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Wrong cannot become right


The saga of Chris Gayle and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) versus the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has been dragging on for too long now.{{more}}

The theatrics of all parties concerned have been making the highlights reel of West Indies Cricket for the better part of the past 12 months.

The West Indies team is presently engaging Bangladesh in Bangladesh, but how many persons know this and are paying attention to their performance? The team fell for 61 in the last of the One Day Internationals, but who cares?

Most of the discussion surrounding West Indies Cricket has been about the request by the WICB for an apology/retraction from Gayle for comments he made on a Jamaica Radio Station earlier this year.

In delivering his latest consignment of disrespect to West Indies Cricket, former team captain Gayle criticised the WICB, its policies team, manager Otis Gibson, and team captain Darren Sammy. His no holds barred verbal tirade was broadcast on Klass Radio in his native Jamaica in April this year.

If the demand by the WICB for apologies from Gayle for his statements is requested in a genuine effort to improve on the image of West Indies Cricket, one must accept it on its face value.

However, if it is to settle a vendetta or for some personal recompense, no better the beef, no better the barrel, as Gibson has been openly critical of some of the players, which resulted in Gayle’s unprofessional outburst.

Gayle has also been crafty in his approaches to the current situation, as he plays on public sentiment, with his exploits in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and, most recently, the Champions League.

His appearance last week for Jamaica in the Regional Super 50 Limited Overs Competition in Guyana, sporting a West Indies team helmet adds to the drama. Earlier this year in the T/20 competition, Gayle was seen in the party stand in Trinidad and Tobago dressed in captain’s attire. No coincidence!

He has recently taken to the Twitter forum to make his feelings known.

Gayle’s preferred choice is to head to the lucrative T/ 20 competitions, where he mints money; hence he did not accept a central contract last year.

Conveniently, Gayle appears to be a lover of West Indies Cricket when he is not able to jet off as a free agent, and gets away with immunity.

His cause was further strengthened with the Jamaica Cricket Association appointing him for the current regional 50 over competition.

Gayle scripts perfectly as he often answers with good performances when he is at variance with the authorities.

Gayle is an employee of the WICB. Therefore, he cannot be allowed to walk in and out of the team, curse who he wants, when he wants and receive regal status.

Gayle, despite being 32 years old, represents the modern day Caribbean youth and has racked up countless intransigencies over time.

The sanctity of West Indies Cricket cannot and should not be undermined by the perceived and sometimes accepted sub-culture of our regional peoples in this the 21st century.

This is not to say that all the blame must be laid at the feet of Gayle and WIPA, as the WICB has its share of inconsistencies.

Gibson, through the WICB, has attained almost unilateral control of the team, which must be weighed carefully, as that can be detrimental to the unity of the team.

WICB Director Professor Hilary Beckles must have been out of place to liken Gayle to the “Don” of West Indies Cricket, a parallel drawn to Christopher “Dudus” Coke, a Jamaican who has become notorious for drugs, gun running and other related crimes.

No one is bigger than the sport, and the WICB must reach the point of deciding who is preferred, Gayle or Gibson, as their relationship seems irreparable.

Whatever the outcome, let it be the best for West Indies Cricket.

But apart from the two clashes of personalities, there is a lot to get right in West Indies Cricket, before we can think of returning to the top rung on the world ladder.