed, this callous  neglect of taxpayer- funded, Government-owned facilities is a scandal that needs to be denounced and proscribed. Barbados, after all is a small, resource scarce developing country.

If successive Ministers of Sport and Chairmen and Directors of the National Sports Council had carried out their responsibilities, we would not now be faced with trying to find an elusive and burdensome $150 Million.

Why Sports Has Not Progressed in Barbados

Submitted by Wayne Cadogan


Wayne Cadogan

Four years ago after the 2012 Olympics in London, the Barbados Olympic Association stated that they have to go back to the drawing board for the 2016 Olympics after another dismal performance once again of our athletes not getting pass the first rounds in any event. This has been the norm for many an Olympics, the most prestigious event and highest level of all sports. Again this year after the Olympics, the post mortem by the President of the Olympic Association is that they have to go back to the drawing board, defending the amount of officials who went to the games, how much money it takes to prepare an athlete for the Olympics and other games; another case of same ole, same ole excuses for the non performance of the athletes.

Well, it is apparent that the Barbados Olympic association either did not find the drawing board or that they lost it with all the information that they had on it. To draw a true perspective on sports in Barbados I will go back to the sixties and come forward. Although my writing would be referring to all sports in Barbados, primarily my main focus will be focussed on the current state of athletics and why there has been no progress.

Before the construction of the current so called National Stadium, (just a pig pen) all the national sports competition in cycling, football, hockey, track and field and cricket on a local and international level took place at Kensington Oval. Of course, all the events were contested on grass and all the equipment of that era was not of the standard quality of today’s equipment. In those days, Barbados national teams were exceptionally strong in all sports and were one of the three power houses along with Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in the region. The so called small islands were not a match for any of the big tree and never figured in any form of competition against them, a far cry from today with these same small islands competing against and beating Barbados in all sporting activities today.

In the 1948 Olympics in London, Arthur Wint of Jamaica won the 400 meters on a dirt track in 46.2 seconds in shoes that weighed a ton with four one inch spikes in each shoe; with his team mate Herb Mckinley the former world record holder running second in 46.4 seconds. The 100 meters was won by Harrison Dillard in 10.3 seconds, with his team mate Barney Ewell second in 10.4 seconds and Lloyd LaBeach of Panama third in 10.6 seconds. The 200 meters was won by Mel Patton of the USA in 21.1 seconds, with his team mate Barney Ewell second in 21.1 seconds and Lloyd LaBreach third in 21.2. Sixty eight years later at the Rio Olympics, on a rubberize track that make athletes run faster, light weight shoes and air dynamic running clothing, one of our athletes (in my humble opinion, who has the potential to be our best sprinter and our next Olympic medallist) ran 21.2 seconds in the first round of the 200 meters.

At the CARIFTA level in 2007, Yohan Blake won the Boy’s Under 20, 100 meters in 20.11 seconds. In 2008 in Kirani James of Grenada won the Under 17 Boy’s 200meters in 21.38 seconds and the 400 meters in 47.87 seconds. Yohan Blake won the Boy’s 100 meters in 10.32 seconds. Nickel Meade of Jamaica won the 200 meters in 20.16 seconds. The 400 meters was won by Rondell Bartolomew of Jamaica in 46.86 seconds with Fabian Norgrove of Barbados placing third in 47.55 seconds.

The 2009 CARIFTA Boy’s Under 20, 100 meters was won by Shekiem Greaves of Barbados in 10.23 seconds and Rachad Forde of Barbados third in 10.55 seconds. The 400 meters was won by Karani James of Grenada in 45.45 seconds with his team mate Rondell Bartolomew running second in 45.48 seconds and Fabian Norgrove of Barbados placing fourth in 47.09 seconds.

The 2010 CARIFTA Boy’s Under 20, 100 meters was won by Geno Jones of Jamaica in 10.44 seconds. Karani James of Grenada won the 200 meters in 20.76 seconds and Shekiem Greaves of Barbados third in 21.29 seconds. Karani James also won the 400 meters in 45.02 seconds with Shaquille Alleyne of Barbados placing sixth in 48.09 seconds and his countryman Christopher Davis placing seventh in 48.54 seconds.

The Under 18 Boy’s 100 meters in this year’s CARIFTA Games was won by Jhevaugh Matterson in 10.42 seconds, with Mathew Clarke of Barbados placing fifth in 10.78. The Under 20 Boy’s 100 meters was won by Nigel Ellis of Jamaica in 10.16 seconds with Mario Burke of Barbados placing second in 10.29 seconds. Michael Stephens of Jamaica won the Under 18 Boy’s 200 meters in 21.43, with Mathew Clarke of Barbados placing third in 21.56 seconds and Josiah Atkins placing seventh in 22.38 seconds. In the Under 20 Boy’s 200 meters, Akanni Hislop from Trinidad and Tobago won in 20.89 seconds and Mario Burke finishing second in 21.14 seconds. In the Under 18 Boy’s 400 meters, Christopher Taylor of Jamaica won in 47.36 seconds and Antoni Hoyte-Small placing second in 48.23 seconds. The Under 20 Boy’s 400 meters was won by Akeem Bloomfield of Jamaica in 46.01 seconds.

The 2016 Barbados CARIFTA athletes have shown very little improvement in their times and placings in comparison to past CARIFTA games. The above information of the CARIFTA games between 2007 – 2009 was to give an indication as to how Barbados male athletes have progressed over the years in the 100, 200 and 400 meters events between 2007 and 2016 as well as to where those athletes were then and now on the world scene in comparison to the other athletes who competed during those years.

Okay, let’s start in the sixties where a great man named Louis Albert Lynch, a great Barbadian hero, one who should have been listed as one of our great heroes before some of our current heroes. There were no Sealy’s, Stoute’s or Maynard’s, as a matter of fact; they were nonexistent as far as athletics was concerned. I vaguely remember Stoute around cycling at Kensington with the club Brighton Saddle Boys if my memory serves me right. Louis Lynch ran things in those days as President of the Olympic Association; there was a Simmons who was part of a 13 man official’s team that travelled to Puerto Rico with three athletes, so one can see that it is nothing new with more officials than athletes travelling to meets. The precedent was set a long time ago and is nothing new.

In the sixties, our athletes were running faster times on a grass track with one inch spikes and shoes that felt like bricks on your feet than the times that our current athletes are running on a modern track. In 1966, Jamaican school boys decimated our school boys on the track in all the events as if they were competing against elementary students, with the exception of two or three athletes that held their own against the competition. There were times like 10.3 seconds in the 100 meters, 20.6 seconds in the 200 meters, 46. seconds in the 400 meters and 1.5. for the 800 meters, all on grass. One would expect that sixty years later, with better equipment, a modern track, that our athletes would be running faster.

I exited the track scene in 1968 and returned to the island to reside in 1983. The first person that I went to see on my return was one of the top administrators from the BOA and was told by this official, “we are happy to have you back, you are the most senior athlete, but we do things here or our own way”. I heeded to their comments and stayed clear until 1986, when I rocked the boat for the Presidency of the AAA’s. However a certain coach felt that I should not be the President and gang up with others to make sure that I was not, this same coach had objected to me a few years prior to pointing out to one of his athletes on a technical problem that he had. Again, there were many other athletes that had returned to the island and their assistance was not welcomed by the coaches probably out of jealousy and most refrained from getting involved and so did I. I can understand fully well why Obadele Thompson is not called upon for his input or expertise as well as our overseas University coaches.

I will now fast forward to the current multiplicity of problems facing the athletic scene and why it continues to regress. Unfortunately the major problem is a lack of a proper overall sports program, especially in athletics. In order for an athlete to progress, he or she has to be exposed to a higher level of competition rather than what currently exist locally. The last time that a world class athlete graced these shores to compete was back in the eighties. Our neighbours Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, as well as the other islands all have world ranking athletes and yet they do not compete here because of the substandard level of competition.

Another major problem is the club system and the infighting among them. There are at least ten track clubs on the island and yet when there is a track meet, in most cases there are no heats, but straight finals with four or five athletes in most instances. This is one of the reasons why the athletes when they go overseas to compete, that they have problems running heats to qualify for finals because they are not use to running heats at home. What the Amateur Athletic Association needs to do to solve this problem, is to make each club enter a minimum of two athletes or more for each event.

There is also a big problem with the coaches not wanting there athletes to train with other coaches. Most coaches specialize in a particular event and is not capable of coaching all the disciplines and should therefore allow their athletes to train with another coach who specializes in a particular event or whose strength is in a particular event. Most of the athletes locally have technical flaws in one area or another and the majority of coaches are not capable of ironing out the flaws in order to make that athlete run faster. But the problem there is that each coach is looking for glory if that athlete does excel and not the bigger picture.

The Amateur Athletic Association puts too much emphasis on the amount of medals that the country wins at the CARIFTA games rather than the athlete producing better times. Instead of having athletes competing in three events in three days of competition in most cases, specialize in one or two events, because of all the heats leading up to the finals. Over the years many an athlete was destroyed competing at the CARIFTA games by having to compete in three events, with the latest being Mary Frazer. It takes a day to recuperate for each mile raced and Mary Frazer competed the heats and finals in the under 18, 800 and 1500 meters as well as the open 3000 meters in three days. This was definitely two much of a work load for her tender age and she paid the ultimate penalty and did not make the team for the games a year later.

In order for our athletes to improve, they will need to compete against better competition and it cannot be done in Barbados. There has been a lot of foolish talk about home grown athletes, because the Jamaicans train at home. But the difference between Barbados and Jamaica is that Jamaica has a proper sports program, the numbers, top quality coaches and athletes. They train at home, but compete in the USA, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Europe as well as the fact that the Americans and other world class athletes travel to Jamaica to compete. Also the coaches in Barbados are only capable of coaching the athletes to a certain level and no more. There is more to coaching than just giving an athlete a workout and timing him or telling them to go and run a few miles. It is the technical aspect that is most important, looking for and correcting that flaw that can make an athlete run that one one-hundredth of a second faster.

The government of Barbados needs to take sports more seriously since it is the sportsmen and women are the ones who help to put Barbados on the map. The time is long overdue for a proper Sports Stadium and training facilities. What we call a national stadium is the pits and the worse in the region, all the other islands have proper Sports Stadiums and even the poorest of the islands, and that is one of the reasons why they are producing world class sportsmen and women in every field. Our public officials are always very quick to run up to the Airport when our sportsmen and women return to the island from overseas competition for publicity. One could imagine what would happen if we had the calibre of sportsmen and women like Jamaica when they arrive at the airport, it would be pure pandemonium.

It appears that the Olympic Association is a closed fraternity with the President at the helm for the past thirty years and most of its members. The President has to be the longest serving President in the world of any organization. What has the President and his members achieved and to show the country during the past thirty years other than their personal satisfaction. Thirty years and only one Olympic medal and one World Championship medal, what is the justification. Wow, Grenada has achieved more Olympic and World Championship medals than Barbados within a third of the time that Barbados took to achieve its two medals. As a matter of fact, the Olympic Association or the AAA cannot take credit for Obadele Thompson’s success, they both did very little in helping him along the way, had not for the support he received from his parents, he might not have achieved his goals. It is time for the BOA to have a change within the organization, fresh faces and more progressive thinking minds to take the organization forward. The BOA has become stymied in its way of thinking and operating. Too many false promises after each Olympics and it is the same results, Olympics after Olympics and nothing to show. At least a number of people are benefitting from the free trips to every cock fight. A few years ago, one Sports Administrator confided in me that they have seen the world at the expense of one of the organizations and that is what it is all about within all the organizations and not about the sportsmen and women.

I have always questioned why Barbados continues to send athletes to the Olympics, the highest level of athletics competition to just run in the first round, because they barely make the qualifying times. I have always maintained that if an athlete cannot win a medal at the Central and Caribbean games, how they can win a medal at the highest level against the best athletes in the world! Yes one can argue that they go for the exposure, but is the Olympic the right place to provide that exposure in front of thousands of spectators? I believe the real reason is that the more athletes that attend the Olympics is to justify the large amount of officials.

One last thing, the local sports journalist need to stop adopting and claiming every athlete that represent other countries as our own, because they have Barbadian roots somewhere along the line. Some of these athletes do not even mention Barbados and we jumping on their band wagon. What the relevant authority needs to do is to put systems in place to get our athletes to reach that standard where they can compete and win gold medals at the highest level in order that the journalist would stop trying to import one of their own double Olympic gold medallists who competes for another country to compete for Barbados.

Austin Sealy Says Keep Pressing On

Submitted by Bush Tea

Austin Sealy

Austin Sealy

From the Nation -August 17, Sir Austin calls to keep pressing on…. International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Sir Austin Sealy hopes that Barbados will not be disheartened by the modest performances at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Speaking last night on telephone link-up from the Copacabana Beach in Rio, Sir Austin told the MIDWEEK NATION that no stone should be left unturned in ensuring that Barbados make an improved showing in the future. “I know that there will be some disappointment with none of the athletes advancing and making an impact, but that is the way the cookie crumbles. We have got to keep trying and working hard and understanding what is required to do well at the Olympics,” he said.

This is the kind of convoluted thinking that explains the quagmire that Barbados has become. Here we have a recent knight – honoured for his now forty or so years of leadership in local sport, explaining the abject failure of local talent to shine in ANY WAY comparable to other Caribbean islands…calling for more of the same.

Did Sealy call for CHANGE?

Did he call for a NEW approach?

Did he critically assess the old approaches that CLEARLY does not work?

Did Sealy suggest that the current long-term leadership gracefully RESIGN?


None of the above. His advice is for us to continue ‘pressing on’…

What the hell!

But we all know why Sealy and his associates want to keep ‘pressing on’ with their luxurious lifestyles. We know how they personally thrive on the ‘fatted’ sports-calf – even as our athletes lack the most basic of requirements.

It is no wonder the DLP clings to power – even in the face of their own clear knowledge of their incompetence. It is no wonder that, even as their EVERY project fails; as their highly prized FOREX falls; as their every scam is exposed to public scrutiny and ridicule, …our leaders ‘press on…’

It is one thing for DEM to keep on doing the same thing and expect different results…but it is another thing altogether for US to be allowing clear jackasses to keep on riding US, as people ….. and expecting to EVER win.

The Rio Games – Dancing with the Devils – the IOC and the Politics of Mekking Sport

Submitted by Pachamama

Barbados-Olympic-TeamMany years ago we often wondered why people like Steve Stoute, Erskine Simmons and another man employed at Barclays Bank were so interested in the International Olympic Committee (IOC). We have subsequently learnt why. Last night Barbados appeared to have taken its first gold medal as the golden jacketed team’s outfit emerged as arguable the best on display, says the NBC’s commentator, at the Games of the XXX1 Olympiad – the 2016 Summer Olympics.

From the times of the Romans, games have always been political. Sometime central to the overall political-economy. And as 45 world leader descend on Rio with national flags billowing and anthems playing, the 2016 Summer Games will be no different.

But this presentation can hardly detract from the unparalleled power of the officials of the IOC, the devastation it continues to cause, the authoritarian nature of this unregulated organization, answerable to no one but itself – as stateless actor wielding immense political and economic might.

The IOC has now imposed a number of refugee athletes marching under its own flag as an indication of its power. In the past there could be no athlete unattached from a national flag. The IOC’s flag now fills a perceived vacuum. Of course the whole notion of marching around these games came into being for the 1936 games in Berlin. Eighty years later 10,700 athletes still follow Hitler’s orders.

The Berlin games also gave us others departures from what happened previously representing a milestone. We had the introduction by Goebbels of the torch relay; the use of sport to make militaristic, nationalistic and political statements; as determinative of shifts in global power relationships.

For the Brazil games the IOC insisted that there should proceed despite an outbreak of the Zika virus, plummeting economic circumstances, the displacement of 70,000 poor people of Rio, a ‘coup’ which brought down the legally elected government of Dilma Rouseff and her replacement by the American-backed Michel Temer.

This has become the norm. The IOC has recently given the warmest embrace to a number of governments which are said to have less than democratic impulses.

The recent Winter Olympics were in Sochi, Russia. The 2008 Summer games were in Beijing. They will return to China sometime soon for Winter Games. These are examples of the impulse of not only the IOC but other world governing bodies for sport. Impulses purely guided by money, power accumulation and the absent democratic traditions.

These relationships benefit both parties. On the one hand, the IOC could make any number of demands from host countries. Countries able to enforce IOC wishes without popular objections. And on the other hand, countries could purchase international credibility, national prestige through means that were to be a replacement for war.

In was only at the Summer Olympics of 1976, in Montreal, that the modern runaway spending started. Games which were estimated to cost a few million dollars escalated to over 1.2 billion. Having discovered that nations were willing to go to any lengths to host the games an invisible market was constructed and fierce competition ensued.

Since 1976 the IOC continues to mandate the terms on which countries would be awarded games. Those terms always seem to include the presence of modern stadia; new infrastructures; new facilities for athletes; and so on. Costs could quickly go into several billion dollars. Countries like Greece, whose population does not play baseball, for example, was to construct new baseball stadia for the Athens Games of 2004.

For the Winter Games in Sochi a whole city was constructed by the Russian government. Sochi is sub-tropical, so elaborate construction was needed to make enough ice to meet IOC demands. Russia is said to have spent 60 billion dollars. Vast numbers of migrant construction workers were brought in from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and other neighbouring states. Some of whom died on the job because of bad construction practices and the absence of medical care. Beneath the glitz and glamour, the IOC does not want to know about these things.

For the Summer Games 2016 however, Russian athletes find themselves under the near unilateral sanction of Thomas Bach, the IOC president without a specific legally grounded determination, as if imposed by a global Caesar.

Yes, some people have long suspected that, especially under the old USSR, there was state involvement in providing performance enhancing substances (PES) to athlete’s. But to place a whole country’s athletes under a general suspicion seems extreme and is motivated by other geo-political issues.

Just a few years ago the IOC officials were taking Russian money, by way of bribes, but now they are willing to take money from the USA to embarrass Russia at a time of heightened hostilities. So the IOC officials’ revenues streams extend beyond infrastructural contracts for new stadia. Stadia the planning for which, must be approved by them.

The problem is that substantial parts of these infrastructures, after the games, remain unused. Maybe the Kensington Oval in Barbados is another example where expenditures seem not to merit usage derived.

In the case of the Rio Summer Games, the Brazilian government is estimated to have spent up to 10 billion US dollars. This at a time when economic performance is not at the 8% growth rate which exited when the games were ‘awarded’. It’s more like 3%, at best, currently.

The games come as widespread social unrest mounts, with demonstrations happening daily in several cities including Rio; where the ‘interim’ president has an approval rating of less than 2%; a president willing, at a time of economic disaster, to employ ultra-austerity to further suppress the Brazilian people.

It is not as if the masses of poor, largely Afro-Brazilians have not already made sacrifices in the declining availability of health care, the declining availability of education, the acceptance of a militarized police force in the favelas, the notion that one in five murders in Brazil comes at the hands of the police. And we could go on and on.

But none of this concerns the IOC. These stateless, unelected officials continue to hawk these games for their own enrichment, expressions of power. There are no differences between the revelations about FIFA and the ingrained bribery central to the day-to-day operations of the IOC.

Official bribery at the IOC comes at all levels. The process of getting the award of games, the award of broadcast rights, by of IOC officials in contracting arrangements and by local or city officials using the games to distribute largesse and as a platform for higher office as is the case for Rio’s mayor, Eduardo Peas.

But there are many other levels of stealing from the public associated with these games. The Mayor of Rios found it inconceivable that his family member could not bid for a project associated with the games and for which he had ultimate responsibility. A project built so badly that it faces structural failures.

The housing units for the athletes was to be turned into low income dwellings for the poor whose previous accommodations were destroyed to make way. These will be instead sold as exclusive condos for the very rich.

Brazil showcased these game as environmentally friendly and promised to replant many trees to replace millions of hectares of forest that have been destroyed over decades but at the same time the re-acceptance of golf as an Olympic sport means that new courses were to be constructed for the Brazilian elites after the games.

Sociologically, we are talking about a country which has vast disparities in wealth distribution, official racism of the Iberian typology, a vicious classism, near slave-like conditions in-parts and more. Given all this, the IOC should not be proud to present these games as a moment of uplift. Is there anything about the Olympics that we should be proud about?

Yes! There are many beautiful and ugly aspects of the Olympics.

At Rio, the American gymnast Gabby Douglas will be competing against her country woman, Simone Boyles, to make history.

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and American Michael Phelps will be doing likewise. We are sure several other memorable moments might yet emerge. As social activists, we are particularly interested in moments like that demonstrated by John Carlos at the Mexico Games of 1968. Carlos has asked for a show of solidarity with the poor and an accurate accounting for the past.

Back in the 1920’s women staged alternative games to prove that they were not to be discriminated against. We also had Workers of World Games in the period thereafter.

And there are other moments of enrichment as well. We expect the women of the American WNBA to continue to make statements in support of Black Lives Matter movement after defeating the efforts of that association to fine them for such displays.

Carmelo Anthony is also likely to make some statements about that movement. Serena Williams is already on record as being critical of Donald Trump, indirectly.

Over several decades the IOC has ruled that political speech is to be a no-no. Athletes are banned from being critical of sponsors. Banned from criticizing the IOC. We would not expect absolute compliance.

These are to be parts of the contributions of athletes to the ‘feel good’ marketing of the ‘successes’ derived when disaster capitalism intersects with neo-liberalism and produces austerity.

Given all these circumstances, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that these games are an instrument to release the high-pressured valve of social discontent brewing around the world, they always have been. Up to now they have had remarkable success. But time is longer than twine.

WICB OUT of Control

Submitted by Wayne Cadogan

WICBThe time has come and has been long overdue for the revamping of the West Indies Cricket Board and its band of myopic nomadic members, whose purpose is to splurge off of West Indies cricket for their own personal gains and to keep West Indies cricket a submerged state in the cricketing world. It is quite clear that the Board is out of control and is not accountable to no one but themselves. With the latest episode of the firing of Darren Sammy as captain and player of the 20/20 team, who has been the most successful captain in recent years and who had held the team together at a time when there was no discipline or order among the players?

Since the Board is not accountable to the governments of the region and does not acknowledge any of the recommendations put forth by them, then it is up the people of the Caribbean to boycott the cricket, by not attending the games. The boycott in 1992 sent a strong message to the Board then and was very successful in bringing changes to the game. It is rather clear that the Board is using strong arm tactics to control the cricket, players and coaches that do not conform or follow their regime will not be tolerated by axing them.

It would appear that the Board does not subscribe to any player or coach who is out spoken and feels threatened by their actions to stand up for the players. In recent years, the Board has seen it fit to purge themselves of any players, coaches or selectors who went against the grain. One can see clearly that it is the Boards intentions not to tolerate anyone who is out spoken and only surround themselves with “YES” men that they can control. Over the years, there has been a number of ex test cricketers the Board has distance themselves from and continue to do so, because they are very out spoken and no nonsense individuals like the Brian Lara’s and Sir Vivian Richards to name a few, all who can make a valuable contributions to West Indies cricket. As recent as this year, the Board rid itself of it’s out spoken Chairman of Selectors Clive Lloyd and replace him with a “YES” man and Lloyd in turn given the newly created post of Special Ambassador.

There have been too many controversies and embarrassments over the years in West Indies cricket by the current Board and it is high time that this band of self imposing radicals be curtailed from office, in order for West Indies cricket to rise again to its glory days. Since the governments of the Caribbean or any of its committees that were selected to formulate a path forward for West Indies cricket, does not have the fangs to bring about changes within the Board to any of the recommendations that they put forward, then the people of the Caribbean has to stand up to the Board. It’s the people that have the power in their hands to force the Board hand in implementing changes to the way it does its business, by not supporting the gates when the West Indies team is playing in their individual territories. If there are no spectators, then there is no money going through the turnstiles, then the Board would have to change their way of running the board, that is, if they are truly interested in West Indies cricket rising from the ashes and not their own personal goals.

Sir Garry Sobers is the GREATEST!

Submitted by William Skinner

garry_sobersThere is, or at least was, a picture of Sir Garfield Sobers, in the hall of the Bay Primary School, located in Bayville that most of us will recall was once called Bay Land. The striking aspect of the picture is that Sir Garry is standing there with bat in hand it and appears to us that he is batting slightly outside the leg stump. In other words, all of his stumps are exposed. Many young boys have stared at this picture for years trying to figure out how Sir Garry could “move so fast” to avoid his stumps being uprooted. In those days, we argued whether that stance was genuine or if it was done merely for the cameras.

This photo, for me, began a fascination with this great man which has grown throughout the passing years. As a frequent visitor to one of my greatest friends Mike, who lived in Walcott’s Avenue, Bayville, I actually grew up knowing where Sir Garry lived and as time went on, I got to know his mother, sister and brother. So in my little way, I felt extremely honored to tell people, up to this day, that I not only attended the same school as Sir Garry but knew where he lived and could easily identify members of his family including nephews and nieces.

However, it was an encounter with an Indian gas station owner in The USA that drove home the admiration that others had for Sir Garry. After my purchase, the gas station owner asked me where I was from and my answer elicited the response: “You from Barbados; that is where Garfield Sobers is from.” The ensuing conversation went on for almost twenty five minutes. When I told him that I went to the same school as Sir Garry; knew where his family home was and has seen him driving around and actually had very brief conversations with him, the gentleman acted as if I were Sir Garry! He enjoyed the conversation so much that I had to decline his offer to give me back the money I paid for my gasoline. For him, having met somebody who had the slightest real connection to Sir Garry, was almost as good as meeting the great man himself.

I drove away from that station, very proud to be an old bay Primary boy and grateful that one of my best friends lived on the same avenue as Sir Garry. Throughout the years, when I related this story to others from any part of the world, the esteem in which Sir Garry is held has always amazed me. I am also of the opinion, that we have never truly utilized or recognized the greatness of this humble extremely pleasant and polite National Hero.

He is perhaps the only sports man whose exceptional talents have not been surpassed by any in his sport and who remains unchallenged as the greatest all round cricketer to have ever played the game. It is therefore fitting that the government has included Sir Garry and the attainment of his eightieth birthday in our fiftieth independence celebrations.

Sir Garry has walked with Kings and Queens but has never lost the common touch. The entire Caribbean region has not produced any citizen who has displayed such excellence, in his or her chosen field, and whose talents have not been surpassed.

Happy birthday, Sir Garry.

Elvis Forde for National Coach

Submitted by Wayne Cadogan

athleticsIt is another Olympic year and once again Barbados would be sending athletes off to the games as they have always done in past years. To date only two Barbadians have ever graced the podium, one representing Barbados and the other the West Indies, yet we continue to send athletes to these games, not for medals but for other reasons.

I have always asked the question, why do we continue to send athletes to the Olympic Games, just to run a first round or barely scrape past the first round? The Olympics is the highest level of Track and Field competition, the pinnacle of all athletic events, followed by the Commonwealth Games, Pan Am Games and World Games. I have always maintained if Barbados cannot win a gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games level, what is the point of sending a large contingent of athletes to the Olympics -just for show and to justify the large number of officials that go to the Olympic?

This Olympic year, Barbados does have a better contingent of athletes and should fair a little better, although it is very disappointing and surprising that the two top hurdlers did not make the grade. I expect that Sada Williams will only compete in the 200 meters because it is her best race of the two that she has qualified for and should reach the finals, once she handles the qualifying rounds and the pressure. Because of her tender age, this Olympic should be exposure to the world scene and start her preparation for the gold medal in the 2020 Olympics. The other athlete who will do well and should be a major factor is Akiela Jones in the gruelling heptathlon. Although she has qualified for the high jump, a decision should be made against her competing in both and for her to concentrate on medalling. I really do not see the other athletes getting past the second round, because of their times, the level of competition and the fact that they have to go through four rounds, something that they are not accustomed to running at home.

History would show that as an athletic nation we have not progressed over the years. I was at the Stadium (Pig Pen) this year for the Inter School Sports and the Boys under 20, 400 meters came back in 48 point and the announcers were raving and carrying on about the time. Well, in the sixties, on grass, athletes were running 47 seconds for the 400 meters. Jamaica school boys ran 46 second on the same grass in 1966 and other outstanding times in the other events, 10.2 in the 100 meters and 1:48 for the 800 meters, all on grass. We have a superior track to what we had in the 70’s and 80’0 and yet we are running mediocre times.

It is very sad to see that the other islands that we refer to “as small islands” that we used to completely dominate back then, have surpassed us in all sports. One of the islands even has a Olympic gold medal to show and all that we can muster is a bronze medal after all these years. I keep hearing the excuse that Jamaica and Trinidad has the numbers to choose from, but yet St. Kitts has a population of 54,000 people and a major world medal to show from the 100 meters relay and five world class athletes.

The problem with sports in Barbados is that we do not have a proper sports program, especially in track and field and that is why we will always languish behind. First, a proper stadium is long overdue; all the other islands have modern facilities and we have a pig pen for a stadium where Crop Over activities are more important that than what it was intended for. To add to the Stadium woes as far as athletics is concerned, there are many problems and issues with the twelve or so track clubs on the island when it comes to competition. This year Nationals was the first time that I saw heats for the 100 and 200 meters and not a straight final. But one can say that it was because it is the Olympic year and athletes came home to qualify for the Olympics. Usually, the majority of races are just a straight final with four or five athletes.

We have some specialist coaches on the island who should be allowed to coach those disciplines, regardless as to which club the athlete is a member of. The coaches here are only capable of taking the local athletes to a certain level and that’s it. Sometime ago, I believe last year one of the coaches made a statement that they prepare the athletes on a silver platter and give to the American coaches. Well, if this was the case, we should be seeing more of our athletes on the world scene other than the three or four. What I would say, is that there is much more to coaching than just telling an athlete to go and run six or eight 200’s for training or to go and run five or ten miles. All of our athletes have technical flaws that need to be worked out in order to run faster, and the local coaches are not capable of ironing out these flaws.

It is time that Barbados selects one of its professional overseas coaches as its head coach and this should be Elvis Forde, who is a very successful college coach and highly respected as a coach among the American coaching fraternity. In any coaching situation, you need a number of assistant coaches, because of the various disciplines and specialist coaches are required for the different events. No one coach can coach an entire track team and needs to have a number of assistants coaches to assist him. The most successful coach in Barbados is Mr. Babb, the coach from Lester Vaughan School, who is knowledgeable and successful when it comes to hurdling and should be coaching all the hurdlers on the island. Mr. Forde could prepare a program and his assistants here and he could oversee the program. With all the modern technology available, he does not have to be on the island to oversee the program. If Barbados is to go forward and produce world class athletes, all the foolishness and pettiness among the clubs and coaches will have to cease.

While I am on the topic of athletics, I will address the issue of home grown athletes and I am going to be very blunt. There is no athlete in Barbados who is going to remain here and become a top flight world class athlete. First, an athlete needs competition and competition that is better than him or her in order to improve their times. Here we have one or two athletes that are capable of running 10.2 seconds for the 100 meters, week in and week out, with no body to push them, therefore no chance for improvement. As an example, Jamaica has twenty or more athletes running 10.1 seconds or faster for the 100 meters, therefore the level and competition is always at a high standard. Secondly, the standard of coaching except for a couple of coaches is very poor and is only capable of coaching the athletes to a certain level. Lastly, there is a lack of international competition locally. One would have to go back to the 70’s to see when last world class athletes grace our shores to compete. The Trinidadians and Grenada James are all next door and do not come here to compete. The reason why, is because the level of competition here is very poor and would not provide that level of world class competition.

My personal advice to the Barbados Amateur Athletic Association, is that the emphasis of the association, should not be about how many medals the team wins at meets, it is about the developing, preparing and exposing the athletes for the bigger picture, the Olympics. It is not about sending a large contingent of athletes to a meet, in order to justify the amount of officials travelling with the team. It is about selecting the best athletes for overseas meets.

Over the years the BAAA in their quest and greed to get medals at meets, has destroyed a number of athletes by making them compete in multiple events. As recent as last year, Mary Fraser competed in three gruelling events, 800, 1500 and 300 meters over three days at the Carifta Games and since then, has not been able to maintain that level competition. At that young age, the body is not capable of withstanding that amount of work and she just burned out. The rule is that an athlete needs to rest a day to recuperate for every mile that they compete in. For this reason and the fact that we hardly run heats at meets here, due to the lack of athletes per race, I am hoping that common sense would prevail and that Sada Williams will not be asked to compete in both the 200 and 400 meters event at the Olympics as she would have to run eight rounds in all to qualify for the finals.

Enforcement Order on Bushy Park Takes Effect on June 30, 2016, with documents

The Minister of Housing Denis Kellman needs to communicate to Barbadians what the hell is going on at Bushy Park!

Why has Minister Denis Kellman allowed  illegal structures to be constructed at the Bushy Park raceway; said lands vested in the Ministry of Housing and Lands.

We note Bushy Park is being rented to the Barbados Motoring Federation Inc, Andrew Mallalieu is President.

We cannot forget the role of Barbados Park Circuit Inc with Mark Maloney as a Director in a very complicated transaction.

West Indies Cricket Dilemma

Submitted by Wayne Cadogan

roadtonowhereWhat an inept West Indies Cricket Board and a bunch of jokers for selectors on a road to nowhere. I just happen by chance while turning around in the kitchen, to hear one of the selectors say that hardly anyone was at Kensington Oval watching the cricket and that it was very disappointing.

Well, what do they expect? Bajans are very knowledgeable about their cricket and if the selectors continue not to select the best team regardless to whom they are playing, even if we qualify as a minnow like the current West Indies team; then West Indies cricket will always be at the bottom of the ladder.

How can you be playing One Day Cricket against teams like Australia and South Africa and not be playing your best players like Gayle, Russell and Simmons because of a dumb archaic rule? You are playing at home and have the advantage of calling up other players to fill the void such as opener Kraigg Brathwaite, J L.Carter or the Barbados wicket keeper S O. Dowrich who scored runs against the same Australians and yet the selectors continue to play the same team, game after game.

How can you say that you select a team for the first four games? What happens if you lose the first three, are you saying that you are not changing the team? No wonder the West Indies Cricket Board continues to do as they like because they are not accountable to anyone but themselves. One thing for sure, I know that I am one person, who is not going to watch West Indies cricket or breakup my nights rest to listen to commentary about a bunch of second rated cricketers.

I have not gone into Kensington Oval since it has been remodelled because of the poor standard of cricket, and I cannot ever see myself going to watch the West Indies, unless the high standard of cricket and cricketers that I grew up watching, return from those glory days when cricket was cricket. It is sad to see that my boycott in 1992 at Kensington Oval against the board and its selection policies improve has gone to nought.

A Serious National Sports Program a Must


Akela Jones

Last week veteran sports administrator Sir Austin Sealy at an award some where made the contentious remark – in BU’s view – that Barbados as a small country does well when we only qualify athletes for the Olympics. The argument often used is that given the paucity of resources it is nigh impossible to compete with developed countries. Not sure if Sir Austin included Jamaica, Bahamas, Trinidad in his definition of developed countries.

It was a week to hear from the veteran sports administrators it seems, Steve Stoute the longstanding head of the Barbados Olympic Association since 1996 announced he will NOT be standing for re-election next time around. He took the opportunity to give some insight that a highlight of his stewardship will occur this year -for the Rio Olympics there will be a Caribbean commentary team. The region has had to suffer through North American feeds of the Olympics all through the years, although it must be stated given our predilection for things foreign we have to wait on the feedback on the regional focused commentary.

Two weeks ago there was another news item which caught BU’s attention. Our top sprinter Levi Cadogan assured a sports reporter he will qualify for the 100m. He shared that he had to work through a few issues with his mechanics.

After the London Olympics BU listened to the post analysis with interest. Stakeholders promised they would do all that was required to ensure we gave our athletes the best chance at being competitive in Rio. Based on our observation of the local track and field scene, the only local athlete with a good chance at being competitive will be Akela Jones.

What is the current state of the National Stadium?

If we look at track and field meets across the region especially in Jamaica and Bahamas, an integral part of the process is the rivalry. Integral to the rivalry is the spectator support. We cannot be serious about growing a successful track and field program with no fully functional national stadium.

A reminder there was the embarrassment of the organizers unable to host BSSAC and NAPSAC. These two tournaments target primary and secondary athletes and are critical to the early development of the local athlete.

A serious national sports program will create opportunities for our young people. It will help to nurture a national psyche which lends itself to developing pride in country. Not to forget the health and well being of a nation.

What Tony Cozier Meant To Us

Submitted by David  Comissiong, President, Clement Payne Movement

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So, why didn’t the Government of Barbados confer our country’s highest national honour on Tony Cozier during his lifetime? Why wasn’t he “Sir Tony Cozier”?

Similarly, why didn’t our regional university– the University of the West Indies – confer an honorary doctorate on Tony Cozier, as they have done for so many other less deserving Caribbean personalities? Why wasn’t he known as Dr. Tony Cozier?

The failure by Barbadian and Caribbean “officialdom” to properly appreciate and honour the late Tony Cozier is a cause for shame, and speaks volumes about the lack of understanding and the skewed value system of our national and regional leadership institutions!

There can be no doubt that Tony Cozier was a great “West Indian” and was deserving of the highest honours that our regional leadership has the power to confer.

But, don’t take it from me alone. Listen instead to the measured and weighty opinion of the eminent ground-breaking Caribbean “New World” economist and scholar – the late Lloyd Best.

Back in the year 1999, Lloyd Best, in collaboration with George Lamming, marked the turn of the millennium with the publication of a major compendium of West Indian or Caribbean writings entitled “Enterprise of the Indies”. And in an article titled “My All-Time West Indian Cricket Squad”, Lloyd Best declaimed as follows:-

“My starting line-up would read: Hunte, Greenidge, Headley, Richards, Sobers, Worrell, Walcott, Marshall, Holding, Roberts, Gibbs. The opening attack would normally be Sobers (2-3 overs) and Holding.

Finally, I would add Tony Cozier to make a squad of 18 in all. I fail to see how West Indies could ever travel without him. His writing may well be our most crucial resource.”

Now, Lloyd Best put his focus on the Cricket writings of Tony Cozier, but, as we all know, Cozier’s contribution went way beyond his exploits in the field of print journalism.

For close to 50 years Tony Cozier was “our man” – our representative West Indian man – in England, Australia, India, New Zealand, and in all the other regions of the world in which our West Indies Cricket team sojourned to be tested and assessed, not only for their Cricketing skills, but also for the value and worth of the people and “nation” that they represented.

And we had the comfort and assurance of knowing that even if our beloved Cricket team faltered on the field of battle, that our cause (and our worth as a people and “nation”) would still be held aloft in the commentary booth by our great Ambassador and champion – Tony Cozier!

Not only did we know that we could depend on Tony to self-evidently be the fairest and most knowledgeable, articulate and gracious commentator in the commentary box, but we also knew that we could depend on him to convey to the world-wide listening audience a mature and respectful sense of our trials, accomplishments, character, predicament, and dreams as a people and nation.

And let us be very clear about this. Tony Cozier was not merely the best West Indian or Caribbean cricket commentator: he was the best cricket commentator period! Like Sobers, Worrell and Headley before him, Tony Cozier proved that the very best in the entire world could emerge from a small Caribbean territory!

It also needs to be said that Tony Cozier was the outstanding example of the white Barbadian/West Indian who was able to come to terms with and transcend the racial contradictions and insecurities of the colonial era, and to fully embrace his identity as a citizen of the new predominantly Black independent nation.

This – as we all know – was not an easy task for many white Barbadians in the immediate post- Independence years of the late 1960’s. In fact, many of them opted to abandon Barbados and the Caribbean all together, and to run off to white Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Tony Cozier was the living example par excellence of the alternative option – a sensitive understanding of the shared history, heritage and culture that makes it possible for black and white Barbadians/West Indians to embrace a new common destiny, and a rejection of the white supremacy value system and its inability to countenance black leadership and achievement.

The truth is that there was no Barbadian– white or black–who was more “Bajan” than Tony Cozier! Just as there was no Bajan who was more West Indian than Tony Cozier! Furthermore, our Tony Cozier was a living embodiment of the holistic interconnectedness between a Barbadian identity and a wider, and potentially even more powerful, West Indian or Caribbean identity!

It is perhaps fitting that one of the last and most powerful images that Tony Cozier would have carried to the after-life is the image of the victorious Women’s and Men’s West Indies T20 Cricket teams “standing on top of the world” and joyously celebrating their Championship victories – in true ebullient West Indian style – for the whole admiring world to see.

I have no doubt that Tony Cozier, the consummate West Indian/Caribbean man , would want us to commemorate and celebrate his life by rededicating ourselves – with seriousness and integrity – to the twin causes of building the Caribbean nation and recapturing the glory days of his and our beloved West Indian cricket team.

May the great man rest in peace! And may his name always be remembered by lovers of the noble game of Cricket!

Tony Cozier, the LEGEND

Posted by Sargeant


Tony Cozier

I haven’t listened to cricket on the radio in decades but the passing of Tony Cozier has stirred some long dormant memories.

I can’t remember when I first heard Cozier on the radio but my first memories of listening to cricket was the WI tour of Australia in 1960-61 when as a sapling I was able to stay up late at night to listen to Johnny Moyes in a colourful Aussie accent on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

Later during the WI tour of England in 1963 we were treated to the dulcet tones of John Arlott whose descriptive commentary of Cricket as well as the surrounding countryside provided a picture as vivid as any contemporary movie scene.

Cozier came on the scene sometime after that tour and I recall his voice on the radio as one of our own and that voice although lacking the timbre of some of the other commentators was very informative. I also remember his reports in that other media- newspapers- I believe he came from a media family as his family was involved with the Daily News (now defunct) and I seem to recall a column by his father EL Cozier which appeared under the byline ELC. The immediacy of TV has diminished the importance of the radio voice but those of the generation which came of age in the 60’s remember radio as our connection to the outside world and we relied on the eloquence of the person behind the mike to fuel our imagination and Cozier fit the bill.

An innings well played.

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – The Mirage of Integration (I)

carlos_brathwaiteIf uh wasn’t there to see fuh meself,

I would’a never believe it,

I would’a never believe it.

But I say it once an’ I say it agen:

When things goin’ good, you cahn touch

We; but leh murder start an’ you can fine a man to hole up de side…”

-Kamau Brathwaite –“Rites” (Islands: The Arrivants)

Two events in the past few weeks, totally disconnected otherwise, have served to explain, in rather cogent fashion, the stuttering hold-and-nudge approach that we appear to have adopted with regard to the now decades-old regional integration project. It bears reminder of the doubtful lover with the oxeye daisy as he or she plucks the alternate petals: “He/she loves me; he/she loves me not…” or, more contextually put, “Integration; integration not; integration; integration not…”

The first and more recent was the astounding double triumph last Sunday of the regional men’s and women’s cricket teams in the International Cricket Council’s [ICC] dual World T20 competitions in India. Given our relative drought of victories thitherto, and combined with the recent success of our Under -19 players in their version of the World Cup, the resultant euphoria of the region was to be expected.

But this essay is not about the game itself that embodied a heady cocktail of umbrage at the accusation of the team being “short of brains”; the technical skill of the similarly named Samuel Badree and Marlon Samuels; and the awesome batsmanship of Carlos Brathwaite in his successful devastation of Ben Stokes’ final and necessarily incomplete over). So far as the first is concerned, the following should be required reading: –

Yet, amidst it all, there came to the fore that Sunday global revelation of the underlying cancer of antagonistic discord in the governance of the regional game. Flushed with the aftermath of a spectacular victory and confidently assured of the goodwill of most West Indian fans on such a bountiful occasion, the captain of the men’s team, Mr Darren Sammy, in plain sight and audience of the global cricket-loving public, used the happy occasion to air the very dirty linen that constitutes the industrial and administrative relation between the players, their representative organization, the West Indian Players’ Association [WIPA], and the West Indies Cricket Board [WICB].

Naturally, Mr ‘Dave’ Cameron, the current president of the WICB, took vocal exception to this and, immediately, the joy that should have been universally felt in the afterglow of all too rare moment of modern regional cricket supremacy, devolved into an shouting match between those commentators firmly opposed to the recent poor fortunes of the team, the form or style of governance by the current WICB or, simply, the personality of its president and those comparatively few that felt the need to defend the beleaguered organization owing to membership in it or through a natural inclination to support the underdog.

Understandably, Mr Sammy was joined in his generalized condemnation of the WICB by the voiced opinions of a number of past and current players; the iterations of some regional heads of government; and sundry commentators who, dissatisfied with our lowly positions in the longer forms of the game, taking up the “fire-rage” of the players and the politicians, or simply disgusted with president Cameron’s defiant and combative style, see no merit at all in the current Board.

Notably few, however, were the voices of reason at this time of acrimony, among them the former Prime Minister of Barbados, Mr Owen Arthur, who wisely counseled a moratorium in the controversy that, ironically, could fuel a destruction of regional cricket at a time when the region ought to be in its cups at the unprecedented victories.

This scenario calls to mind so much an elegantly written passage from the James Baldwin novel, “Tell me how long the train’s been gone”, quoted by Kamau Brathwaite in the work referred to in the epigraph:

“It was as though, after indescribable, nearly mortal effort, after grim years of fasting and prayer, after the loss of all he had, and after having been promised by the Almighty that he had paid the price and no more would be demanded of his soul, which was harboured now; it was as though in the midst of his joyful feasting and dancing, crowned and robed, a messenger arrived to tell him that a great error had been made, and that it was all to be done again”.

In fact, despite all the distaste that might be felt by many at his defiant and, some say, arrogant attitude, president Cameron is undeniably the constitutionally elected president of the WICB and calls for his involuntary removal or the dissolution of the current administration therefore arguably contradict the rule of law that should presumably govern regional affairs.

Ironically, with the charge for this form of resolution being led by a few regional Prime Ministers, it should provide a teachable moment for each of them. They, likewise, enjoy their current status by virtue of a constitutionally legitimate election and appointment and would rightly consider it treasonable anarchy if it were seriously to be suggested that any of them should have his administration voluntarily or forcibly dissolved immediately because of apparent popular dissatisfaction.

The effective solution, in my view, is not to set a roguish and scofflaw precedent of unconstitutionally removing an unpopular Board. It is for the “electorate” to do so according to the established rules; first, by each constituent body electing, to sit on the WICB, local representatives who are willing to commit to the constitutional reform of the present structure and thereby to popularize the governance of West Indies cricket. Or, as is our wont, are we prepared to talk about it only?

Any other measure smacks of the paramountcy of personality; an agenda that has proven so far to be to our detriment in politics, law, cricket and much else in the region besides.

To be continued…

Cuba Cricket Connection – Improving Cuba Barbados Relationship

cricket-in-CubaNow that the powers have deemed that the legacy of lame duck President Barrack Obama must be anchored to the return of Cuba to the fold, it has opened the floodgates for pundits all to spew the ideological and political rhetoric like there is no tomorrow. Although the froth has not receded with the exit of US presidential hopeful and Cuban American Marco Rubio, it will with a little time. In words attributed to J Cole, “The bad news is nothing lasts forever, The good news is nothing lasts forever.” Ominous words as Puerto Rico declines and we see the rise of Batista Castro Cuba!

Instead of engaging in an exercise of nothingness about the response of Fidel Castro to Obama’s legacy building, the rhetoric of the anti Cuban movement based in Florida, the release or not of political prisoners in US and Cuban jails – countries like Barbados must focus on creating economic opportunities in a post Fidel Castro Barrack Obama period. All the experts agree that Cuba is a market investors cannot wait to sink millions if not billions. Observers agree that in the face of the longest and harshest trade embargo imposed on a country by the international community, Cuba has demonstrated it is a resilient, innovative, entrepreneurial and least conspicuous consumption society.  There is so much to learn from  Cuba.

During the embargo imposed in 1960 Barbados and many Eastern Caribbean countries extended a friendship to Cuba. The tragic event of  1976 that saw the explosion of Cubana Flight 455 about 8 kilometres from the airport after it attempted to make an emergency landing has served to create a bond between the people of Barbados and Cuba.  It is a historical footnote represented in a monument built in Paynes Bay, St. James never to be forgotten.

How many Barbadians are aware that Cuba is an International Cricket Council (ICC) Affiliate member? One can attribute interest in the sport of cricket by Cubans to the large West Indian immigrant population who visited in the 1920s to work in the sugar industry.

There is no rocket science required for the leadership of cricket in Barbados and at also at the level of government to pursue a skills exchange program to our mutual benefit. Cuba has been able to establish world class sports and health care programs and Barbados owns a rich cricket tradition and strong democratic system of government, comparatively so.  With the changes in Cuba, it opens a world of opportunities for Cubans  some of whom are descendants of Barbadians and other islands of the Caribbean and  live on the western part of Cuba. These persons have retained an avid interest in cricket and for many years have suffered from a lack of cricket expertise, training and equipment etc. There is the opportunity!

Why not start an initiative to encourage the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) to help the Cuban Cricket Commission (CCC) by funding equipment and exchanging expertise among other initiatives?  This is a country that has produced  Teófilo Stevenson, Javier Sotomayor, Alverto Juantorena and many others for chrissakes and where our leaders and prominent citizens visit to have serious healthcare procedures done as well as training.

Surely we should not wait for the MCC or another English Cricket body from the Mother Country to fill the breach. Heavens forbid!

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Of Glorious Uncertainties

Jeff Cumberbatch - New Chairman of the FTC

Jeff Cumberbatch – New Chairman of the FTC

It has always been my view that the closeness of the outcome of the 2013 general elections in Barbados spoke more to a popular perception that there is very little to choose from between the two major parties with regard to policy and general conservatism, and to a shared wonderment whether the solution to our current social and economic malaise is the traditionally political than to any overwhelming or underwhelming preference for one group over the other.

A similarly, though not identically, close electoral outcome in last week’s elections in Jamaica serves only to confirm this assessment in my mind, as does the farce being played out currently in the US where, among the Republican party candidates, the frontrunner in the primaries and likely nominee is one who eschews the traditional political solution, refuses to give an intelligible answer to any policy issue and, either wittingly or unwittingly, manages literally to insult the intelligence of his audience to their wild acclamation and applause.

“We won with the poorly educated. I love the poorly educated”, he proclaims to raucous approving cheers. And as to how he will bring back the American dream that many of the electorate wishes for, he is in earnest- “Look. We can bring the American dream back. That I will tell you. We’re bringing it back. Okay? And I understand what you’re saying… “Is the American dream dead? And the American dream is in trouble…but we’re going to get it back and do some real jobs…”, before he abruptly breaks off to acknowledge a man in a “beautiful red hat”. “Stand up! Stand up!” he urges, “What a hat!”

The surprising success of this absence of specifics and the appeal to trivia causes one to wonder at the relevance of traditional poll questions about the issues that ought to be considered. Do people really give serious consideration to the party’s or an individual candidate’s position on them, should these ever be articulated? Or is it that these do matter, but not so much as the populist perception of where a party stands on a particular question of policy? Might it not be that elections are not won [or lost] so much on the basis of what you do or do not say but rather on what it is people believe you to be saying (or not saying) and whether this resonates with the volksgeist – the spirit of the people – at that critical moment? If so, our local inquiry would be more usefully directed to determining this factor rather than in spending time analyzing, in a context where all are supported by a minority of those polled only, who is likely to prove most (or more) popular. As a wise commentator once observed, in politics the truth matters less than perceptions.

Nevertheless, the expression that forms the basis of today’s caption is usually employed, not so much in the realm of electoral politics but in one that equally serves as fodder for popular discourse in the region –that of cricket. And in recent times, that conversation has focused mainly on the alleged maladministration of the game, although our playing fortunes should have received an infrequent boost with the victory of the regional squad at the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this month. Indeed, those in opposition to the regime of the current [West Indian Cricket] Board [WICB] were quick to forestall any claim to a contribution to this achievement by the Board.

Writing in a column in Wisden India, former WI cricketer and now cricket commentator, Mr Michael Holding, asserts; “For all the well-deserved praise of the young side…it is ridiculous that the victory is being used by some at the [WICB] to portray the image that everything is fine in the Caribbean (sic). The same claim was being made when the senior team won the Twenty20 World Cup in 2012, but where has our cricket gone since then?”

Mr Holding echoes a seeming general disgruntlement with the current Board that has been voiced by many regarded as influential within the region. In an earlier column in the same publication, Dr Rudi Webster intoned, “It would be a tragedy if administrators who have contributed little or nothing to the administration of West Indies cricket could knowingly and intentionally destroy everything that our great stars achieved on and off the cricket field. And indeed, everything that past administrators fought for since 1928…”

Further, the immediate dissolution of the Board has been recommended by a CARICOM Cricket Review Panel that, bizarrely, included a member nominated by the Board itself and, more recently, the heads of regional governments in caucus accused the WICB of “undermining the integrity of West Indies Cricket”, whatever that phrase might mean, and described the Board’s corporate governance standards as “undesirable”. Other similar instances abound.

In the face of this apparently universal assault on its governance from leaders, players, commentators and, as my late mother would have said, “Nesha, Kaya and Bobby Fray” [?], the Board has managed to subsist with an equal measure of obstinate claims to constitutional legitimacy and dogged confrontation. It bears reminder somehow of the poem, “Casabianca”, by Felicia Hemans –

“The boy stood on the burning deck

Whence all but he had fled;

The flame that lit the battle’s wreck

Shone round him o’er the dead…

The flames roll’d on… he would not go…

For my part, I am inclined to be wary of criticism that seems a tad too popular and eerily reminiscent of the mass hysteria of the late 17th century Salem witch hunts. Not that I am overly partial to defending the Board itself, but that I am also of the opinion that much of the current carping criticism is owed to an admixture of frustration with the woeful performances of our senior team, the impatience of the critics with a seeming inability to get their own way and a general regional sentiment that our players are among the, if not the, world’s most talented exponents of the game and if we are nowhere near the top of the ICC rankings, then it must be owed to some other factor -Others abide our question, you players are free.

Might it be the selectors? Nah! The coaches? At all! The management? Scarcely! Then it must be the Board! Are we not all on the same page?

Leave Cricket to Players and Board

Submitted by Buddy Cal

west_indies_cricketLuke 13; 7-9. Parable of the fig tree. “Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard. Behold, three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down.

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Sir Garfield is Right!

Submitted by Wayne Cadogan

Sir Gary Sobers

Sir Gary Sobers

It appears that everyone wants to condemn Sir Garfield Sobers for speaking the truth regarding the status of players and state of West Indies Cricket. Well, I endorse every word that he said, he is so right.

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Manup Chetwyn Stuart and Minister Stephen Lashley

The following received from an anonymous source.



CPL T20 Cricket made the decision to hand control of the [cricket] ovals back to the local entities. Kensington Oval Management Inc (KOMI) invited groups to bid on the Party Stand tender for CPLT20. Continue reading

Jack Warner Arrested

Jack Warner will be recorded as one of the most enigmatic politicians of our time. His popularity as a politician in Trinidad belies the underhand dealings he has been associated with through the years in his capacity as Vice President of FIFA and Czar of the football operations in Trinidad.

The David Simmons report logged on BU blog World Cup 2014: Mohamed Bin Hammam, Jack Warner and Corruption @FIFA exposed Warner for who he is,  corrupt to the very core. BU unsuccessfully requested from Warner’s staff a copy of the Affidavit he (Warner) Continue reading

On Your Mark, Get Ready …

Perhaps our sports officials are unaware of the impact of such an event [2015 Jamaica International Invitational] in inspiring the country’s youth, in building national pride, and in building a sporting heritage – Bush Tea

Obadele Thompson

Obadele Thompson

The Jamaica International Invitational 2015 track and field meet was a spectacular event for many reasons – view event 3hr 58m:-

A few observation regional decision makers should seriously consider after attending or viewing the event:

Sports Illustrated: Now I Really Understand

Submitted by Wayne Cadogan

Barbados Amateur Athletic Association

Barbados Amateur Athletic Association

Over the years I have heard many stories about athletes who had athletic scholarships and had returned to live on the island, and would not give back by getting involved. Personally, I have seen it first hand for myself and can sympathize with many of the athletes for their actions of taking a back seat attitude. I certainly cannot blame the majority of them for not getting involved, because when they offer their services and if it does not fit into the BAAA agenda which happens to be a close-knit organization, they are not welcomed with open arms and similarly the majority of the other sporting organizations. A few days after the recently concluded 2015 CARIFTA Games, I happen to run into one of the local high school coaches on the streets and was making a point to him, that although it was a very admirable achievement for Mary Fraser to have won the three gold medals, that it was too much of a work load for her young body to take at that tender age over a three day period. The body needs to go through a recovery process after each race and according to the distance, would need a day recovery for every mile raced.

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Congrats to Barbados CARIFTA Team 2015 BUT …

Carifta Team

2015 Barbados Carifta Team

BU adds its voice to the congratulations directed at the 2015 Barbados CARIFTA team.   Jamaica as expected led the medal count with 41 gold, 25 silver and 19 bronze followed by the Bahamas with 8 gold, 13 silver and 10 bronze AND Barbados with 7 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze. We did well but the medal count tells a story, that is, there is a chasm which separates Barbados and Bahamas the regional power houses of track and field in the Caribbean.

After acknowledging the  predictable plaudits one has to admit there is a déjà vu that raises its head  at this time of the year. Barbadian athletes compete at the junior level in several sporting disciplines. The challenge however remains – the inability of successful junior athletes to make the quantum leap to the professional level.

Isn’t it ironic as the plaudits continue to be dumped on the 2015 CARIFTA team the ALL the stands at the National Stadium of Barbados have been condemned by the government. In has been reported it will cost many millions of dollars to repair rotting stands.  Here is another irony, the rot did not set in overnight.

Team Guyana USA Soccer League Urges Guyanese Soccer Players and Fans to Boycott Caribbean Cup Inc, Soccer Tournaments


BROOKLYN: Team Guyana USA Soccer League announces its complete withdrawal from Caribbean Cup Inc., (CCI) as well as from its tournaments, structure and activities. This action is in protest of overt discrimination against, and abuse of, Guyanese players and management. Team Guyana will no longer participate in CCI’s annual soccer tournaments at the Thomas Jefferson High School Field at Flatlands Avenue and Essex Street, Brooklyn.

Consequently, we call on all Guyanese soccer players and fans to, henceforth, boycott all Caribbean Cup tournaments and games, until another transparent, fair and professional tournament is established, which the League can sanction.

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Sports Administrators to Blame

Submitted by Wayne Pilgrim-Cadogan

clip_image001I am sad as a former national athlete at the state of athletics in Barbados, and to see that we are not progressing in athletics or any other sport for that matter. After watching the Boys under 20, 400 meters at the recently concluded 2015 BSSAC Championships and to hear the commentators ranting and raving over how well the athletes are performing in running 48 seconds. A Jamaican 15 year old two weeks ago at the Jamaican Nationals ran 45.34 to break Kirani James World Juniors record and we here jumping up at 48 seconds. In the 1960’s Barbados school boys were running 48 seconds for the 440 yards at Kensington Oval on a grass track. Today, athletes have access to better equipment and running facilities and yet year after year, the same old mediocre times are been run and with minimal improvement.

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