Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Victimisation, or consequence of action?

Published:Tuesday | January 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM
FILE Bravo (left) and Pollard

Opinions continue to be sharply split down the middle as it relates to the omission of senior players Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard from the West Indies squad for the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup.

I must admit that I do find it disturbing that otherwise rational observers of the game of cricket can actually support, or in the least bit, empathise with the selfish and myopic actions of the West Indies players who, led by Bravo, simply walked out in the middle of an international tour of India.

It must be one of or a combination of simple ignorance, intellectual dishonesty, emotionalism, or narrow self-interest that would motivate any logical person, looking at the facts as they stand, to support the West Indies players, who had issues with a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed with the West Indies Cricket Board on their behalf by their union - West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) - president, Wavell Hinds.

The players were disgruntled with the amount on income they were set to lose with the signing of this new MOU and made their grouses known.

The West Indies board president, Dave Cameron, and the then under-pressure WIPA president, Hinds, informed the players that they were scheduled to arrive in India within days to try and resolve these issues.

Messrs Bravo and Pollard proceeded to lead the player walkout in the middle of the tour, much to the chagrin of West Indian fans, the WICB, the Indian fans, as well as the powerful Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI).

VICTIMISATION?

Looking dispassionately at that sequence of events, how can the blame lie anywhere else but with the players for this entire saga?

The buzzword for those mysteriously supporting the players' imbecilic and selfish actions continues to be 'victimisation', which again exhibits a level of cerebral deficiency that continues to cloud the analysis of this issue.

Victimisation is the act of singling out a person or persons for unjust treatment.

The dishonesty and shallowness of thought that characterise the brittle defence being put forward to support the players' actions, coming from the likes of Chris Gayle, a fellow player, Michael Holding, a former player and, surprisingly, so many voices across the region, would suggest to the uninformed that the players in question did absolutely nothing wrong, and that the WICB and its selectors have acted in a devious manner to exclude them from the World Cup squad.

Conveniently, for their waning cause, the defenders of the players fail to mention the still irrefutable fact that the actions of these players not only damaged the image and reputation of the region's cricket, but have left the administrators of the regional game grappling with a possible US$42 million, or the equivalent of a near half-billion Jamaica dollar debt legally payable to the BCCI.

NOT UNFAIRLY TARGETED

I posit that no victimisation took place in this scenario for the simple reason that neither Dwayne Bravo nor Kieron Pollard was unfairly targeted, nor were they unfairly treated. The fact of the matter is that no player has a divine right to represent the West Indies and no player is bigger than the institution of West Indies cricket.

The clichÈ response of blaming the WICB and especially its president, Dave Cameron, for his failure to resolve the problem is platitudinous and toothless.

We must, however, be careful not to get the wires crossed as it relates to the specific issues of what took place in India and the ensuing repercussions, and the overall challenges facing West Indies cricket.

The disturbing issue at hand is the overwhelming chorus of support coming from various quarters across the region for the two high-profile Trinidadians. Is it sending the wrong message? I think it is a sad reflection of the state of the thinking which has contributed to the pathetic state of our cricket.

I, personally, will shed no tears or lose even a minute of a night's sleep over the exclusion of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard. I don't think these two would make a big difference to the West Indies' chances of winning their first 50-over World Cup since 1979.

Bravo and Pollard should take their medicine like grown men. They are simply facing the consequences of their silly and selfish actions.