The article below is reproduced from "CARIBBEAN 360"news and was penned by Vincentian politician R. T. Luke V. Browne. The author flayed Professor Beckles and Dr Hilaire: the former for "equating" Sammy's captaincy to that Sir Frank Worrel (in his article: Cash, Cricket and Country) and the latter for his notorious "star team"comments. Apparently, the article - like that of Professor Hilary Beckles - is well-written, very logical and makes interesting reading. Read on!
|RT Luke Browne|
St Vincent, Friday May 11, 2012 - Ernest Hilaire should be rebuked by Dr. Hon.
Robert Lewis — the Minister for Education, Human Resource Development and
Labour in his native St. Lucia—for his gross disregard and disrespect for the
rights of professional West Indian cricketers. Dr. Lewis, as far as I could
see, has a healthy respect for the role of trade unions and workers rights that
is simply not reflected in Hilaire’s conduct as West Indies Cricket Board CEO.
Critically, also, Lewis serves an administration that has recently reemphasized
the importance of a Labour Code in St. Lucia. It is important to make this
point at a time when we have just paid tribute to the heroic historical
struggles of workers on May 1, and given the understandable perception that
Darren Sammy was rewarded with the captaincy of the West Indies cricket team
because he undermined legitimate, and nonetheless effective, strike action
coordinated by WIPA in 2009.
is therefore quite strange, ridiculous, and even preposterous, that Professor
Sir Hilary Beckles could say in an article titled “Cricket, Cash and Country”
that Darren Sammy is a “Worrell-like figure.” It seems as if Beckles, once a
leading Caribbean historian, has lost his sense of history. If anything, Darren
Sammy is more like Denis Atkinson and Franz Alexander who—as very inexperienced
white cricketers of limited ability—were appointed to lead, in the 1950s, West
Indies teams with infinitely more experienced and talented players like the
3Ws. Frank Worrell was repeatedly overlooked—before 1960—because he, in the
Board’s eyes, and according to Professor Woodville Marshall of Cave Hill, “had
transgressed against their code for appropriate behaviour by people of his sort
by daring to protest terms and conditions, by rejected invitations to tour, by
being a rebel (a cricket Bolshevik); and they expected these public
transgressions to disqualify him in the eyes of responsible members of the
Worrell was actually subjected to severe public criticism in his time for
some of the same reasons that Chris Gayle has been criticised, and it is
noteworthy that Worrell fled Barbados as a result and opted to live in Jamaica.
West Indies cricket was affected in the 1950s by the same problems that have
reappeared today. Professor Marshall told us, for example, that “arrangements
for every Test series from 1948 were plagued by the uncertainty about the
availability of the professionals, the stars of the side and the bulk of this
side after 1950, because of the difficulty of finalizing terms between
themselves and the Board.” So what’s new? The historians must not pretend that
the Indian Premier League (IPL) and similar competitions have introduced
tensions that the cricket world has not experienced before, and that West
Indies cricket has not overcome before.
tells us that the appointment of captains on the basis of class or other
considerations and not on merit undermined morale and spread dissension,
perhaps to the point of sabotage of the team effort. We have also learnt
through Worrell’s tenure that a good captain could radically transform the
fortunes of his team. It appears to me that team performance depends more on
the quality of a captain’s leadership than on any other single factor, and that
a mediocre player could never be a good captain.
Hilaire’s recent remarks about the need to select a star team and not a team of
stars, or—as he also put it—the need to select the best 11 and not the 11 best
should be dismissed out of hand. The 11 best would generally make our best 11
if the captain and our administrative leaders are well selected.
say that Sammy’s captaincy record is comparable to the record of his
post-Richardson predecessors, which is not even true, is to miss the point
completely. To suggest that if we are going to lose, it doesn’t matter if we
lose with a second-rate team is foolish. We should always put our best foot
forward. And we should be serious about making the West Indies great again.
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