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Auld Lang Syne

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What is gone is gone, and cannot come back, as past is permanent and eternal.

So the year 2011 has come and gone in a whiff, with the fast forward mode in effect in the passage of time.{{more}}

Like many other facets of life, sports the world over has been twelve months of never a dull moment.

From shambolic, non performances to some acceptable returns, controversy, and indifferences, they were all part and parcel of the wide and wonderful world of sports.

But charity surely begins at home, and there was not much to shout about for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, except to say that we participated in several regional and international competitions, and that was that.

Except for the Thomas Saunders Secondary School’s historic participation in the Penn Relays and the good show in terms of organisation of the annual Inter Schools Meet, the past twelve months were just another pedestrian process.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines won the Senior Windwards Cricket title for the third year in succession, but the gloss was dulled by a rather ordinary display of Cricket by players from the four islands.

Football had its fair share of highs and lows.

This country welcomed back Venold Coombs into the fold of presidency of the local body, in another much publicized election, with promises of bringing back the sport to the people.

It was also world cup qualification time, and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines won one, drew two and lost two, in Group E of the CONCACAF Zone, and had to exit the race.

Regionally, the West Indies Cricket Board and the antagonistic West Indies Players Association have had another bout of their relentless dog fight, mainly over the reinstatement of temperamental batsman and former captain Christopher Henry Gayle.

Current Captain St. Lucia Darren Sammy was the other co-star, as his performance and place in the team were wrapped in criticism.

During the 2011, the West Indies won two of their six test matches; won ten ODI’s and lost seventeen, with two wins and two losses in the T/20 format.

As the year ended, we heard that the Guyana government has moved to intervene in the appointment of an interim committee to administrate the affairs of the Guyana Cricket Board, which is in turmoil.

That is West Indies Cricket for all of us to savour.

The rise of Grenadian teenaged track athlete Kirani James to take the gold medal in the 400 m at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, was a bright spark for all Caribbean people, especially those from the smaller islands.

Similarly, Yohan Blake of Jamaica rose to the top of the 100 m pack, following the disqualification of his countryman and world and Olympic record holder Usain Bolt for a false start.

But the sport also got a black eye, with the banning of several persons, found guilty of using performance enhancing substances.

Jamaican Steve Mullings did not dodge the net, as he was banned for life for notching up his second doping infringement.

But the hardest to hit the world was in the main hatch in the region, emanating from what has turned out to be an infamous meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Trinidad and Tobago, May 10 and 11.

Several Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials fell victim to FIFA’s probe. As the drama unfolded, it became viral and the cesspit of corruption gave off an unbearable stench.

Before the CFU episode, the world was beset by the allegations of the reward of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar. This was a hangover from the 2010 decisions.

Reports of kick backs and other personal benefits came the way of those who were vested in making the awards.

Elsewhere, mainly in England, there were the ugly incidents of racial abuse meted out to players of African descent.

The negatives sadly overshadowed the brilliance of Argentine and Barcelona magician Lionel Messi.

In one of the meanings of Auld Lang Syne, let bygones be bygones, and let us look forward with hope that 2012 will be a more productive one, and that the wishes of all will be achieved.

PS -The wishes, though, are for the betterment of sports and, ultimately, human development.

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