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Allen Stanford bitten by West Indies cricket bug


Cricket possesses immense powers once the Caribbean breeze hits you. So it is with Allen Stanford. Having spent enough time in Antigua and throughout the region, it is not surprising that the cricket bug has bitten him.

The typical West Indian fan’s love for the game goes beyond money. However, it is easy for everyone to identify with Stanford’s multi-million dollar extravaganza. When it comes off, it will spawn tremendous activity, and coming on the eve of the World Cup, it could serve as a test of our practical resource capacity.{{more}}

What is on offer is of dazzling proportions. It appears unbelievable at any level. The extent to which the tournament has been analysed is up for debate.

The stakes are simply phenomenal and, without attempting to scoff at Stanford, there will be legitimate concerns about the authenticity of the exercise.

There is no doubt that the region has cried out for sponsorship over the years, and the appeals have most often been dismissed, or misused.

The region’s cricketers were given the impression that securing and maintaining some pride by being the best at the game did not necessarily coincide with good pay, or improvement in standards of living. Many great players ended up and perhaps some still are, in the shadows after having served at the highest level.

But that may be the Caribbean legacy. Because we are a harsh community, we never want to see the good that can accrue from any worthwhile project. When one ceases to function on the regional front, and resorts to the narrow zone of insular seclusion, the dream of Caribbean unity recedes to a pathetic gloom.

We nourish traits that lead to stagnation, that are symbolic of a decaying status quo, or we attempt to remain in place in the face of elements that have all the force of a tornado, and that are only too willing to push us into our rightful place whether we want to accept it or not.

This Stanford scenario makes for the film industry. The action signals to us that there is big business to be tapped in the Caribbean. The governments might be able to handle and direct it up to a certain point. The reality is catching up on everybody.

The responses of the various Associations, the West Indies Board or the West Indies Players Association to the Stanford initiative are enough to add to an already over-heated pot. Cricket is part of that recipe, at the very core of our economic and other heart-felt and hardcore objectives.

There will always be alterations to whatever course has been established. This initiative heralds the dawn of another era. How long and well will it exist? Your guess is as good as mine.