“Happy New Year! 2012 could be the last year for West Indies cricket as we know it!”

January 1, 2012 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Colin E. H. Croft

Colin E. H. Croft

With greatest respect to Scotsman Robert Burns, “Auld Lang Syne” be damned! What’s done is done! Whatever it was, it may have adjusted us, but not changed us. People do not change. They only adapt. We cannot now change 2011 occurrences. We should forget and move on. Happy New Year 2012!
Life should be too short to be holding grudges, even though many people are like Guyana’s Bush Master snakes, always moving in pairs. If you kill one, the other takes its place, to try to, mortally, bite you back. So, even very early in 2012, heels may still have to be used to grind these serpents into the dust!
But, 2012 could be a wonderful year; the best yet. It is a Leap Year. I look forward to friends who were born on February 29 holding tremendous parties. These “real” birthdays only come around once every four years. I wonder what happens if you were married on that day too? Anyway, celebrate all fully!
London 2012 Olympics is one big party and celebration that I plan to be a part of, by hook or by crook. It is much too close to our neighborhood for Caribbean inhabitants not to try to be there, a real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I fully promote travelling to London this year. There is mega fun to be enjoyed!
If you do manage to get tickets to London 2012, you have Johann Blake, Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the entire Jamaican contingent, and Trinidad & Tobago’s Kerry Ann Batiste and Jehue Gordon, at least, to support there; maybe.
Even without referring to 2011, Caribbean’s cricket starts 2012 with its usual asinine bacchanal. Old acquaintances will not be forgotten for some time. For starters, West Indies Cricket Board and West Indies Players Association do not look like calling any truce soon. The war continues on. Well….…!
Excellent cricketing events are ahead, though. West Indies satellites, at least for now – Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Windward Islands, Leeward Islands, Jamaica and Combined Campuses & Colleges – and invitees – Sussex, Netherlands and Canada – are busy preparing for next week’s Caribbean T-20.
Let’s deal with this immediately, even before we go to planned 2012’s international tours including West Indies teams, home and away. These feature Australia, England and New Zealand, and ICC T-20 World Cup, for men, and ICC T-20 World Cup, for women, the latter two to be played in Sri Lanka, late 2012.
I am not a politician and I do not like politics, even though I always exercise my franchise, but can this be the year that West Indies cricket, as we have known it, since 1928, comes to a decisive conclusion, to be, at least partly, dismantled, to be replaced by, maybe, separate playing countries? It is very possible!
Do Guyana’s new government and its Cricket Board really appreciate what they are doing right now? Can it be that “absolute power does corrupt absolutely?” Or is it, as I had mentioned often, that being supposedly so educated does indeed not make you smart? How can Guyana’s cricket be so stupid?
Somehow, this reminds me of 1992, when my very first dentist ever, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, became Guyana’s President. I visited Guyana then too. I would never forget being “warned”, for no apparent reason, even in pilot’s uniform, by the Supervisor of Customs at Timehri Airport, an Indo-Guyanese, that “Look, watch yourself. Remember, we in power now!” Is Guyana’s cricket in similar situations? I do not know!
However, I am very sure that, right now, WICB’s Competition Committee, perhaps even its full WICB representative members, must be, not may be, considering to eject Guyana from its T-20 2012 competition. As I understand English language, no cricketing entity anywhere should be run politically.
This possibility, though, did not come about only because of Government of Guyana intervention. G of G is not fully at fault here. Its actions are only reactions to severe, idiotic in-fighting that has consumed Guyana’s cricket for more than two years; simply, auto-cannibalism; that special art of eating one’s self!
Is this power so intoxicating or the perks so great that people who should know better, who have been around especially Guyana’s cricket for eons, could be so absolutely insane with position, and blind, that they cannot see what is happening to Guyana’s cricket? It has become the Caribbean’s early 2012 joke!
Few there, seem to really care about Guyana’s cricket. Where is respect for this special place and game that produced Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, Roy Fredericks, Alvin Kallicharran, Lance Gibbs, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and others? Are these power hungry people like the blissfully oblivious, naked emperor?
When I started playing for Guyana’s senior cricket team in 1972, Fredericks, Kanhai, Lloyd, Kallicharran, Gibbs, Leonard Baichan, Sew Shivnarine, all eventual Test players, were in that year’s team. Another international, Milton Pydanna, was wicket-keeper. Yet no-one even thought of Guyana going it alone!
Surely Guyana cannot now be thinking, ala Trinidad & Tobago, recently, and Barbados; distant past; that they could go it alone. Apart from Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan, Guyana, at present, has a no-name cricket team. Other players themselves do not know who they are, so ordinary they have been!
The scary thing is that Guyana’s cricket honchos do not have too far to go for pertinent examples. Surely they must have been following happenings around the cricket world, even in their gilded towers!
Zimbabwe has just come back into the fray from near extinction, after being somewhat exiled, on its own volition, I admit, but with “help”, if you will, from ICC, who stated then, and even more recently, in Sri Lanka’s case, categorically, that “any intervention from any political bodies will not be tolerated.”
Guyana can be banned from all cricket games operated under West Indies Cricket Board’s umbrella, regardless of what anyone else shouts. Making this situation worse is that, even as there may have been acrimony in electing the present GCB and President, at least they exist.
Where, then, does this Interim Management Committee come in? If GCB and this IMC were in cahoots, GCB would not have been taking IMC to court, filing injunctions two days before 2012 started. There is something disastrously wrong here!
Is the IMC, appointed by Guyana’s Minister of Sport, supposed to oversee Guyana’s Cricket Board? If so, then why have the GCB at all? Why not just go all the way and operate cricket under the IMC, and ‘devil takes the hindmost?” This situation is so filled with lethal content that it must blow, very soon!
With so much really good international cricket everywhere in 2011, I really continued to hope that West Indies would, despite itself, progress in 2012. As things stand right now, Guyana can be booted from West Indies cricket. Also, it would not be stretching the possibilities to believe that others could follow!
I do have great personal plans for 2012; to learn to speak Spanish properly and getting a CDL – Commercial Driver’s License – to drive those tremendous 18-wheelers, to match my CPL. But, instantly, cricket is still so full of intrigue, excrement and excitement, I may yet forego those plans! Enjoy 2012!

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