Colin E. H. Croft
This is just the middle weekend of the Caribbean T-20 2012, so there is a slight lull in the proceedings. For me, the
last two weeks have been unprecedentedly wild, so forgive me if, this week, I go on a rant! Some folks seem to confuse qualifications, knowledge, training, education and common sense!
Relatively important people have been contacting me, directly or indirectly, referring to my recent articles. Maybe I touched some raw nerves, or is it guilty consciences? However, I am profoundly impressed that they found time, in their self-appointed prominence, to read my offerings!
From my reports and exposes on R. Allen Stanford; yes, it was I who broke the fraud story, as still noted on BBC and MNBC web-sites; February 2009, during England v West Indies, Antigua & Barbuda; to recent assessments of Guyana’s “Kabaka,” Forbes Burnham, your comments make me feel important!
Firstly, though, I am quite proud of CT-20 cricketers representing “The Golden Arrowhead.” Despite blundering idiots having Guyana’s cricket mired in molasses, the players still managed; dug deep; to do the near impossible; win; with no preparation. Trinidad & Tobago was just a game too far; too early!
Stickiness does not reign only in Guyana. Trinidad & Tobago’s Minister of Sports, Anil Roberts, looks poised to have serious encounters, following recent previous preambles, with Azim Basaratt, President of Trinidad & Tobago’s Cricket Board. Simply, it will come down to who lied!
That reminds me of a magnificent statement that I heard from a Prime Minister in the Caribbean: “It is not that we do not thief. We do! But, we do not thief as much as that other party!”
Anyway, know this. Abuse to me and my articles matter not. Sylvia’s fu-fu, cook-koo, cow-heel soup, metagee, dumplings, cassava bread and pepper-pot left a hard, massive, lasting base. I am a tough boy! I also hope that you have lots of funds, as I am a working man. Like most, I need every coin I could get!
I am quite good with cameras, and have used one; with very recent upgraded models; since 1970. Believe me, I have reams; boxes; of photographs of all that I speak. ‘A picture tells a thousand words!’ Anyway, I do not ever speak with a forked tongue. It is not only my truth, but the real truth!
Like Shiv “Tiger” Chanderpaul, I am a Unity-Lancaster ‘country’ boy who will never cow-tow or perform fallacio to get ahead. I have never been scared of anyone, except perhaps my two ex-wives. Now, those are very formidable women, with great understanding. So far, we have honorable draws!
It does not matter what you say or do. Many have tried to destroy me. I am still very much here. None will succeed. Some of those who thought they could get rid of me have themselves already croaked!
I dare anyone to prove what I write to be incorrect. People confuse fear, respect, honesty and love. Being a-political myself, political correctness is for cowards too scared to say what they think! Not me!
With reference to last week’s article, I played cricket for Guyana; 1970 to 1982; Youth, Senior Guyana, West Indies. In that period, Guyana had only one “Supreme Leader”, LFSB. Even with suggestions that I was, at least for two of those 12 years, the world’s best fast bowler, I never met the man!
I do not pretend to be that important, even though I am relatively well known internationally because of cricket and sports journalism. I could only assume that Forbes did not have time for me, or that, maybe, I was not in his league. Maybe I was too confident, too independent, too secure, for myself!
I certainly never had any benefits, other than playing cricket for Guyana, from Guyana. People come and people go. The land remains, long after those who think they will live forever are also departed!
It was no coincidence that, also during that exact, same period, the majority of Guyana’s budding youth migrated overseas. While an Air Traffic Control Officer, I saw them myself, every weekend; old Timehri Airport; replete with relatives’ comments; “Ahwee bhoy ah guh Tarantah fee luk bettah futuah!”
If you think that was bad, I, realistically, should not be able to vote again in my lifetime. Aged 25, all of my votes were, somehow, “used up”, in one general election; Guyana, 1978. Even as I played for West Indies in Australia, I miraculously, unbelievably, managed to vote in Guyana, too; 24 times! Fact!
I was not even registered. Realistically, if you add 96 years to 25, I would be 121 years old, taking elections to be every four years, before I should be able to vote again. That fact alone pushed me out of Guyana. Any system that allows that does not deserve me. And, the buck stops at the very top!
Some commentators on my articles might try to explain these phenomena. However, contrary to some, in my opinion, Burnham is the single worst thing to have ever happened to Guyana. It has taken the country over 25 years, trying to extricate itself from inspired mess! The struggle continues!
All of my life, I have survived without political push, even though, with cricket travels, I have encountered many “real” big-wigs, dignitaries, people who made marks in the world, not just pompous minions and puppets. Guyana might have been my initial platform, but the world had been my oyster!
In my life-time, I have met Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, Mick Jagger, Q. E. II, George Bush Sr., all Australian, and British, Prime Ministers, since 1977, and many others, including all Caribbean’s leaders, except LFSB. Some folks may not ‘like’ me; par for the course. It does not bother me! Life is so good!
Oh yes, I did have help along the way. Lance Gibbs, Laurie Lewis, Clive Lloyd, Fred Wills, Compton Vyphuis, Godfrey Wray, Roy Federicks, Ovid Glasgow, Alvin Kallicharran, Rohan Kanhai, Leon Stewart, Reds Pereira, Charlie Griffith, Seymour Nurse, Joey Carew, Deryck Murray, Pascal Roberts, Prince Barthomew, Leo John, Ron Faria, Jackie Hendricks, Alan Rae; all helped me with my cricketing exploits.
Without help from Claude Raphael and Aubrey Bishop, I would not have had Sylvia’s home. Robert Roberts, Geoffrey “Reds” Murray, Aubrey Alexander, Tony Moore, Bill Mohaboob, Ronald Lee Own, Astil Paul, David Baker, Larry London and Philip Payne all helped cultivate my love for engines and aviation.
That never made me subservient to them, only grateful. If I were to relate persons that I have helped along the way; sports, aviation, professional life; to people in the streets, I could probably write a book.
If everyone that actually owes me money that I have lent to them in my 40 years of being a working professional, were to repay me fully, I would probably be able to buy a house anywhere in the world! So, now that I have gotten that off my chest, I say, specifically for my critics, “you do not matter!”
The Caribbean T-20 cricketers do. As things stand, any of the Caribbean teams can still get to the “Final Four”. Sussex, Netherlands and especially Canada have been putrid. Next week will tell all! Enjoy!
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