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Do not be fooled

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Yes, the region must still be smiling after the Stanford “Superstars” copped the very lucrative US$20 Million last week Saturday night. Understandly so, for it is not very often that West Indies supporters of Cricket have had much to shout about.{{more}}

Let us savour the moment of glory, but not be fooled with the one off stardom. Let us as quickly as possible come back down to earth and get in touch with the real world of Cricket.

Firstly, our players are not superstars, but most are merely starlights, who spark for a brief moment then go out. But we must still be proud of the level of professionalism they displayed on the night when it mattered most and give them what is duly theirs.

But the lines of one of Burning Flames’ releases in the 1990’s became apt during the recent Stanford series, more so last Saturday night. “If you get what you want tonight, will you remember me tomorrow?” The one night stand has ended.

Let us not fool ourselves; the players on both sides were driven by the money. And who wouldn’t be. It was worth the night’s work, to become instant millionaires, which could change many lives.

We have heard of the ill discipline that has characterised West Indies Cricket over the last ten years, so the fact that the Stanford Superstars were kept in camp for six weeks, tells the story.

The regimen of the players of the Stanford outfit, where they were required to put in hours upon hours to earn them the big pay is unheard of in West Indies Cricket circles. There weren’t the usual reports of breaking curfews and open disgust of the “long” six weeks camp. They were also under the tutelage of West Indies coaches in Roger Harper and Eldine Baptiste. A plus at least, we are starting to believe in our own.

But we can take the positive out of that, but it will not happen, as the players have shown; they have little regard for the board and its operations. It will be back to square one, once the maroon colours are worn, or whenever they represent the pure West Indies team.

The danger is that Stanford is slowly positioning himself as the earthly Messiah of West Indies Cricket; a dynasty, where he controls and is in control.

Let us dismiss as verbal thrash the view that Stanford’s initiatives are to help West Indies Cricket to get back to the top.

Can 20/20 Cricket carry us to the top of world cricket, Test Cricket that is, which we dominated for close to 15 years from the early 1980’s to the mid 1990’s? What it does is put money in the pockets of our cricketers in quick time.

Who remembers 20/20 matches when the acid test comes in the five day version? Lest we forget, it was the same Stanford who stated categorically that he is no Philanthropist, but a businessman. So what then is his interest? He wants to rake in the millions, while at the same time giving us some entertainment. You cannot blame him.

A lottery, a game of Russian Roulette is what the 20/20 version resembles. So anything can happen, in a split second, and any number can play.

In 20/20 cricket there is no time for liming or courting, much more romance; it is just slam bam thank you mam.

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), and now the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as well as the other Cricket Boards around the world have become the pimps in this new affair.

The WICB mirrors an impoverished woman who wants the quick way out of her financial dilemma, so she uses the method of a quick fix.

Stanford has stripped the WICB naked of its sanity, as he has penciled in his competitions in prime time, leaving the board to plan everything around him. That is the power of the dollar.

Stanford has the board at his mercies, the legends as back up singers, and the players are also marching to his every beat, with his offerings. While we have to accept that 20/20 is here to stay, there is nothing sweeter and more intimate than the real thing, genuine love for Cricket.

But there is no real love for the thought of mounting the “Mound” at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

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