Foster's Fairplay | Darren Bravo was duly punished
West Indies cricket continues to attract the spotlight. Once upon a time - and the memory is dimmed on that - this headline billing was the case, but then it was for the right reasons. Nowadays, it is like the low performance level of the team, more so in Test matches, is stuck with their fans as a constant companion. Even in the shortest version, where the team is supposed to be 'ruling the roost', whenever there is a glimmer of hope or a gain in confidence, the inevitable gloom comes hard on its heels. Yes, earlier in the year, under the now deposed Darren Sammy, the World T20 trophy was taken, the second such success on the trot. But a 3-0 washout to Pakistan a few weeks ago was not far adrift.
As if all the sordid tales that the region is being asked to embrace, are not enough, here comes the highly reported Darren Bravo remarks. The man who from the onset of his career mimics his idol, the magnificent Brian Lara in so many ways except runs on the board, has run a 'one short' on the type of behaviour that should obtain in a working environment. He took to his Twitter account to take on West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) President, Dave Cameron. His ill-timed and ill-advised outburst was on the back of his being offered a C Contract and not the A of which Cameron said he was not worthy. On regional television, the President went on to outline statistical qualifications which, according to him, Bravo had not met.
Foster's Fairplay thinks that to question the boss' judgement and willingness to speak the truth, is not altogether out of line. It is in keeping with what goes on at the workplace in these more liberal and permissive times. But, it is the view of this columnist, that they must be boundaries. By any yardstick relative to discipline and decorum, it cannot be tenable for a worker, as the batsman is in this scenario, to describe the top man in his organisation in the disrespectful terms in which he did. The tweet read: "You hav been failing 4 d last 4yrs. Y don't u resign and FYI I've neva been given an 'A' contract. Big idiot."
The action taken by the West Indies Cricket Board has been to withdraw the invitation to Bravo to be a member of the region's squad for the upcoming Tri-Nation One Day International Series, which includes Sri Lanka and home team Zimbabwe. The dismissed player will head home to the Caribbean, when the camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa breaks.
Foster's Fairplay has little concern for whether or not Cameron misrepresented the cash amount of the contract that Bravo was offered in the past. That, from where this columnist is positioned, is beside the point. The real issue here is the Trinidad & Tobago-born batting stylist's post on his social media platform. There are persons who are given the authority to make decisions and rulings that affect the careers, and by extension, the lives of others. Cameron and his colleagues in the hierarchy have been given that role. This is not to say that the workers, one of which is Bravo, must follow slavishly or blindly, all decrees from above. The board supports and always has an ear open to the player's representative body, the West Indies Players Association . If Bravo is not a member of this group, he can have an agent who adopts a similar role.
By virtue of the number of matches which Bravo has played, it is reasonable to view him as a senior player. As such, he is expected to provide guidance and advice to the younger ones. What type of standards is he setting for them? It was an intemperate remark, bordering on insolence and he was duly punished.
In addition to dismissal from the series, Bravo was instructed to remove the offending tweet from his Twitter account and if he failed to do so by 3p.m. Jamaica time last Saturday, he could face further action including referral to the Disciplinary Committee.
Clearly, the WICB has decided, to their everlasting credit, to throw the book at him. He deserves it.