There will be no serious exposure for the West Indies team prior to the 50 Overs World Cup

Dear Editor,

It doesn’t appear to me that the strategists, revisionists, technocrats, directors and even the experts that are daily involved in the direction of West Indies cricket have properly considered the rationale in preparing the West Indies team for prestigious international tournaments, such as the World Cup. How can the West Indies Cricket Board prepare for next year’s 50 Overs World Cup tournament by scheduling its 20/20 format to precede the world event? In fact it was the reverse when the West Indies hosted the 20/20 World Cup earlier this year and the regional 50 overs tournament was the precursor. The result then was the disappointing if not unexpected first-round exit of the West Indies team. There will not be any serious preparation of the West Indies team other than the regulatory camp, and therefore I am convinced that this is not a professional approach which will yield world-rated results, except in the case of some individuals who are sublimely talented.

I am aware of the WICB’s international commitments and interest which are financially and strategically beneficial to the organization, and I know that next year’s regional 20/20 championship team has to be identified early so they can participate in the highly lucrative and eagerly anticipated 20/20 Champion’s League to be staged in India next year. But which one of these events will provide a lasting and proud legacy for us as West Indians, as our own Clive Hubert Lloyd twice did on the global stage? The WICB must put its priorities into perspective, as the organization has been caught up in commercialism, radicalism and even lack of loyalty as in the case of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard. Their individualism can have a devastating effect on the image of the WICB, and these players’ genuine commitment to West Indies cricket will undeniably be questioned, though their stance has been condoned by some directors of the WICB for obvious reasons. The world indeed has become an economic free zone and freedom of expression, as well as the maximizing of one’s earnings have no barriers, especially in the Caribbean. This is now diminishing the identity of the WICB as an institution, since the players have legal guidance, including from the West Indies Players Association, and there is very little trust between the two parties. This phenomenon of independence and the commercial rights of the players will not cease, but instead the competition will become even greater in a rapidly changing environment. The WICB must acknowledge this, and come up with the appropriate solutions. If not the WICB will suffer the same fate as Bourda, which was once our symbolic cricketing monument, where nostalgia, triumphs and patriotic chemistry once reigned supreme.

Yours faithfully,
Elroy Stephney

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