Without wishing to become embroiled in the WICB-WIPA imbroglio, permit me my entitlement, as a West Indian to the bone, to exercise that concomitant indulgence peculiar to right-thinking and like-minded regional sports enthusiasts. We are bonded in virtual unanimous approbation by our irrepressible love of cricket and its players of immeasurable universal recognition. Each one of us determines our heroes, some achieving iconic status; even the rum shop pundits have a right to their opinions, in true Desiderata tradition.
Indeed, the Heads of Caricom could not let the occasion go unheeded and pronounced, in no uncertain terms, their intentions to dive headlong into the pool of the affairs of WICB before it becomes solid in character that the game would have self-asphyxiated, hopefully drowning the present administrators with it. West Indies cricket is a brand name originating in the geopolitical region of the English-speaking Caribbean, not by incorporation via the statute books. The incumbent officials, however lettered, exercise an auxiliary executive authority traditionally derived from a delegated electoral process, however clannish, subject to the primary executive authority of democratically elected sovereign states, whose citizens are the potential selectees of a West Indies team. Until the WICB executives, individually and/or collectively, constantly remind themselves of this subsidiary role, their actions would continue to characterize the current disputation with the players individually and/or their representatives. This attitude was exemplified by the flaccid response received from the President of the WICB to the letter of enquiry sent by a Cabinet member of a sovereign republic and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr Frank Anthony recently, on the selection process, among other concerns. Not only was it disrespectful but it was characterized by pique and insouciance, bordering on utter disdain for the Cabinet intervention of a Caricom member state.
As an avid lover of West Indian cricket, commencing in the early ’60s, I do recall that Otis Gibson minimally contributed to the grandeur of our cricketing image, and unless mistaken, he was described invariably by the commentators as a trundler. Perhaps, reflexively, in Sammy, no better equipped, he sees an opportunity to register his disapproval of the then selectors in selecting him for only 2 Test matches, and is, subconsciously, seeking to repay West Indies cricket with some form of narcissistic legacy.
After considerable reflection, I can find no reasonable explanation for Sammy’s selection as captain, other than in the event he failed to contribute generally, there would be some form of justification for him retaining his place, whatever the adverse consequences. With no disrespect to Mr Gibson, I searched eight of the books on cricket in my library and could find only one reference to him, and it was to his limited statistics. The reverse is true of Christopher Henry Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan – all targets in his incumbency. The Board in choosing him, must accept this responsibility and his inconsequential contribution to West Indies cricket.
Whatever may be his aspirations, real or imagined, he ought to reflect on the precept of President Cheddi Jagan on regaining the reins of government, after being unlawfully excluded for 28 years, when asked by an experienced journalist about his vision for the future of Guyana, he responded that he was prepared to combine conformity with transformation. Guyana’s enviable progress is now history. Or if he prefers the wisdom of Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” The exclusion of Sarwan for the vital 3rd and final Test is just another faux pas.
Charles R Ramson
Attorney General and
Minister of Legal Affairs