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.

Is Trinidad The Hegemonist Of The Caribbean?

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Globalization, a widely used term, can be referred to as the increasing interconnectedness and geographical scale of economic, social, and political interaction. Globalization includes actions to reduce and/or remove barriers to international trade, while promoting new technologies and allowing technologies to be marketed globally. It also involves both national and international policy measures to support expanded transport investments.
(Capineri and Leinbach, 2003; Janelle and Beuthe, 1997)

BU does not intend to bore our readers with all the technical lingo of how globalization and the collateral issues should be defined. We are simply seeking to address issues which resonate with the Barbadian and Caribbean publics. The dominance of Trinidad in the economy of Barbados is already a reality; although the current proposed mergers are being promoted on the basis that as a CARICOM people we need to leverage the resources to combat the onslaught of globalization, Barbadians, like the Bahamians are not convinced that we are headed in the right direction. The sad reality is that globalization by its design will change the traditional way countries have to interact; national boundaries will become blurred. It is this dynamic that will prove to be a challenge for developing countries like Barbados. We continue to look to Professor Howard and other economist out there to address in a more practical way the issue of how small countries like Barbados should chart its path in a global economy.

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Professor Michael Howard Lectures Prime Minister in Economics 101 – All Barbadians Need to Understand the Downside of the Current Economic Policies

Professor Michael Howard

Many Barbadians have been disappointed that the many products of our “free” education system are satisfied to return to society and be “servants” of the system. The lack of involvement in societal issues with a view to making the system better as a consequence of their higher learning is one of the greatest disappointments which BU has experienced post-Independence. In the BU household we have always stressed the importance of giving back to the society in whatever form.

BU’s customary preamble was inspired by a letter which was submitted to the editor of the Nation Newspaper by Professor Michael Howard of the University of the West Indies. The late Wendell McClean, Stan Reid, along with Frank Alleyne and in more recent times Don Marshall and Michael Howard are the notable exceptions of academics from the UWI who have ventured into the public domain to offer perspectives on the many social issues shaped by their exposure to higher learning and research. We find Professor Howard’s letter very interesting because many of his points are coterminous with how the average Barbadian is currently feeling about the same issues.

Professor Michael Howard’s Bio for those who may want to question his authority to lecture Prime Minister on the subject of Economics.

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Bob Woolmer Was Not Murdered~Jamaica Police Dropped The Ball


Source: Nation News

Jamaica police have scheduled a news conference for later today (Tuesday) in which it is expected they will confirm reports that Bob Woolmer died of natural causes and was not murdered.

The conference will be addressed by police commissioner Lucius Thomas, who will read a statement, outline toxicology results and give details of post-mortem examinations carried out on Woolmer’s body.

Read More: Cricinfo

 

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Caribbean Region Spends Millions On CWC 2007 But The Three Musketeers Make Millions

The wife and I decided to pay for the premium CBC MCTV channel “Sportsmax” so that we could follow the exploits of the West Indies team in England. Let me say that I was not keen at the idea but the wife is an avid cricket fan for reasons which we can discuss on another occasion. Just imagine our disgust on the weekend as we sat on the sofa following the spirited performance of the Sarwan led team, BAM, football appeared on the screen out of the blue. We consoled ourselves that it was a glitch which would sort itself out in short order, but after ten minutes we knew that something was up. A call to the CBC confirmed the unthinkable-the test match broadcast would be interrupted to broadcast the FA Cup football. Imagine our horror, the mid-day expectation of a relaxing time with the wife on the sofa eating cheese and biscuits with tall glasses of mauby was now shattered, both of us are no football fans.

Anyway the good news is that unlike cricket a football game will rarely extend past 2 hours so that our disappointment was sooth later in the afternoon. However the incident has remained in my mind for the reason that as a cricket playing nation we are getting it completely wrong as far as broadcasting cricket in the region goes. Can anyone imagine football in Latin America or baseball in the USA being interrupted by a lesser sport? How is it that our national sport, King cricket has now been relegated to cable and the largest media group, Starcom Network in Barbados which boast of 100,000 listenership has decided to not bring coverage for economic reasons. Why is it that a region that is reputed to have spent close to one billion dollars to host CWC 2007 not take the required decisions to permit the broadcast of cricket to a wider cross-section of its citizens so that the momentum from CWC 2007 can be taken advantage of? So many questions came to mind that BU just had to “dump” on our readers tonight before hitting the sack.

It is no secret that at BU we feel that cricket is dying – for reasons mainly associated with our changing society- and the money spent on CWC was just too much. A few articles can be found on BU explaining our position to death. Back to the thrust of our concern on why the Sportsmax cable channel would interrupt cricket to deliver football. We were told that the company owns only one channel and a decision was taken to interrupt the cricket to satisfy the football fans in the region. We suppose that if we were in the shoes of Mr. MacIntosh who is the CEO of IMC, the parent of Sportsmax, we might do the same for economic reasons. This paradox which occurred on the weekends clearly illustrates that as a region we have it all wrong when our national team would be playing the first test of a series at Lords and a privileged few with cable which includes the Sportsmax channel would be the only ones to witness the event in Barbados. The fact that we had to suffer the interruption of football we have since taken in stride as the sign of a changing time.

What struck us for six was when we did a search on the Internet to read-up on Sportsmax and stumbled on the following nugget of information:

Now, McIntosh is right where his heart’s desire is ­ back home mixing hobby with business. He is the managing director at IMC, whose other main partners are former captain of the West Indies cricket team, Courtney Walsh; Dehring, Bunting and Golding’s Chris Dehring and Rousseau. IMC is based in St. Lucia and is the parent company of Financial Channel (FC), SPORTS MAX Limited and Caribbean Sports Marketing with its operations at 14-16 Trinidad Terrace in New Kingston.

Source: Jamaican Gleaner

Now knock me down with a feather! To think that these are the guys who have been thumping their chests as the saviours of cricket but in another role they have secured the rights to our cricket and have chosen to deliver it in a way that will make money for them. To hell with the region and the idea that a reasonably priced cricket package could serve as a fillip to the young boys and girls in the region who should still be pumped after CWC 2007.

Searching Questions Listed In Anonymous Letter About CWC 2007 Making The Rounds

It has come to the attention of BU that an anonymous letter raising several concerns about how Barbados tax dollars were expended around CWC 2007 was sent to David Thompson MP, Richard Sealy MP, Denis Kellman MP, Austin Husbands, David Ellis and Adrian Loveridge.

A summary of the contents of the letter is as follows:

1) What was the expense to the taxpayers of Barbados for this charter out of India?

2) What was the role of the Director of Cruise Tourism that requested her to travel to India three times?

3) How many passengers eventually travelled to Barbados, and took cabins on the (Carnival) Destiny?

4) How many ICC tickets were purchased by the BTA to give away and at what cost?

5) How many certified travel agents and certified journalists from India did the BTA pay to travel to Barbados?

6) To sum it up, how many people in all did the BTA pay for?

The letter goes on to make some allegations which we can possibly explore with the help of our tourism guru Adrian Loveridge.

Source: Adrian Loveridge