Did They Really Have To Abandon Ship?

Everyone involved in both the administration and playing of West Indies cricket must shoulder a portion of blame for the latest virus to infect West Indies cricket.

The symptoms affecting this ailing organisation recently presented itself in the form of the disunity that led to the abandonment of the West Indies tour of India by the disgruntled Caribbean team, over player contract discord.

What’s wrong with us? What does it say about us as a people, that the WICB, the players representatives and the players themselves cannot ever work out their grievances off the field, instead of washing their dirty linen under the glaring spotlight of International competition?

Especially at a time when the West Indies team is wallowing in an unenviable position on the ODI table, only able to rank above minnows like Bangladesh, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ireland.

I fully agree with the past cricketing greats like Clive Lloyd, Courtney Walsh and Andy Roberts, who recently remarked that this latest slap in the face to our once proud cricketing legacy is a shameful one.

Could the players not have stayed the course, expressing in no uncertain terms to the WICB that they would play out the series presently committed to, under duress, but once they got back home they would have to sit down with all concerned to work out satisfactory money arrangements before committing to undertake to play another series?

I fully appreciate the team’s right to obtain the best monetary deal for themselves, as cricket is their livelihood. But as someone who served in the military, I am disillusioned at the sight of a mission embarked upon being abandoned before completion.

Sometimes we have to try a little harder to show that everything in life is not about money. There are other factors that should have been considered by the players before laying down their tools, besides the preservation of their livelihoods, like commitment, harmony, goodwill and legacy.

The WICB administration, on their own behalf, when making arrangements for the players, they too need to think hard about livelihood, commitment, harmony, goodwill and legacy. Because one hand cannot clap!

It seems to me that whenever we determine, correctly, that the path for West Indies cricket remains an uphill one, the slope just keeps getting steeper.

Roger Byer
Morne Jaloux
St George’s

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