Dr Paul Wright | Put a stop to Windies demise
On the eve of the departure of the West Indies cricket team to the United Arab Emirates to do battle with Pakistan, news arrived that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has not only dismissed the coach, Phil Simmons, but also reprimanded the captain of one of the teams Jason Holder, apparently warning him of impending doom if certain performance criteria were not met during this tour.
It seems the WICB has decided that these actions will inspire the team to achieve better results than what usually occurs on recent cricket tours.
Where is Dr Rudi Webster when you need him?
West Indies cricket is in crisis. We cannot seem to do well in the purest form of the game: Test cricket, while in the shortest forms: Twenty20 and One Day, where a free spirit is mandatory, we "rule the world".
This fact seems lost on the members of the cricket hierarchy, who consistently use every "trick" in the book to stifle individualism. They listen to no one, and react in a most acute and draconian fashion to anyone who dares to criticise them publicly.
There is a "CARICOM Committee" on cricket comprising of the heads of Government of the states that comprise the West Indies cricket team. There have been special committees set up by the very same WICB to advise on the way forward. There have been statements from previous members of the WICB, (including past presidents), and there have been numerous outbursts from past players who all, with one accord, state that the present structure and members of the present WICB is the real reason for the continued slide of the team in the World Test rankings, and yet nothing happens.
It is as if their own requests for assistance from the committees they select was nothing, but a public relations exercise.
"Look, we want to improve, help us". How can that be? How can the cricket loving people of the Caribbean and fans of cricket allow this to go on, unabated? We are constantly reminded that the members of the WICB are "elected".
"Elected" leaders, democracy at work, yet when you look closely at their governance structure, it appears a lot like authoritarianism running rampant. Elections do not make a democracy. Elections without democratic institutions merely lead to dictatorships, which will eventually lead to a kind of "mob rule".
The woes of the West Indies cricket team are blamed on outside conspirators, who seek to undermine the 'culture' of West Indies cricket. Stalwarts of the game, who are contributing to cricket in other countries and media outlets, want absolutely nothing to do with this group of men. So the slide continues.
The abuse and sidelining of those West Indians who are recognised by cricket aficionados and administrators around the world, as "must pick", are publicly humiliated by a seemingly vindictive group of men, who will dismiss or sue anyone who dares to question their modus operandi. Are we the fans of West Indies cricket to believe that we are powerless? We are most definitely not powerless. These men continue their merry way because of the monetary support that they get from us, we the people. Sponsors and gate receipts are the lifeblood of these men.
We can and should take a stand. No mas! No more! Let the team play to empty stands and sponsors see steeply declining sales for their products. Within one year, victory will be ours, and the West Indies cricket team will for the first time at last, get a chance to prosper and improve.