By Colin E. H. Croft
Chris Gayle has nothing to apologize for as regards West Indies cricket. He simply makes a living, representing
well. If criticizing and comparing employers, supervisors or managers were crimes, we would be self-incarcerated, forever. No-one would be out here. All, without exception, have done that!
One of the best aspects of professionalism is that “bosses” should be re-viewed, even by “underlings.”
As airline pilots, Captains and First Officers critique each others’ performances, good or bad, after every single flight, so that bad aspects could be removed and not repeated. Many lives, including theirs, could be in jeopardy if mistakes are continually made. There are, generally, no egos involved here!
When I started working as Engineering Assistant at United Technologies/Pratt & Whitney, one of the world’s largest airplane engine makers; 1989; one thing drummed into us was that we must have no fear of reviewing and revealing directives, even coming from lofty General Managers, or, for that matter, Janitors, which could be dangerous and detrimental, individually or collectively. That saved lives!
CRM is Customer Resource Management, aka Cockpit Resource Management. One’s General Manager, Chief Executive Officer or Chief Pilot is also a customer, since they do need services from you! Most people involved in running West Indies cricket should be re-educated. They need to learn much!
This Gayle situation is not about apologies. This is more about extremely, but little, vindictive minds – ‘small island mentalities’ – being put into important places, and positions, not knowing what to do now that they are actually there, but expecting everyone to cow-tow to them. Bah!
As is said in Guyana, “Taking crabs out of the mud does not take the mud out of the crabs!” How true!
My son, Lee, heard, from one of his professors, on his tertiary education graduation; “Having many wonderful qualifications only makes one qualified, not smart, not even educated. That only suggests that you can study and regurgitate well. Having common sense does not come from books!” True too!
Anyway, even though Jamaica managed to scrape into Saturday’s final of WICB’s Regional Super 50 tournament, against Trinidad & Tobago, Chris had apologies due, for situations he helped develop in that semi-final against the truly-gifted players of Sagicor High Performance Centre (HPC).
How could a master batsman with 91 Tests, 228 ODI’s, 20 T-20I’s, over a decade of experiences, 15,000+ international runs, 15,000+ additional runs too, subject Jamaica and his supporters everywhere, to that almighty swipe; and dismissal; against HPC, when his team needed less than one run per ball on their quest to win that semi-final. Rahtid bhoy, Sir Henry, you are much, much better than that!
So, for the headache, heartache and stresses that he caused many in that game, and the self-disrespect, maybe over-confidence, showed for his true, but unorthodox batting ability, he should apologize!
Last week, the world’s 7 billionth person was born. Christopher Henry Gayle, by computer imaging and reckoning, is, very officially, the 4,392,236,865th person in our world, the 78,947,093,321st person to have been born since history began. These numbers go well with his achievements, do you not think?
Also last week, I heard an interview that made me cringe with disbelief. On Sports-Max, the television station based in Jamaica, Clive Lloyd, the revered former West Indies captain, suggested that “Chris Gayle should apologize to West Indies Cricket Board!” As Gayle himself asks; “Apologize for what?”
The following words have been indelibly inked into my cricket psyche until the day I die – “We are not beating the rest of the world because of West Indies Cricket Board, but despite WICB!” – They were said to us, and to anyone who asked about West Indies cricket back then, by none other than Clive Lloyd!
Did he have to apologize for that? Should he have? Not to my mind! What he said was exactly fact!
Those words rebounded to that all-conquering WI cricket team from Lloyd, Deryck Murray and Viv Richards too. “Forget the f….. Board,” Viv would also say, filling the dressing rooms, “We are here to play and win. Let’s f…….g do those!” We almost always did!
When I started Central High School; 1966; I remember hearing my grand-father, a Wapishana Indian who had survived the real, tough Guyana bush, living to 92 years old, also saying something that I would never forget as long as I live; “People do not change. They adapt to what is going on around them like chameleons!” If this is not the case here, then I must be crazy!
West Indians have very short memories. There is even the suggestion, in Trinidad & Tobago, that we all have a “calypso mentality.” We eat, drink, are merry and party hearty. Those are all that really matter!
Like most everywhere, I too have great respect for Clive Lloyd. Like most players of that time, he also aided me much, including helping me play cricket for Lancashire County Cricket Club, thus enhancing my cricketing education, both cranially and physically. However, he is just plainly wrong here!
It was Lloyd who captained most of that same world-beating team, except only Alvin Kallicharran and Larry Gomes, when we defected to World Series Cricket (Kerry Packer). WSC offered us much more money than WICB could have. For more than a year – early 1978 to early 1979, we were all banned too!
Note should be made that that all-conquering West Indies team – 1970’s/1980’s – only came back together, as a unit, in 1979; successfully too; to defend ICC World Cup Championship; won in 1975!
I never heard that Clive Lloyd had apologized for that either. Like now, no apology was necessary back then. Like Gayle now, all that Lloyd and the rest of us were doing back then, was, firstly, saying to WICB that we were not getting the working conditions; remunerations and respect; that we also deserved. We were also plying our trade to the bidder, as Gayle does now, whom we thought gave us those.
If there is something wrong with anyone making decisions based on their perception of damaging and dangerous situations abounding in their lives or professional careers, then all of us must be crazy!
But, of course, Lloyd is now in West Indies and ICC Cricket Committees. ‘People do not change…… etc!’
Also, except for West Indies Players Association, meekly, barely, asking, I have not really heard anyone else stating that Sir Hilary Beckles, another of West Indies Cricket Board, should apologize to Gayle for adroitly comparing Gayle to that other “Chris”, his Jamaican country-man, Christopher “Dudus” Coke!
With the technology available, everyone has originals of that speech. Oh, I expect personal rebuttals from this; killing the messenger, not heeding the message; but this Gayle scenario reeks of hypocrisy!
According to statistics, Jamaicans live an average 72.2 years. That means that Gayle, at 32.2 years old now, has at least 40 more years to live. I say this to him now. Play as much cricket as you can, anywhere you can, and make as much money you can, for your family. Do what you need to do!
Popularity, loyalty and fame do not feed, clothe or house your family. Only money does those! Enjoy!
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