The Wright View | CPL T20 on fire - Women's Super50 needed better planning
Jamaican sports fans were royally treated to well needed success as the Jamaica Tallawahs started their "home programme" in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 cricket competition.
The sight of Chris Gayle (complete with rust-coloured sideburns) in full flight is well worth the price of a season ticket.
Rust-coloured facial hair was introduced to Jamaica by former world record holder and perennial fan favourite Asafa Powell some years ago when his blond-rust-coloured goatee caused quite a stir. A few defeats in competition soon resulted in its removal, but with the continued victories of the Tallawahs, Chris' sideburns may just become permanent.
A pleasing feature of the CPL T20 is the way that Caribbean cricket fans have taken to the plethora of foreign stars parading their skills at the different cricket venues in the region. All that West Indian cricket fans want to see is the best players parading their skills in competition.
Meanwhile, news that our national team has been eliminated from the final stages of the regional women's Super50 competition brings into sharp focus the continued selection of Guyana for cricket competitions and matches during the Guyanese rainy season.
In the Super-50 competition, title-holders and finalists Barbados had three of their matches abandoned due to rain. Trinidad and Tobago had four of their matches abandoned for the same purpose. Ironically, Trinidad and Tobago beat Barbados in the only match that they were able to complete.
Look out for a press release from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) at the end of the tournament gushing about the wonderfully successful competition as the winners are congratulated.
Every cricket enthusiast throughout the world understands the importance of match practice and the experience of competition in preparing teams for competition. That truism seems to be completely lost on the hierarchy of the administrators of regional cricket. I am forced to come to the conclusion that those in the WICB who plan these competitions view weather reports and predictions as information that must never be taken into consideration in the planning stages of these competitions.
OPEN TO SPECULATION
A cursory look at weather patterns in Guyana during the month of July in previous years should have alerted planners to the futility of expecting completed matches in Guyana. Therefore, the awarding of the country as host during July leaves the board open to speculation about what the real reason for the selection was.
The release of the WADA report of Canadian anti-doping official Dr Richard McLaren into the report of systematic doping at the Sochi Winter Olympics - under the auspices of the Russian state - confirms what was suspected by athletes and anti-doping officials.
The world owes Russian whistleblower Dr Grigory Rochenkov a huge debt of gratitude that it may never be able to repay.
Unfortunately, the call for a ban on countries found guilty of either state-sponsored doping or deliberate incompetence in testing and identifying cheaters has resulted in articles and opinions suggesting that this 'new' determination to eliminate dopers/cheaters form sports is somehow connected to a vendetta against some countries.
Those who articulate that position apparently have not grasped the importance of the whistleblowers, who have put their lives in danger by exposing such widespread and administration-sanctioned dishonesty.
As soon as anti-doping officials in other countries believe that coming forward with information that will identify 'big wigs' in administration, who simultaneously hold powerful positions in government and who, after exposure, can and will make life for the whistleblower very, very uncomfortable, will not result in social and economic hardship, more exposures will come to the fore.
Whistleblowers in these countries need to be protected by legislation and support from citizens themselves. When this happens, the 'politics of doping' will be nothing but a 'clean-up' and not 'vendetta'.