History is replete with examples of rights deprivations. Sometimes it actually seems easy. It often starts with the leader simply declaring that he can do as he pleases. If he (it is always a man) has a significant chunk of support he can act as if he can in fact do as he pleases for a long time.
While it is true that groups of people sometimes become very brave and emboldened to demand their rights, just as often people begin to wonder whether they have any rights in the face of bullying. I was wondering whether WI cricket fans have any right to ask CWI for information about the amount of money raised in the match at Lords on May 31 when so many cricket people demonstrated such generosity towards Dominica and other Caribbean hurricane victims. I thought of asking because I suspected that CWI did not do its best to promote the game, and also because it seemed that the West Indian cricketers put on quite a show, as I suspected they would have.
The most exciting performer was Evin Lewis. So I was naturally struck by the comment made by the chairman of selectors, Courtney Browne that “it would take a real sitting down with Evin and him showing he wants to be considered for test match cricket”. In the first place I wish we would use language like “5 day cricket” or “the longest form of cricket” rather than “test cricket” which does not properly identify the difference between that and other formats; but more importantly, I ask myself what is the source of the authority of Browne and his cohorts to exclude the young man who might well be the most exciting batsman in a game that badly needs exciting batsmen, until he “shows” he wants to play. Darren Bravo may have stood up rather than sat down when he promised not to pursue contracts for the shortest form of the game so that he could concentrate on the other two formats in his belief that those other formats were more important to West Indies cricket. As soon, however, as he got angry and said something foolish when the president did something foolish his career ended.
The West Indian cricket administrators are not the only ones but they are the worst of this bunch of crazy autocrats with much education but `Hard Heads’ who because they wouldn’t listen, have failed to integrate the three formats of the game and in the process, are killing the game that they had the good sense thirty or forty years ago to have made more consumer friendly by adding the shorter formats. A non-autocratic selection committee would have simply advised Lewis of the dates for the upcoming series and told him they would be delighted if he would play. There would have been a few more thousand people at the Queen’s Park Oval yesterday.
And while I am at it let me say that I believe the most important function of government is to provide for real education of young people. I don`t believe, however, as the CWI seems to believe, that education helps batsmen to master the googly or bowlers to master reverse swing.