Sun | Jul 22, 2018

Letter of the Day: Let’s play cricket!

Published:Thursday | April 14, 2016 | 12:00 AM
West Indies' Carlos Brathwaite celebrates after they defeated England in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 2016 cricket tournament at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

The Editor Sir:

The Under-19s led the way as the sun shone on the men and women in the T20s in Eden Gardens. Now in June, India comes to the West Indies to play four Tests and to seek redress. After all, we reduced the Wanekhade to a stunned silence in the Men's T20 semi final.

Acrimony ought to be parcelled away. We should unite to remove the distaste of the dissolved tour of India last year. Can we? We can't if the players and the Board are at each other's jugular.

India first came to the West Indies in 1953. Frank Worrell scintillated. Everton Weekes savaged and Clyde Walcott brutalised. In the first innings of the Fifth Test, they each scored a century - Frank Worrell, a double that hardly quenched the thirst for more grace more charm and more effervescence.

Those were the days of six-day Test matches, seven if you count the rest day. Those were the days when trees had firm roots and stiff branches, providing on-sight accommodation for those who could not afford the cost of admission.

But they were also the days of LOVE. There was a love for the game that sprang from the grassroots and many a schoolboy wished he was going to Holy Trinity (High) on Emerald Road where Sabina Park stood across the street. The love was such that the Indian spinner, Subhash Gupte, known for his leg spin and two types of googlies - yes two types, would spin yet another when instead of returning to India, wooed and married a Trinidadian. His spinning partner was Vinoo Mankad, who made a name for himself in 1947 when he coined a word by running out Bill Brown, the Australian Test batsman, for backing up as the non striker. We now know this as 'mankading', a run out that came in handy for the Under 19s against Zimbabwe on their way to lifting the Cup for the first time.

May it be suggested the WICB invite all school children to the respective stadia for the entertainment. Better a full stand than seats baking in the sun. OK a nominal fee.

Abate all inflammatory, rampant, reckless, rhetoric. OK then, abolish!

Admit mistakes were made.

Remind all, the present determines the future. Ordain that the West Indies captain, the coach and the selectors join hands in selecting a team prepared to fight to the end to maintain the fight that was shown in India...the spirit that was shown in India...dare we say the passion that was felt in India. Australian acquiescence? Let us have a West Indian presence instead.

That all qualified West Indians are encouraged to vie for selection including, asking those who have retired to please, and I say please, make themselves available for selection.

Inclusion, not seclusion. We only have to look at what happened to so many of our athletes who went to South Africa during apartheid and what became of these fine athletes.

Thomas Wolfe wrote, "You can't go home again." Maybe, but the Prodigal went back and got a great reception. Maybe we should find away to welcome back those who left.

West Indies cricket - it is all we have holding. I believe this is how our late great Frank Worrell, the archetype of a Leader would have handled it.

William A. A. Foster, MD