Dear Editor,

Do not be confused. We are writing here about sport: cricket, to be exact. Two Jimmys, Adams and Grave, apparently the only rational (some might prefer sane) members of the WICB, declared since April or May 2017 (shortly after their respective appointments to the posts of Cricket Director and CEO of the WICB) that having all WI cricketers eligible for selection to the regional team was the essence of selection rationality. They found it necessary to make this pronouncement because the boys, whose eagerness to improve the living standards of themselves and their relatives by playing cricket in foreign countries for short periods for enormous sums of money, constituted a serious threat to the moral fibre of West Indian cricketers. The Adams-Grave idea was seen as so revolutionary that it could not be implemented immediately. Such implementation was postponed to the board meeting in September to give the other board members time to adjust to this traumatic change in policy. In fact, such an immoral and dangerous policy was seen as acceptable only because it would enhance the chances of the team’s qualification for the 2019 World Cup, for which qualification Sept 30 was apparently the deadline. No one involved seemed queasy about the use of the word amnesty in a discussion about young men who had, in fact, by and large, lived exemplary lives. In speculating about possible causes of such a state of cynicism I was driven to wonder if its foundation may have been the infamous speech by Prof Beckles about five years ago in delivering, of all things, the Sir Frank Worrell lecture, when he compared Gayle to the notorious Jamaican criminal gang leader, Dudus, for which he felt obliged to apologise to Jamaicans only. With due respect I suggest that one way to regain our sanity may be to have someone in the region of the calibre of the same Professor Beckles, give some more lectures focused this time on the most common phenomenon in international sport ‒ cyclical decline ‒ and the importance of human resource management, psychology and planning in preparing for international sporting contests.

Yours faithfully,

Romain Pitt

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