Tony Cozier’s piece in today’s (Sunday’s) papers has caused me to sit here reflecting on the current slug fest between Digicel and Stanford in the latest match to be organised by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
The involvement of Digicel causes me to reflect on their recent concert here featuring Jamaican band, Morgan Heritage and their familiar songs including, ‘Tell me how come’.
In Guyana, like the rest of the region, Digicel has become a house hold name. In Guyana and the region cricket is a household sport, and in Guyana and the Caribbean every household has enjoyed Stanford 20/20.
This is especially true for Guyana since almost every household watched as Guyana win in this first and memorable 20/20 final.
So tell me how come here in Guyana everyone in the cricket fraternity, who always have an opinion on everything, now have nothing to say?
Tell me how come Chetram Singh and his fellow directors are behaving just like current West Indies teams, seemingly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory (just when West Indies cricket has big sponsors they cannot manage the relationships but instead let their friends fight)?
Tell me how come the CARICOM Heads of Government who have a cricket committee which has in the past investigated and intervened on the basis of cricket’s importance to the region are now suddenly quiet?
I cannot help but think that the money has overshadowed the principles, and the vociferous have been silenced by the Stanford Sums. While I have been unable to completely understand the legal arguments and subtle difference in what the two sides want, I know that Digicel has made significant business investments in this region and considerable investments in our communities especially in sports.
The investments are far reaching and include cricket, football and – as we just discovered when lightning struck in Beijing – athletics.
Digicel invested in West Indies cricket when it made no sense to do so – the team was in decline, the management in disarray and the fans dispersing. That must count for something! Stanford has brought excitement and seems set on bringing more but let us not trample on those who went before and made the sacrifice when it wasn’t popular.
Tell me how come we have no loyalty, to our sponsors, our sportsmen, and to ourselves to at least have stopped this and collectively brought the sides to the table and hold them there until they reach an agreement.
The US Congress just did it to bail out their economy, what is wrong with us?
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