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 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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

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?

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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Barbados Cricket Selectors Blunder

Submitted by Wayne R. Pilgrim-Cadogan

Wayne Pilgrim-Cadogan

Wayne Pilgrim-Cadogan

Am I the only one, or are they others who continue to be baffled as much as I am after all these years as to how the Barbados and West Indies cricket selectors select players for duty? Even though they continue to fail game after game so miserably! I have always thought that any player seeking selection in any sports team had to be performing admirably and be selected on merit. Evidently this not the case when it comes to the Barbados cricket selectors

Is there anyone with a sound mind who could tell or explain to me how Kirk Edwards, could be failing for so long and yet the selectors continue to find favour in selecting him for national duty before other in form batsmen? Looking at the young man’s scores for the last eight to ten innings or more, are like selecting Lotto numbers which cannot add up to 120 runs. Why are the selectors continuing to select him in front of other young talented batsmen? Is it because of his arrogance that he is not listening to others regarding his batting problems? Or is it the same old problem that has always dog Barbados regarding favoritism?

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Are the West Indies Out of the ICC World Cup 2015?

Submitted by Pachamama



We have always blamed the West Indies Cricket Board, of Control (WICB)(C) and their regional members for the persistent failures in West Indies cricket and we intend to continue in this vein. The successes, we shamelessly attribute to the players, and the players alone. That trajectory of management failure is now likely to lead to the early exit of our team from the ICC World Cup of Cricket 2015. We will be asking what has to happen for us to jettison this culture of persistent failure in a form of the game where we are supposed to have a competitive advantage. An advantage based on our natural approach to the game. An approach which predates the commercialization of limited overs cricket. An approach not always accepted by the so-called regional cricket connoisseurs. Those who would want to be more English than the very English!
Over the last 24 hours both Ireland and Pakistan won their respective matches. Leaving the West Indies in fifth position and on 4 points after 5 matches – two wins and three losses. We are now above the UAE and Zimbabwe in the standings. Based on net run rate (NRR) there maybe some hope providing the West Indies could win their last match against the UAE and do so with a superlative NRR, thereby eclipsing Ireland, currently in the fourth position. Also we would have to depend on Ireland terribly losing their two (2) remaining matches against India and Pakistan. These odds appear, from the general performance of teams involved, to defy a reasonable judgment that this rare alignment of the stars will occur, but cricket is still supposed to be a game of ‘inglorious’ uncertainties…….Keep dreaming diehards!

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Clive Lloyd the Alex Ferguson of West Indies Cricket

Is the WICB guilty of discrimination?

Patrick Rousseau

31 December 2014

On December 24, 2014, Dave Cameron, the president of the WICB, commented for the press of Jason Holder, the new One-Day International captain, with the words, “I do not pick the team,” having given Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy a sour orange as their Christmas gift by excluding them from the ODI team for South Africa, in addition to removing Bravo as captain of the team (Sammy was subsequently recalled to the ODI team).

I have the same problem with this as I had with the previous CEO, Dr “Hilarious”, when Chris Gayle was excluded from the team and he hid behind the selection committee. There was no attempt by the president at the time to correct the situation. As a member of the Constitutional Committee ably chaired by Mr Alloy Lequay of Trinidad, I am saddened by the fact that the board and management staff seem to pay so little attention to the WICB constitution in carrying out their duties. I wonder if the board members have even read through the constitution.

No one, whether the president, vice-president, the CEO, the selectors or the board members, either individually or collectively, have the power to exercise any disciplinary action against the players, and are obliged to use the process prescribed in the constitution, of referring all matters of player discipline to the Disciplinary Committee appointed by the board. This process has long existed and is designed to protect the players from any arbitrary action against them for perceived breaches. The case of Mr Bravo is very pertinent because his omission cannot be because he has failed to perform on the field. This can be said of all three players in relation to ODI matches. This is a clear case of discrimination and I can only conclude that the strike in India is the matter they are being disciplined about.

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The WICB(C) Conspires Against Our International Players, Again!

Submitted by Pachamama

WIPA President and CEO Wavell Hinds and WICB President Dave Cameron

WIPA President and CEO Wavell Hinds and WICB President Dave Cameron

We have argued in the past that the West Indies Cricket Board (of Control) WICB(C) is a slave plantation. An institution where the house niggers on the Board constantly  ‘conspire’ to end the hard won rights of our international players. Their aim, under every guise, is to reverse the benefits to international players and return them to the good old days where once our best players retired a hat would be circulated for a ‘benefit’. These vicious ‘house niggers’ or Black Bothas at the WICB(C), as an institution, did nothing to transform the world of cricket when we were ruling the universe. They lacked the vision to re-balance world cricket towards our natural strengths or as their masters in England used to say – Calypso cricket. But the Indians have captured that innate Caribbean instinct and have made 20/20 cricket the revolutionizing instrument that was always frond upon by the rootless elites at the WICB(C). So Caribbean cricket is now headquartered in India.

Not satisfied with their generational failures of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The Board now seeks to hide their perpetual non-performance under a misbegotten developmental construct purportedly to spread incomes to a larger number of people, cricketers. But this is a management problem not to be solved on the backs of international players. The MOU and Agreement which the Board has surreptitiously arrived at with a dictatorial leadership of the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) President Wavell Hinds lacks any moral authority. These arrangements, unbeknownst to the international players, now seek to decrease match fees by 75%; the Board’s international slaves are to be paid no compensation for the marketing of their images; and there are to be no ICC fees for international players. The WICB(C), as slave master, are again seeking to exert rights only know to be claimed under chattel slavery.

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The Black Caps Versus the Black Lackeys

Submitted by Pachamama

President of the West Indies Cricket Board Dave Cameron

President of the West Indies Cricket Board Dave Cameron

We watch a boring cricket test match as the cultural dead-endedness of Caribbean societies is demonstrated through cricket. Cricket as a cultural expression of the British was never going to be susceptible to the radical transformation, in the Caribbean, it faced after the cultural revolution in North American, giving them baseball. For the Blacks with White masks at the WICBC and amongst the elites in the Caribbean are even more protective of this traditional British game than even the very British themselves.

Former players, administrators and newly minted Black lackeys get to trot out their knighthoods when cricket is playing. For them it is in the service of Queen and Empire that a nonsense of a rule could prevent Sunil Narine, the world’s top spinner, from playing for the West Indies but there is no problem for Corey Anderson, who was at the same IPL semi-finals, to be playing for the Black Caps. So a Black Cap can play while a West Indian player is to be sanctioned by the over-zealous plantation overseers of cricket in the West Indies. The WICB(C) will allow an Englishman to be a third empire. A man who has a personal interest in promoting English cricket. So West Indies bowlers could be outing people and all the marginal decisions go against us. All this for the love of pound and crown by Black and Indian Caribbean lackeys from Jamaica to Georgetown!

Nowhere in the world are people particularly interested in test cricket. And it must be allowed to meet its long awaited death. Nobody goes to watch it. TV audiences are never very impressive. It cannot attract pay-per-view revenues. The marketers at the WICB(C) must be infantile to allow such a strategy to take root. So much so that even when test cricket is aired free of cost only the diehards show any sustained interest.

And this is the strategic vision a backward Board can now come up with. The brains cannot be on the Board! What would it take for Caribbean peoples to run these nutters out of town, absent their heads?

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Darren Sammy Given Raw Deal by WIBC

Submitted by Wayne Cadogan – Social Writer, Designer, Retired Civil Servant and former National Athlete

Darren Sammy

Darren Sammy

Yet another player has been given a raw deal by the West Indies Cricket board after giving of their best and undying service to West Indies cricket. When the Caribbean was unable to fulfil the coffers of the so called mother country and the islands started to become a liability, she dumped them one by one through giving them independence. Now the West Indies Cricket Board is using the same tactics with its players after they have provided yeomen service to the West Indies cricket team throughout the years and their usefulness as a player became questionable, they were all abruptly discarded surprisingly from the team. One can go as far back as to Sir Garfield Sobers and a myriad of great players that have since followed him, with the latest being the former captain Darren Sammy.

It is not so much the dropping of a player, but the callous and meek manner that they were dispatched from the team. Darren Sammy may not have been one of the greatest cricketers to play for the West Indies, but he was a great leader and team player, always giving of his best and that is 100% at all times. A business cannot be successful unless it has a competent leader, the same goes for the West Indies cricket team. Sammy came into West Indies cricket at a time when it was on a downward slide and morale was low.

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Fire the Pimps on the WICB(C)

Submitted by Pachamama

westindiesWe recall well, between sleep and wake, nightmares of the slaughter of our teams, by the great Australians of the 60’s and 70’s. But this New Zealand team of 2013 is the opposite of the Australians, and yet, the expectation of capitulation remains our constant companion, in this battlefield of dreams, especially at this time of the year.

Last test match the West Indies Cricket Team succumbed for the umpteenth time, over the last two decades, to a less than viable opposition. This cultural rot will only stop when we properly locate its causation firmly in the laps of the administration of the West Indies Cricket Board (of Control) (WICB) and take concerted actions to excise the underlying cancer of this prolonged and institutionalized failure.

Since the coup that ended the ‘Age of Dominance’ the cricket establishment in the Caribbean has not produced one single player worthy of that epoch. What we have had is the constant recycling of average pretenders totally removed from the mind set of Worrell, Lloyd and Richards. The warrior mentality has been stripped from them, by executive design. The coup plotters of 1991 and their descendants continue to destroy West Indies cricket at all levels. So the largesse of team management could be directed to a Richie Richardson, the instrument of the plot which relocated effective power from players to administration.

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Andre E Baptise Exposes a Pea Sized View of the CPL

Andre E Baptise

A pea sized view of the CPL!

The launch of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) after the first week has been deemed a success by the organizers and the public at large. There is no doubt, much to the chagrin of the cricket purists, that this is the form of the game which the public is prepared to support in great numbers. There can be no doubt that given the state of West Indies cricket it is the form of the game which our players seem to perform better than the other forms. Perhaps because it fits nicely with our natural attacking style.

To be expected the launch of the new CPL has had its little share of controversy.  First the Central Bank of Barbados felt constrained to issue a warning that Venus International should not use the term ‘merchant bank’. Probably motivated by the Allen Stanford mess which still lingers.  Venus International is the investment company which has been setup in Barbados under whose ambit the management of the CPL falls. And in recent days we have heard mutterings that the Trinidad franchise team which competes under the name Trinidad Red Steal should drop the name Trinidad and go by the name Red Steel only. The reason: Trinidad already owns a national team which has done well in Twenty20 cricket (Champions League) across the world, and is generally believed to have the best players.

To cap it off an Andre E Baptise has penned the most asinine article which appears in the Trinidad Guardian.  After reading the column one understands why our little islands will remain insular and which will make pursuing functional cooperation a challenge in a global economy which demands it. The concept of franchising appears to elude the man.

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Professor Sir Hilary Beckles on Panel to Discuss West Indies Cricket in London

Submitted by Sankofa Televisual on behalf of seminar organisers CaribDirect

Sir Hilary Beckles, pro-vice-chancellor, University of the West Indies

Sir Hilary Beckles, pro-vice-chancellor, University of the West Indies

Eminent historian and academic, Barbadian Professor Sir Hilary Beckles is due to sit on a special panel to discuss West Indies Cricket in London. The current pro-vice-chancellor at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and former board director of the West Indies Cricket Board is due to be in London on Saturday 28th September 2013 at the Hilton Park Lane Hotel.

Sir Hilary, having been involved in the organisation of the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup is also accredited with assisting in the establishment of the university cricket team and later the Combined Campuses and Colleagues team, is expected to deliver a presentation on his brainchild the High Performance Centre (HPC).

Read full press release

Hamilton Lashley, Shame, Shame,Shame!

Submitted by Denise Small

Hamilton Lashley, MP

In January 2012 my son organized a cricket team to participate in the Pine’s local cricket competition ‘Bring Six and Come’, organized by Hamilton Lashley and associates, a competition which I gather is held yearly. The prize money advertised via a flyer was 1st place $3000, 2nd place $2000, 3rd place $1000 and 4th place $400 and each team had to pay $150 to enter the competition.

My son’s team Central, a group of young men between the ages of sixteen and eighteen who used they allowance to enter the competition and what was not covered I paid. These young men played their hearts out and they also helped to prepare the wicket, arriving on time and staying to whenever the competition that day was finished on almost three consecutive weekends.

These young men [team] placed 3rd in the competition and were looking forward to the $1000 prize money on offer.  I was happy to hear what these young man wanted to do with the money, one wanted to buy new cricket gloves, another, things for school and another to give to a player’s mother who bought food and fed them throughout the days at the grounds as no food was provided by the organizers. On the night of the presentation Central Cricket team were informed by one of the organizer/player of the winning team that they [team] would receive a trophy but not the prize money as the ‘rules had been changed during the competition’. No team was ever informed of this rule change EVER, no explanation was given as to why the monies would not be paid.

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Caribbean, a Nation in Sports

Submitted by sportybajan

Stephen Lashley, Minister of Sports

Just the mere fact that the West Indies Federation has been over since 1962 is enough indication that West Indies and Cricket is now an ancient concept, long past its glory days. Even if  we can return to the top of this colonial sport, is it enough to sustain our individual national pride, and make us stand out as one regional people?

I submit that Track and Field now already does that, and therefore must be heralded as our lofty nest. We must embrace the sport greater than we once did King Cricket, to do otherwise would be to deny the future generation of their heritance to the throne of sporting kings.

What Cricket has once given us Track has now surpassed. Olympic Games 2012 – Caribbean Domination Women’s 100m = Gold, Bronze, Men’s 100m = Gold, Silver, Men’s 400m hurdles = Gold, Bronze, Men’s 400m = Gold, Silver, Bronze.

The Track And Field has only now started. For Barbados to get back on track with the Caribbean where Oba had placed us, we first must remove the present free loading administrators, starting with those on the AAA’s council. President Mrs. Maynard is now on her official 9th Olympic tour, and has never been an athlete…

Where’s The Caribbean Calypso?

 by Eshwar Sundaresan (Reproduced from DawnBlog)

Photo Credit: Allsport Hulton/Archive

In the 70s, my father spent many nights glued to a radio or a transistor, following the commentary of Test matches between India and the West Indies. Yeah, he was a big fan of cricket, but a much bigger fan of an infinitely more exciting sport: Caribbean cricket. It seemed perfectly natural for him to take half a day off work to catch a BBC broadcast, on a static-ridden shortwave signal, of a 1973 Test match between England and the West Indies. Why would a middle-class working man, reporting to a demanding boss, do such a crazy thing? Because when stalwarts like Sobers, Kanhai, Lloyd and Gibbs performed their latest magic tricks, you wanted to be amongst the first to know. Is that so difficult to understand?!

Of course, in the next couple of years, ODIs became a format to reckon with and Caribbean cricket got even more exciting. A young Vivian Richards sauntered into the global arena and taught us that it was possible to hit towering sixes with a swagger. Simultaneously, gentle giants like Joel Garner, Andy Roberts and Michael Holding showed us how entire stadia could be hissed into silence with venomous bouncers. Through the rest of the 70s, other teams pretty much showed up for the honour of losing to the West Indies.

If there’s a better way to play cricket than the way the West Indians did in the 70s, we haven’t seen it yet. Perhaps the Ozzies dominated the late 90s and the early naughties more than the West Indians ever did, but they felt it necessary to swear, sledge and spit in anger to underline their domination.

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The Failure Of The WICB As A Modern Slave Plantation

Submitted by Pachamama


Embattled former West Indies captain, Chris Gayle

At a time when the peoples of North Africa and Southern Europe are seeking to shake off the hegemonic imperialistic structures of oligarchy, humiliation and despotism the black elites of the West Indies Cricket Board of control are presenting a brutal plantocratic image that equals or dwarfs the worst expressions of the slave system. As part of a wider neo-liberal initiative of illegitimate sporting bodies, it is destined to failure.

This brutal institution under the guise of having an interest in the development of West Indies cricket seeks to limit the internationally recognized civil and human rights of players and the union that represents them in the most perverse and Kafkaesque manner. It argues that it has a right to control the private behaviors of players. It believes it has a right to characterize the private thinking of players as ‘antagonistic’ and ‘unrepentant’. Its leading Zionist oligarchs assume the right to decide who the players’ union representatives should be ahead of negotiations. It acts in ways that limit the ‘freedom’ of cricketers to contract their labour under market conditions using petit nationalism as the last stronghold of their tyranny. The WICB believes it has a right to dispense privileges instead of a recognition of basic human rights.

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Sir Hilary Beckles Trapped Leg Before Wicket

Sir hilary Beckles

Sir Hilary Beckles

Sir Hilary Beckles is in the news again. Not content with feeding off a rich legacy created by his role in the Mutual Affair, he continues to feel the need to assuage his insatiable ego for the bright lights. If one is to appraise Sir Hilary’s post-Mutual Affair performance many may suggest he has done well. BU believes he has been forced to be less controversial in recent years given his current role of begging the private sector for money. As Principal of the UWI, Cave Hill his primary role is to raise money to build out his vision for Cave Hill. We all know who control the money flow in Barbados and they will not want to listen to the commentary of a Hilary of the 90s.

During a recent presentation of the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Lecture in St Kitts Sir Hilary provoked the wrath of Jamaicans – Barbadians seem to be getting good at it. Here is the extract from his speech which did the damage and eventually coerced an apology.

What are the images we have of West Indies cricket and our heroes? Well, the images before us are as follows, that Frank Worrell is the Father of the Nation, ah, Sobers is the King of Cricket, ah, Clive Lloyd is the Statesman, ah, Richards is the General of the army, am, Brian Lara is the Prince, and Chris Gayle is the Don. And, and these these, these are very interesting images ah, in, in, in , indeed because the the movement from the father to the Don and, and and those who follow him and his cohort in the team do relate to him as their Don, and he has brought it is said, the Don-manship into how ‘tings’ operate in the team, and what the West Indies Board is trying to do at the moment is to uproot this Don-manship out of the culture in much the same way that the Jamaican people are trying to uproot Dudus from their politics. So the comparisons are very interesting indeed.”

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West Indies Cricket Board Exposé Wikileaks Style

Click image to access website

The above website purports to have access to confidential West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) minutes. For example, it states in a March 29, 2011 post that West Indies cricket coach Otis Gibson is earning a USD261,000.00 package and CEO in another post is raking in a cool package of USD300,000.00.

Read the blog WICB Exposé and weep. Of course BU cannot vouch for the  veracity of the content.

Heads Must Roll Re West Indies Cricket…

This interesting article is reproduced from Dr. Malcom Grant’s Facebook Page. The frustration of a West Indian cricket fan is clearly evidentBarbados Underground

Fans of the West Indies cricket team celebrate their win over England at Lord's cricket ground, London (Getty Image)

How many more?

How many more defeats are West Indian fans expected to swallow? I am absolutely fed up with those who asks us to “be patient”, those who say “the boys need your support more than ever now”, or for that matter those who pontificate and state, “it can only get better from here”. I am exasperated, my patience is worn thin, I am fuming and I desperately want heads to roll.

We the loyal fans of West Indies cricket have had enough. In our respective careers all of us are expected to be fully accountable for our actions or lack thereof and our West Indies cricket team and its cricketers are no exception to this rule. Who is accountable or for that matter where is the accountability?

With the declining performance of West Indies cricket we can realistically:

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Tino’s Best Beamer

Tino Best

BU extends commiseration to the Barbados Under-17 CONCACAF Championship football team who was given a drubbing by Canada 8-0,  Canada was the more professional outfit if we accept the report from Frank Gill, manager of the Barbados team. Some will say they did well to have qualified for the tournament, a generous assessment.

We continue to fool ourselves we can prepare local teams to compete creditably on the world stage using an amateur approach. Can anyone answer why Minister Ronald Jones who heads one of the most important ministries continues to be President of the Barbados Football Association (BFA)? If a plausible answer can be found, can anyone articulate then what have been the achievements of the BFA under his stewardship? Has Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart like his predecessor given his blessing to Jones’ Jack Warner twin-style approach?

Local sport is in a sorry state. Although bedevilled by a lack of resources there is also a lack of leadership. Many of the local sports associations have become the playground of political aspirants or the plain ignorant. How many local leaders of sports associations can articulate a short or medium term vision? Instead all we get is squabbling among executive members and sometimes others on the periphery. We may have indeed become educated fools.

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Jackasses All Braying In Unison

The failure of the West Indies cricket team to make it through to the semi final stage of the ICC T20 tournament appears to have caught West Indian supporters by surprise. One would have thought a team with the track record of the West Indies cricket team in the last 12 years would  NOT have provoked such an uproar. Surprisingly even the unperturbed Captain of the West Indies Chris Gayle was driven to apologize to the West Indian people. Bear in mind, Mr. Duckworth Lewis was very generous to the West Indies in the preliminary game against England. Does anyone believe the West Indies would have scored 190+ to win that game?

As expected the region’s media has been having a field day carrying several opinions of regional cricket commentators echoing the plight of the West Indies team and offering the usual feeble suggestions to the way forward. In a nutshell, much of the outpouring of opinions and commentaries in the various media can only be described as high order flatulence aka bovine excrement.

BU was reminded to check the International Cricket Council (ICC) website to seek confirmation of the West Indies cricket team’s current world ranking. To no great surprise there was confirmation that of the 12 teams with ICC rankings, the West Indies occupies a distant number 8 position behind Pakistan with Bangladesh in tow.  To paint the picture, the four teams which trail the West Indies cricket team in the ICC Rankings are: Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Kenya. Again, did we reasonably expect West Indies to win the ICC T20 competition?

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T20 – Refreshing, In More Ways Than One

Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist

They said “Bring it” and Caribbean people brought it! The T20 world cricket tournament is, I declare, a phenomenal success! Not since the days of Lloyd, Richards, Lillee, Chappel, Botham, Gavascar and Bishan Bedi have I been so glued to my television screen, watching the battle of bat versus ball.

I am not getting involved in the argument of the adverse impact of this version of the game on the traditional test and one day formats. I leave that to the experts. What I am saying is that T20 meets the needs of persons such as me who simply want to watch good, exciting cricket and who do not have a lot of time to hang around waiting for a result.

Frankly speaking, I am West Indian, but, it bothers me not who eventually wins the 2010 championship. From where I stand, this outcome does not define or determine any aspect of cricketing supremacy. This is simply a case of cricketers having fun and spectators sharing in the excitement. Added to this is the fact that sponsors are getting good value for money and administrators are making a profit. Simply put, T20 is win-win for all concerned.

Even the host countries are benefiting, unlike in a tournament of recent memory when all but a few political operatives lost their shirts. Just imagine that the region is spending a mere fraction of what was spent on Cricket World Cup and is reaping benefits that surpass and far outweigh those of CWC.

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International Cricket Council (ICC) Boots Barbados Craft Vendors Out Of Kensington Oval At T20 2010

Kensington Oval Barbados

There is a situation which is brewing at Kensington Oval involving craft vendors. Today, an ICC lawyer before he could get a tan made all the craft vendors dismantle their stalls on the grounds that they were not permitted to sell craft items. This is after the Craft Vendors paid a contract fee to ICC some months ago, in order to secure a space to sell their craft and the money was taken, knowing that these people were going to sell craft. The vendors were allocated space by Kensington Oval but this morning as soon as they set up, the ICC lawyer came and ordered them to remove their craft and leave.

Apparently, the craft vendors were given the same contract as the food vendors. This is what happened at CWC 2007 as well, except that a separate negotiation went on for the craft; even though the contracts were the same. All that happened is that the criteria for the craft were inserted into the vendors contract… but all this happened long before the matches started.

This time around, ICC (through their legal representative) waited until the first day to tell the vendors they can’t sell craft. Douglas Trotman, Attorney-at-law, has taken up the case for the vendors. Up to late this evening, the vendors were still awaiting word of negotiations between their lawyer, ICC and Kensington.

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wi-cricketThe stories breaking around West Indies and world cricket continues to make for interesting reading. It is apparent even as India, South Africa and Australia gallop ahead on the field of play and in the boardroom conversely the West Indies has become stuck in the mud.

It is less than three years since the impoverished governments of the region made the decision to mortgage future generations. Reports suggest hundreds of millions of dollars to build stadia and infrastructure was spent to host CWC 2007. Respective governments including Barbados promised that the legacy value from the event would reap untold economic benefits, this was used to justify the huge expense. It is unfortunate the current global crisis has derailed any immediate prospect of a return on the legacy investment. To compound the issue, the relationship between the management of West Indies cricket and players representative has soured.

Of interest in the sorry mess has been the decision by respective Caribbean governments to invest heavily, disproportionately so, in a sport which is managed by an autonomous body.  Good example of the impotence of the Caribbean governments in influencing West Indies cricket was demonstrated in their inability to resolve the recent impasse between WIBC and WIPA. The biggest irony must have been the appearance of President Bharat Jagdeo of Guyana, in his capacity as current Chairman of CARICOM, who defaulted to be the one to bring calm to the turmoil in West Indies cricket when the feuding parties turned to CARICOM. Bear in mind Jagdeo is the head of what many consider a failed state. His decision to recommend and appoint Sonny Ramphall as mediator, who a short time before had insulted the people of Barbados by his use of ‘ethnic cleansing’ further adds to the mire WI cricket finds itself.

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What Does The Future Hold For West Indies Cricket?

 WIPA CEO and President Dinanath Ramnarine, Caricom Chairman Bharat Jagdeo and CEO WIBC Julian Hunte

WIPA CEO and President Dinanath Ramnarine, Caricom Chairman Bharat Jagdeo and CEO WICB Julian Hunte

Fortunately or unfortunately, a member of BU witnessed the People’s Business Show aired on CBC TV on Sunday night (13 September 2009). The show featured Donna Symmonds, WIPA’s legal adviser; Conde Riley, the former WICB Director who recently resigned in controversial manner and sports journalist Keith Holder.  The program was hosted by CBC journalist Andi Thornhill.

If Barbadians were not aware of the reason why the current impasse in West Indies cricket has not yet been solved, it became very clear after viewing the TV program. We are tempted to use the analogy of the thriller in Manila boxing match. On second thoughts, it wouldn’t be appropriate to do so because there was a winner and loser on that night when the world witnessed one of the most existing boxing matches in history. On the People’s Business TV Show, Conde Riley representing the views of WICB, and Donna Symmonds those of WIPA, jabbed and punched themselves on the many issues, known and unknown to the public until they were blue in the face.  When the program was finished both were still standing.  It is clear this issue has mushroomed to a battle of wills between WICB and WIPA.

The impasse which has arisen in West Indies cricket has now escalated to a level where the current actors from WICB and the WIPA should be replaced immediately. All goodwill has long disappeared. Even if the recent rescue plan announced by CARICOM governments were to clear the way for the re-entry of the striking players, it is apparent to all that too much blood has been shed for the current actors to salvage any measure of trust to build the necessary cohesion which is required to move West Indies cricket forward. Sports, cricket included is now seen as a business. In the West Indies we continue to operate as if the world has stood still regarding sports management.

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West Indies Cricket Mired In A Perpetual Crisis

Submitted by The Scout

Julian Hunte, West Indies Board Chairman

Julian Hunte, West Indies Board Chairman

It is often said that society today reflects what has been taught to the young generation, hence they only reproduce what is happening in society in general. We see this in the callous attitude of workers today, we also see it in the selfish, “don’t careish” attitude of our drivers, in fact this is demonstrated in almost every area of society today. It is therefore no surprise that our only unifying company in the Caribbean, namely West Indies cricket, is now about to fall victim to the cancer of arrogance that has been engrained in this selfish Caribbean region.

There is this belief within the region that some groups of people have the right to invade other countries and demand even more rights than citizens of the very country, while at home they have little or no such privileges. Even though it is absolutely obvious that they are causing disruptions, they selfish attitude has prevented them from seeing rationally, even at the expense of causing a serious demise of the entire region.

The same thing has been plaguing West Indies cricket for some time and it, like the regional countries, has the potential to permanently damage the Caribbean reputation globally. Both the WICB and the WIPA are behaving like gods unto themselves, at the expense of the Caribbean cricket  fans. Both sides have got many skeletons in their closet, as we all know yet neither side seem willing to come off their “high horse” positions.

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The Darkest Day In West Indies Cricket

west_indies_cricketThe West Indies cricket test team was beaten by the Bangladeshis today. The significance of this result of being beaten by a team ranked last in the ICC Rankings is yet to needle its way into the psyche of the depraved West Indian cricket fan.

The West Cricket team represents one of the few regional entities which had been held up as a symbol of Caribbean unity. In light of the illogical decisions in recent years exhibited by the WIBC and WIPA, the biggest stakeholder of all the PEOPLE has now been dulled into a state of apathy.

To be a world class performer in any sphere requires the best management approaches and all that it brings. The members of the Board of Management (WIBC) which oversees West Indies cricket are not selected based on any pre-requisite competencies which mimic how successful organizations are run. Instead the Directors of the WIBC are all elected based on membership in private enclaves which operate based on petty whims and fancies of many seeking fame and fortune.

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WIBC, You Are Fired!


Groundsmen dig beneath the surface of the Antigua pitch and find a sandpit ... but was anyone connected with the ground really surprised? © Getty Images

One week after the euphoric episode of the West Indies cricket team humbling England in a test match in Jamaica, a reminder of  the ineptitude and lack of leadership which shrouds this sport in the West Indies rared its head yet again. After a couple overs we understand from reports that the eagerly awaited test match at the Sir Viv Richards stadium had to be abandoned. Caribbean spectators who have had their interest rekindled after last week’s win appear to find little consolation with the news that the match has been shifted to another venue in Antigua, to commence on Sunday.

It is of mind boggling proportions that a sport which the impoverished cricket nations of the Caribbean have reportedly sunk $500 million dollars to build stadia and improve infrastructure for CWC 2007 continues to be managed by a group of old fogies who appear clueless with foul-up after foul-up, and seemingly answerable to no one. The image attached tells it all. What can we say except that the perception of the Caribbean as a THIRD WORLD area must have been reinforced today. Continue reading

The Memory Of Sir Conrad Hunte 10 Years On

Submitted by The Rev Glenville Butler

Sir Conrad Hunte  West Indies  Player profile  Full name Conrad Cleophas Hunte Born May 9, 1932, Greenland Plantation, Shorey's Village, St Andrew, Barbados Died December 3, 1999, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (aged 67 years 208 days) Major teams West Indies, Barbados Batting style Right-hand bat Bowling style Right-arm medium Other Administrator

Sir Conrad Hunte West Indies Player: Conrad Cleophas Hunte Born May 9, 1932, Greenland Plantation, Shorey's Village, St Andrew, Barbados Died December 3, 1999, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (aged 67 years 208 days) Major teams West Indies, Barbados Batting style Right-hand bat Bowling style Right-arm medium Other Administrator - Source:

Dear BU,

Don’t know if you are a lover of cricket (the game); maybe you can help.

The Advocate published an article, “Arise, Sir Conrad” 3 Jan 99 after he was knighted. I don’t have my copy (usual stuff: ‘you will get it back’)- but I never did.

I would like to reproduce and readapt that article come Jan 2009 ten years or so after Sir Conrad’s passing. The last PM chose his specifically. Cant seem to get any joy from the Advocate.

Sir Conrad was to revive W Indies cricket starting in Primary schools because of his moral stance in life (Moral Rearmament) and his belief in equality of humanity.

I was freelance (Theology, Cricket, Politics) and interviewed him before he went to Australia never to return. That was sad. I belonged to his club Empire CC

Gordon Greenidge & Desmond Haynes To Be Inducted Into Cricket Hall of Fame

Submitted by: Jessica Angelo-Julien – Cricket Hall of Fame

Flashback to Gordon and Desmond In full cry

Former star West Indies opening pair Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes have accepted their nominations to be inducted into the Cricket Hall of Fame. This year’s ceremony is set for Saturday, September 20 at the Marriott Hotel, downtown Hartford. The other nominees are Florida cricket administrator Jeff Miller, co-founder of Lucas Sports Club in New York Mascelles Bailey and Mohamed Baksh, a member of the West Indies Cricket Umpires’ Training and Examination Committee.

The Rev. Canon Wilborne Austin, rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Bloomfield, Connecticut, will receive a presidential award for his services to the community. Greenidge, a Barbadian, one half of the West Indies’ prolific opening partnership with Haynes, began his career in 1974 against India and continued to play international cricket until 1991. A feared opening batsman, he played in 108 Test matches in which he scored 7,558 runs with 19 centuries. He is perhaps best known for his amazing double-double century performance against England in 1984 Continue reading

Clive Lloyd Shames The Caribbean

ckive lloyd-and-wife

other woman of clive lloyd

The right image shows one of the icons of West Indies cricket, former West Indies cricket captain Clive Lloyd with his wife when things were good. Based on media reports he is in the midst of a messy divorce which involves Bertha Joseph seen in the image on the left. Why have we focused on this story which is all too prevalent in modern society?

Our thanks to the BU family member who popped this story.

The BU household feels very strongly about the importance of the family unit. Even more important is the institution of marriage which has been trivialized and bastardized in the modern society. Clive Lloyd has been held up by the establishment in the West Indies as an icon. This has inevitably translated him to a role model for many children across the cricket loving Caribbean. The ongoing public spectacle may have reverberating consequences for how our small islands continue to develop on the socio-psychological front. The article in the Mail details several incidents of infidelity by Clive Lloyd, one of those times said to have involved a female who was the girl friend of a team player. While we do not intend to judge the man, we have no problem speaking to the issue of the betrayal by Lloyd of his marriage vows. People like Lloyd must understand the influence which their icon status plays in shaping impressionable behaviours from the societies whence they have come.

Clive Lloyd like many men before him have demonstrated the willingness to succumb to the lure of the ‘outside-woman’. Some may say that he was not happy in his union with Bertha but there is a right way to deal with the challenge of a failed marriage.

We hope that his former wife is able to get the fair settlement she deserves after 37 years of suffering.

Update: Lawyers In Pakistan Say NO To President Musharraf

Update to events unfolding in Pakistan: Imran Khan Arrested

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was arrested here Wednesday after he emerged from hiding for the first time since emergency rule was imposed. Khan appeared at Punjab University in Lahore ahead of a planned protest against President Pervez Musharraf and was immediately pushed inside a campus building by a crowd of students. However, a student organization has reportedly locked Imran Khan in a room at the Punjab University demanding of Imran to leave the university at the earliest. The former cricket captain, who now leads his own opposition party, was placed under house arrest on November 3 after the state of emergency was declared, but slipped the net days later and had been in hiding ever since.

Source:New QuettaHotel

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