Colin E. H. Croft
There was a rumor, confirmed as such by West Indies Cricket Board, that Sir Richard “Richie Rich” Richardson, present
West Indies team manager, has been ousted and replaced by former West Indies fast bowler, former team manager, Joel “Big Bird” Garner. That change would make no sense at all!
Approaching cricket from different angles, both have been extremely professional, erstwhile managers of WI teams, and are, more-or-less, cut from the same cloth!
I sincerely hope that it was indeed just a rumor, but let us get back to what got us here in the first place. Someone, somewhere in WI cricket, is trying really hard to sow desperate discord in the organization.
Anyway, all that could have been said or written about WI’s aborted tour to India has already been said or written. Whom-so-ever, which entity, was wrong, should be held accountable, or was stubborn or just stupid in handling the ineptness of the aborted tour last month, will eventually be found out too.
Meanwhile, let us just get on with the damned cricket on the field of play. Nothing that we can write or say, for now, will change much. But West Indies needs to be focused on playing cricket immediately.
Whatever happened in India 2014, in times past too, from Sir Frank Worrell, 1948, to World Series Cricket, 1978, to the snafu of WI tour to South Africa, 1998, and onwards to last month, please note this:
Similar situations will occur again in WI cricket’s future. You can bet your house on that!
So, instead of crying over blown fuses, trying to reach back into the future on things that we cannot change at this very moment, let us deal with what we have right now; revamp and renew our thinking to move speedily into the future; even if we will, eventually, when time becomes right, review the past.
The present has already just become the past, with the future beckoning to become present. Let’s go!
This is like a failed marriage. You either move on with your life, hopefully to better things, or simply pine and die. Nothing is ever guaranteed, but at least new horizons are available. Let us try to exploit those!
WI cricket, as it has always done, as we all have suggested and lived through, will survive this too, in some form or fashion. Just let the clouds blow away to show blue skies. That is what life is all about!
When people think that they have conquered, those supposedly conquered could emerge as very differently-abled persons or entities, managing surprisingly well, despite what happens around them!
I have great respect and admiration for Sir Richie, former WI captain. Perhaps he is just too nice and decent a guy, but, believe me, he has great toughness in his belly, blazing bazookas in his very analytical brain, to shrug off all flowing blowhards. “Richie Rich” is as steely as they come; a silent assassin!
One does not survive the onslaught of being elected captain, a winning captain too, after Desmond Haynes was supposedly earmarked to be Sir Vivian Richards’ successor, then playing 86 Tests and 224 ODI’s, scoring over 12,000 international runs, without being able to withstand heavy thunderbolts.
1995 WI tour to England, for example, Sir Richie nearly lost his team and its captaincy. He was openly told by then senior players who now hold legendary status in WI cricket histories that “your captaincy is now over. We are not playing under your captaincy anymore.”
Very true. I was actually there, listening to the abuses and diatribes aimed at Sir Richie. His resilience then, and his continued inclusions and involvements to this day, could also be called legendary.
Some of those same 1995 senior players have themselves become captains of subsequent WI teams.
Upheavals in their following teams have also shown that everything that goes around does eventually come back around. Remember that afore-mentioned WI 1998 tour of SA?
It was not Sir Richie’s fault that WI players went to India without properly signed contracts. Surely his purview should only be that his players are relaxed, ready and rearing to go, making sure that all things non-cricket are in place for successful tours.
My former fast bowling partner, who started his Test career the same day that I did, Joel “Big Bird” Garner, has been a good WI manager in the past too, but at this time, that change is not at all necessary.
Joel’s international bowling was meanness personified; 58 Tests and 98 ODI’s, at unbelievable averages of 20.97 and 18.84 runs per wicket, telling their own frugal stories. Only Sir Curtly Ambrose could compare. Joel’s management style is similar to his bowling; respect all, take no stupidity from none.
WI’s present senior players know their strengths, on and off the field, yet I know that they could not push either Sir Richie or Joel around. Both have always been trench-fighters who would battle to the end for what they believe; no quarter asked, no intention to give any.
“Richie Rich” and “Big Bird” are mean and tough, manifesting those qualities in different ways! Enjoy!
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