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Sending the fool a little further

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The recent comments by Minister of Sports of Trinidad and Tobago Anil Roberts calling on the regional body Caricom to look critically into the crisis of West Indies Cricket is likened on to the game we played as youngsters called “Send the fool a little further.{{more}}

At least, Roberts in his capacity is looking for help outside the walls of those who make up the West Indies Cricket Board.

One can rightly understand Roberts’ comments and concerns, but what comes over is that he and others are in denial about the reality of West Indies Cricket and its myriad of issues.

It may be an absurdity and a misfit for Roberts to call on Caricom, as they, too, cannot settle things within the confines of their various meetings.

Does Caricom have the moral authority to fix West Indies Cricket woes?

Didn’t one Prime Minister some time ago refer to Caricom as a ram shackle organization?

As a people, we are seeing the things in the daylight and using flambeaus at nights to look for them.

Chiming in with Roberts’ call was Chief Executive Officer of the WICB Dr. Ernest Hilaire.

Surely, Hilaire was waiting in the wings to pass on their inefficiencies as a greater regional problem that is needed or the wider input of others.

Sometimes it is not worth reminding persons of thoughtless pronouncements made by the custodians of the sport in the Caribbean.

Hilaire was reported as saying that it is unthinkable that WICB alone can put in place a sustainable and successful programme and West Indies cricket can reach the pinnacle of world cricket without the involvement of regional governments.

Dr Hilaire is hopeful that Caricom would assist the WICB in implementing the comprehensive menu of plans and programmes it has for the development of West Indies cricket.

He further explained: “The help from governments is especially crucial at the level of schools, clubs and national associations and with regard to the procurement of equipment, the need for sponsorship of tournaments, improvement of local facilities and general governmental endorsement that cricket is a national priority throughout the Caribbean.”

Indeed, one thing about his statements is that he is conceding that the WICB does not have the capacity and acumen to take Cricket out of its protracted slump.

The learned CEO should be reminded that it was the same governments which provided facilities and other support structures when the West Indies was invincible for more than a decade.

It is the same governments which through their respective ministries facilitate Cricket in schools, which in turn form a breeder for national teams, and ultimately the West Indies.

In short, Hilaire is passing the buck on, when it ends with the WICB.

Hilaire knows well that in the past decade there have been five presidents of the WICB; six CEO appointments; eight selectors, with no chairman ever having served a second term; and eight West Indies men’s senior team captains, including three stand-ins.

To go with this there have been close to 100 new players making their test debut within that time frame.

Hilaire and among them know that little has been done in terms of player development over the years, and those at the board level have retarded the sport with their lack of vision and their ineptitude.

It does not need Caricom, but a clean slate of persons with fresh ideas and creative energies.

Caricom need not intervene if the WICB and the West Indies Players Association would grow up and stop playing ‘baby house’ with Cricket in the region.

Should Caricom put a hand in the low turn outs at the matches in the current series against India, or should they ask why even here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines CD Veira/ Singer gallery does not have any one viewing the matches because the proprietors do not see the need to turn on their televisions for passers by.

The senior team is eighth in the test table and seventh on the ODI rankings, and has won one test in the last two years.

This is where we are, Mr. Hilaire .

This column still calls for the complete removal of the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

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