Colin E. H. Croft
“When you think that things cannot become worse, they do!” “This is a whole new low!” “You think that
you have seen it all, then, boom, along comes something else that surprises even the greatest cynics!” Clichés abound for Guyana’s cricket situation. It is simply so deathly sad!
We should all simply stop, smell whatever roses are still left, if any really existed at all, try to communicate, and reflect on our heritage, history and continued hope, as pertaining to West Indies and especially Guyana’s present cricket existence. Can those be achieved? Where exactly is all this headed?
As Guyana’s saga continues unabated, its 1st class cricket team, ironically, has been doing relatively well while home turf is burning. With all teams off this weekend, Guyana, having won two of its four games so far, is handily placed, in 4th place, to fill one of the semi-final berths.
It would be highly instructive, psychologically, to know, better to understand, from a medical perspective, how teams, and individuals, can do so well under such strains and stresses. Some might even say that it is not humanly possible. Yet, it happens regularly. How exactly is this achieved?
Talk about playing with one’s mind and always being employed, ancient Greeks Socrates and his excellent understudy, Plato, along with more recent Austrian Sigmund Freud and his well-known student, Swiss Carl Gustav Jung, would have made millions, overwhelmed, had they lived to our times!
Determination, desire and self-understanding do overcome even most abject illogical stupidity. Having endured much personally, I can attest that human resilience is truly phenomenal. It is wonderfully rewarding, afterwards, when one can still raise one’s head with much success and massive pride!
Most people do survive drastic situations well enough to come out relatively positively. Just look at happenings in Libya and Egypt recently. There are still no real concrete, functional governments in either place with recent upheavals. It does take time, but time is all that there is to heal these wounds!
I have never experienced any home invasion, not in the way described by the press, by either legal or illegal personnel, so I could only imagine the trauma and downright fear of such situations, as experienced by the officers of Guyana’s Cricket Board. Were these intrusions so absolutely necessary?
Hypothetically, what would have happened if the family being intruded had young children, and, for some reason, one of the even legal personnel’s firearms had gone off, maiming, or worse, killing one of the kids? That has actually happened in many places world-wide. Who then would be responsible?
I am a massive fan of television series ‘Law and Order.’ Even there, one must take note about that other cliché of search and seizure – “A man’s home is his castle and his refuse.” As funny-man Jackie Gleason, as Ralph Kramden, spouted in ‘The Honeymooners’; “A man is king in his home. That is his castle!”
Not even in fiction, much less in real life, should anyone experience such stress. No-one’s family should be subjected to worry, fear and embarrassment of home invasion and search, even with probable cause. Do Guyana Government and its Interim Management Committee want to run the cricket there that badly, or is it that desperate people are reverting to desperate actions?
Regardless of what happens in anyone’s life, what probable cause one might have, or what one stands for, when any situation deteriorates to having one’s home raided by government officials, or kids threatened, might the officials be smooth ‘CSI Miami’ types or outright thugs, as is almost normal in the Caribbean, it comes down to life and limb. No public service is that important. Family must come first!
It is not surprising to see resignations for GCB officers. Many suggest that resignations should have come earlier. Jung, even Christopher Columbus, would remind; “The world is round. Whatever you send, will return! Be very careful that the shoes do not eventually fit you!”
Incredibly, among this continuing morass in Caribbean’s cricket, Australia selected its ODI and T-20 squad to tour West Indies. ICC, Australia and West Indies have schedules to keep, with games starting March 16, but this seems like inviting friends home for a home-cooked dinner when no-one could cook!
Last week was “Oscar week”, with TCM – Turner Classic Movies – and AMC – American Movie Classics – featuring Academy Award Winners. None came bigger than ‘The Godfather Trilogy,’ which had twenty nine nominations overall, winning nine Academy Awards! They do not make then like that anymore!
Cinema’s No. 2 all-time rated statement was by Marlon Brando’s Don Vito Corleone – The Godfather – the immortal “I am going to make him an offer that he can’t refuse.” BTW, No. 1 was Clarke Gable’s Rhett Butler, suggesting; “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” in 1939’s classic, ‘Gone with the wind!’
Pertinently to West Indies cricket, Don Vito, and Michael Corleone, also said in ‘The Godfather; “Never tell anyone outside of the family what you are thinking,” and “Never take sides with anyone against the family!” What? Really!
West Indies cricket’s family is now so extremely dysfunctional that its President, Dr. Julian Hunte, could rack up more frequent flyer miles than present US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, or those of her predecessor, that all-time, record-breaking airborne ambassador, Dr. Henry Kissinger, to repair it.
It was for Dr. Kissinger that the nomenclature ‘shuttle diplomacy’ was invented, when in 1973, as US Secretary of State, he flew more miles than most birds do in a lifetime, firstly trying to alleviate, then, later, effecting cessation of hostilities, in the Yon Kippur War, featuring Israel, Syria and Egypt.
Needing to go to Jamaica, probably back to Guyana, perhaps with a whistle-stop in Trinidad & Tobago, Dr. Hunte will need the combined diplomatic skills of Mrs. Clinton and Dr. Kissinger. West Indies cricket may not, yet, have a shooting situation, but our ongoing cricket wars are delivering bullets!
No. 6 world quote, “Go ahead, make my day!” Clint Eastwood’s eternal goad in ‘Sudden Impact’, with Magnum 44 pointed at adversary, is my favorite of all time. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer,” also one of the best; ‘Godfather Part II’; is, disappointingly, only at No. 58, yet it is so very true!
Ottis Gibson, West Indies head-coach, says that his players will make supporters’ days when Australia plays West Indies, as we should expect surprisingly good performances from our representatives. I simply ask this of anyone: Why exactly does West Indies play at all, if not but to win?
Referring to ‘home’, with that other serious diplomatic assignment for Dr. Hunte, to have exchanges with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Ms Portia Simpson-Miller later this week, Sabina Park must be thinking that it was adopted, and not one of the most established cricket grounds in the Caribbean.
I too agree that Sabina Park deserves Australia instead of New Zealand. If not for anything else, Sabina Park’s tremendous history in West Indies cricket notwithstanding, but for the fact that it was there, in 1995, that West Indies started that bitter spiral from being world champions, losing to Australia!
Now, much psychology, diplomacy and massive amounts of luck will be needed for our survival! Enjoy!
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