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Cricketers now free to roam

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The move by the West Indies Cricket Board to cater for cross-border representation by regional cricketers comes in the scheme of things. Not that there is any sinister afoot to defraud anyone of anything. But there seems to be a grasping of the situation that anything in the best interest of regional cricket ought to be encouraged.

The implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy serves as an ideal backdrop to the fulfillment of that Caribbean dream. It is known, and established that cricket has been the single factor that underlines regional integration. {{more}}

Even as complaints of insularity threaten to undermine the process, the West Indies cricket team remain a symbol of hope.

It is encouraging that the Caribbean is beginning to see itself as a single entity, even though the impetus appears to have been driven by pressure from outside.

Our history is one of untold suffering, and some people in their quest for survival have sought to ride on the backs of others, or sell them out, just to get favours from the masters.

A new day is dawning on Caribbean shores. Perhaps the magnitude of staging the ICC World Cup has opened our eyes to the fact that there is more in common between us than hitherto appreciated.

So with the scattering of islands across the region, the truth is that there are similarities with every Caribbean territory. And those lessons are more than any other part of the world can readily appreciate. For the region is a cultural melting pot, and even as we grouse over the impact and effects of our conquest, slavery, colonisation and neo-colonialism, we cannot deny the role of cricket in our Caribbean psyche.

Besides the game itself, the mixture of the different people in forming the Caribbean civilisation, has contributed to our laid back, languid, happy approach to cricket.

Call it calypso cricket, reggae, spouge, cadence, chutney, or whatever label, there is something unique about us. And it has perhaps to do with the composition of our population. Whatever the person’s ethic background, there is an element of Caribbean identity that has shaped cricket in this part of the world. It will be on display during the World Cup, on and off the field of play.

So what is wrong with having players from whatever territory involved in the game at whatever other level. That is encouraging, and whoever is responsible must be commended for their foresight.

It is coincidental that such a policy is being hammered out around this time. The trend has been obvious from ever since, for the Caribbean people are a migrant population, as has been proven over the years. And it has been acknowledged that it is generally the young productive element who takes the risks of finding a method of survival outside his or her borders.

And remember that necessity knows no law, so efforts of durability are enhanced with every migrant person.

Perhaps this is an injection of resource for which the region is blessed but which also has to be harnessed, nurtured or controlled.

However the issue unfolds, as long as it is in the region’s interest, everyone will be pleased.

It seems like the Caribbean is waking up to the reality that we are a dot in the ocean no matter how much we like to think of our individual States as the best and the biggest in the world.

So from October, cricket turns a new page and a different ball game will surface. We have to adjust to the scenario with the maturity with which we are expected to look at every aspect of life, and overstand the situation, to use a well-worked and well-coined Rastafari expression. For that is the only way we can overcome obstacles that impede our progress. Could this be a lesson for politicians?



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