The following is an excerpt from pages 138-139 of Prof Beckles’ recent book on West Indies cricket, Cricket Without a Cause…:
“The final stage in laying the foundation for the rise of a twenty-first-century, competitive Test response was the establishment of a CWI-UWI Cricket Academy, built upon the foundations of the university’s success, and the CCC as a transformational force. CWI’s CEO, Ernest Hilaire, served as project leader. It was agreed to establish what was named the Sagicor-WICB High Performance Centre (HPC).
“This was a seminal development in Windies Cricket. The Hunte-Hilaire regime moved swiftly to embrace the premises on which it was conceptualized. It was further agreed that the HPC would focus on inducting cricketers who were exiting the Under-19 team but not ready to transition to the Test or ‘A’ Team squads. It would, therefore, be the bridge between the ‘youth’ and senior cultures ‒ a space known to have an unacceptable level of high attrition.
“These developments came together in the aftermath of the demised Shell Cricket Academy, led by legendary Windies cricket psychologist, Dr. Rudy Webster, at the St. Georges University in Grenada. Dr. Webster, an architect in the Third Rising of West Indies Test Cricket, mental manager of Clive Lloyd’s team in the late 1970s and early ʼ80s, had created an academy programme for CWI that benefited many players. The ending of this project created a space that needed to be filled. The UWI, taking this circumstance into consideration, moved to strengthen its relations with Hunte’s CWI with a view to partnering to create the academy project.”
The reader ought to read this excerpt very carefully and seek answers to, at least, the following questions:
Who agreed to establish the HPC?
Who agreed on what the HPC would focus?
What exactly did the Shell Cricket Academy do?
How did the Shell Cricket Academy benefit players?
What caused the demise of the Shell Cricket Academy?
Was it well known that people like Prof Beckles considered psychologist Rudy Webster an architect and the mental manager of Lloyd’s great teams?
Do many West Indian fans know what Sir Viv Richards had to say about Webster’s enormous contribution to his career?
If Prof Beckles believed that the psychologist Webster was so crucial to the success of those great teams, why did he not publicly advocate the involvement of a psychologist in West Indies cricket when it was in the doldrums?
Is the thrust of that excerpt clearly understandable to the reader?
How does the reader assess the Professor’s diagnosis of West Indies cricket and his formula for reviving it?
These are very important questions because it is evident that Prof Beckles has enormous influence in the administration of West Indies cricket.