The Wright View | A weekend of victories
Victory was the by-word this weekend. The world Twenty20 (T20) Champions defeated an English cricket team in a one-off match in typically unfriendly conditions in Chester-Le-Street last Saturday. The previously "unavailable/unselected" best West Indian cricketers knew how important England took this "revenge" rematch, and played and behaved accordingly.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first by an English captain obviously afraid of the reputation that the West Indians have when chasing, Chris Gayle and his young heir apparent and understudy, Evin Lewis, proceeded to thrash the English bowling and effectively destroyed the minds of their opponents who must have thought 'What now'?
The world champions eventually posted a reasonable total, and then let loose their bowlers against a proven weak and meek English middle order. Sunil Narine showed why he is the most feared T20 bowler in the world, and our captain justified his 8,000-mile round trip by leading the team to victory and using his under-rated bowling skills to drive a stake into the heart of an England team thirsting for revenge.
Victory! That elusive word when our selected cricketers play International matches. It is now on to the one-dayers, where after the unfortunate weather intervention in a scheduled match against Ireland, we know that winning at least four of the five scheduled One Day matches against England is necessary if we are to avoid the ignominy of not only playing our nemesis Afghanistan and other minnows, but also beating them in order to qualify for the prestigious World Cup. That is a tall order, but the team selected has a majority of the region's best and we all know that when the going gets tough the tough gets going.
The hierarchy of Cricket West Indies (CWI), facing the realistic prospect of the region's cricketers being relegated to affiliate status, came off the proverbial high horse (albeit slowly to avoid catastrophic lower abdominal injury) and allowed the best regional players to become available for selection. The result: victory. What matters now is how the men in charge of CWI respond to life on the ground, face to face with our best players, and not where they used to be: up in the air, sneering at our best cricketers.
The election for the next leader of Jamaica's football took place last Saturday, when 13 of the delegates of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) voted in as the new president, Michael Ricketts, who will lead the island's football for the next two years.
In a vote where eight delegates supported Rickets and five supported his opponent, Ambassador Stewart Stephenson, it is now vital that everyone unites behind President Ricketts in his quest to "rescue" football. I use the word rescue, as the head of the Federation's technical Committee and delegate with a vote, Linnel McLean, suggested on national television that the present group of parish football association presidents, did indeed 'mash up' football and should be given a chance to rescue it. He went on to state that the group has plans to fix the problems, but were stymied by burning issues at every opportunity to place the plans on the table.
Well, now is the time for revelation and implementation of these 'plans' as President Ricketts thought it best to keep them as close to his chest as his undershirt.
There is a lot of work to be done. First to start the much delayed Red Stripe Premier League and then to address the crippling JFF debt. Ricketts cannot do it alone. He needs the help of every football loving resident of this island, and that includes those that supported Ambassador Stephenson. Nothing less will suffice. Victory for Ricketts MUST be transformed into victory for football. We can do it. We have to do it. United, we have a chance; divided, we fail.