Apr 07, 2016 Sports
Asks Sean Devers
Many people in the West Indies and especially Guyana talk a lot with little or no action. The culture of many
Guyanese is to not ‘rock the boat’ and go with the flow despite how oppressed they are.
Self preservation is more important to many than standing up for principles. They fear victimization and take whatever those who oppress them ‘dish out’ like meek little lambs if the oppressor holds a powerful or influential status.
Many make a lot of noise about the things that affect them in private but never say a word publicly.
The sociological and psychological make-up of many Guyanese is not too hard to understand.
In the days of slavery and indentured labour in the 1830s, British Guiana was the last port of disembarkation for Ships from Africa and India because of its geographical location. Only the most submissive made it here since the rebellious ones were thrown overboard.
So most of us are descendents of obedient slaves and indentured servants and our nature is not to rebel against injustice once we feel it could be detrimental to us or those close to us.
That is why politicians (from both sides) break promises to make our lives better knowing all we will do is lament about it and soon forget about the problem by giving us a bigger problem.
What does this have to do with Guyana or West Indies cricket? Everything!
A few days ago I realized how people just think of what they will lose if they stand up for what is right without thinking of the better good.
I was at the DCC ground recently and there was plenty talk about how disrespectful the WICB President was to players, Journalists and CARICOM and how they supported Darren Sammy for speaking up for his team
like a true leader.
Among those complaining were many influential people in the local cricketing fraternity. But when I approached them about doing a story about Sammy’s comments they all declined.
They agreed that Cameron is behaving like a Dictator, is arrogant and disrespects people but can’t say that publicly because “we gotta eat and we would be victimized” adding “but you (me) could do the story cause you know how we feel but mek sure you don’t put we name in the papers”.
The Coaches has their charges to think of, the parents wants their children to be picked for Guyana, the Cricket officials have their jobs to protect and WICB has the euphoria of winning three world titles in one year to give them some breathing space.
What a sad situation it is when people are too afraid or corrupt to speak out on what is right. This is a problem in all aspects of life in Guyana as most Guyanese have not yet been fully emancipated from mental slavery.
Cameron is seemingly obsessed with tweeting. He re-tweeted a derogatory comment against Chris Gayle, he tweeted that he hoped Sammy remembered the last time his critics paid his bills and was most disrespectful to the Region’s most senior and respected cricket writer Mr Tony Cozier; suggesting the media icon was blind.
On Sunday night after the West Indies World Cup win, I sent Cameron a congratulatory message and asked
a couple of questions. I knew that he received it in India because he replied “Hi Sean, good morning” and up to now I have not heard from him.
Cameron comes over as a very arrogant and disrespectful individual who loves his self importance without understanding he is far less important to West Indies cricket than the players.
While I don’t support the idea of Caricom dissolving the WICB which is the only body recognized by ICC to control cricket in the West Indies, I believe Caribbean Governments could force the WICB to hold ‘proper’ elections and change the executives by withholding their venues and concessions.
If there are no venues then there will be no cricket and the fans will rise up against the Board. The fans are a stakeholder in West Indies cricket and want the board, in Dave Martins words ‘to take a rest’.
Payment issues, the treatment of players, the non selection of their senior players for the 50-over World Cup, lack of accountability, the shabby treatment of their longest servant Shiv Chanderpaul, the disrespect by the President to the players in his foolish Tweets, the last minute arrival of uniforms for the T20 World Cup only due the efforts of Manager Rawle Lewis and the lack of communication with the team when its President was in the same place as they were making facebook posts with cricketing legends, are just a few of the problems affecting West Indies cricket.
The success of our three teams will camouflage the short comings of the WICB but we should not be fooled into thinking its business as usual.
Clive Lloyd said that the success of the T20 team was mainly due to the players’ exposure to the various T20
leagues, especially the IPL which is played in India where the world T20 was held.
Four recent decisions by WICB seem counter-productive to the development of West Indies cricket.
The disbanding of the Three-Day under-19 tournament suggest that the focus is on the shorter formats, which is good since T20s are very popular among this generation. But the decision also indicated that Test cricket in no longer a priority to the West Indies who have been involved at the Test level since 1928.
The non selection of players who did not participate in Regional Super50 could result in a depleted team facing Australia and South Africa in the Tri-Nation 50-over series.
The setting of the India series in the middle of the CPL T20 when the WICB had told CPL that the ‘window period’ could reduce the strength of the West Indies team, since most of the Region’s top players have signed lucrative contracts with CPL.
Mandating that all PCL games be played only at International venues means that the rural fans who tend to offer more support to their teams, will be robbed of the opportunity of seeing First-Class cricket at places like Albion, where lights (better than the ones at Sabina Park in Jamaica) have been installed. Youngsters not able to travel from Berbice and Essequibo will never see the Region’s leading players in action. Former Essequibo batsman Elroy Stephney mentioned similar sentiments in a letter in yesterday’s Kaieteur News.
Sammy, Bravo and Gayle are the latest to voice their disapproval of the manner in which the WICB is being run like an ‘old boys club’ but as former Captain Ramnaresh Sarwan who is a member of Red Steel Franchise, said this is nothing new. “Because of the popularity of the social media the fans have more access to what is going on behind the scenes,” Sarwan pointed out.
Enough is enough but if we don’t voice our collective disapproval and force the removal of Cameron from the WICB Presidency he will continue to be a law onto himself. It’s a pity that there are no more Sammys, Bravos and Sarwans to fearlessly stand up to the Board.
But I don’t expect those who ‘suck up’ because of financial or other gains to cut off the hand that feed them. This makes solving the problem that much harder.
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