Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 14th 2015 Contents A44
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There is an inordinate delay in the
process involving Phil Simmons, the
man of truth from West Indies crick-
et. Ironically, those far less trustwor-
thy continue to talk secretly in an
attempt to find justification for the
action of the three West Indies selec-
tors, Courtney Walsh, Courtney
Browne and Eldine Baptiste, now
standing in the eye of the latest storm
brewing in the regional game.
Less we become sidetrack by other
events, we must not forget the signif-
icance of Simmons stance, because it
would have been easy to ride the wave
that is West Indies mismanagement
over the last 10 years and accept every-
thing from the West Indies Cricket
Board (WICB). After all, Simmons
could have collected his benefits and
easily move on, live with it and collect
a salary. But no, this is not a man for
whom material wants and desires rule.
This must have shocked the fabric
of the WICB, because such fortitude
and professionalism is uncommon in
the Caribbean, and more to the point,
absent among the hierarchy of the
It is hardly a secret that most former
cricketers of the 1980s, 1990s and even
the 2000s are struggling to survive,
with no provisions made by the WICB
for their future.
Less we forget, there was a serious
problem with pension payments and
benefits trailing back to previous
administrations with conflicting views
expressed by the players representatives
on WIPA and the then WICB execu-
tive. This suggests that many of those
cricketers are walking around looking
for work and just glad to be in any
position where they could, as we say,
eat ah food.
It is an indictment on the WICB
that no action was taken to ensure
that the players future was secured,
so we have the unenviable position,
that several former players may be
forced to tow the line and accept any-
thing so that they can obtain an income
on which to survive.
To be fair, that it is not entirely the
fault of the WICB, since players must
be called to account for not ensuring
that measures were put in place for
life after cricket.
Perhaps, this is what has contributed
to the thinking of Baptiste, Walsh and
Browne, now being termed as men
who are "blind to the truth." There is
a suggestion that the three are in need
of work and can easily be influenced.
For my part, that consideration is with-
out merit since I feel confident that
none would want their reputation tar-
The fact is there is no logical reason
to omit Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pol-
lard from the best West Indies ODI
team and given the opinions of Lloyd,
Holder and Simmons, it is easy to
understand why the noise about "out-
side influences" has been so deafen-
It has been advanced that purely
from a psychological perspective, the
fact that Bravo and Pollard make so
much more money than players from
previous eras, may have impacted the
decision. But I cannot believe that such
petty jealously would exist in the minds
of men like Browne, Baptiste and
Walsh. For that reason, alone, I will
dismiss such a thought.
As for Simmons and his future, it
was refreshing to hear the young cap-
tain calling for him to return as soon
as possible. Cameron and company
cannot be deaf to such a call.
This bold stand by this powerful son
of Arima can only truly be appreciated
when we have the final outcome for
which the region is hoping. Whether
it is the activists at Caricom or indi-
vidual Prime Ministers with strong
characters and a belief in truth, the
people need a hero. They need some-
one they can identify with as being
honest. Simmons stance shows there
There is no room for autocracy in
West Indies cricket and while one may
argue at the way Simmons chose to
state his case, the message of inter-
ference must not be swept under the
Will the former hard hitting opener
become another sacrificial lamb in this
jigsaw puzzle that is West Indies cricket
or will his exposure of the dirty under-
belly that undermines our game finally
find traction in the best interest of
West Indies cricket?
The WICB need to be cautious in
this current melee, less the intent is
to improve their record of disruption
Wrongdoing has no place in sport.
Time though, has a way of being equi-
Phil Simmons...professional to the bone.
Simmons---not blind to truth
ANDRE E BAPTISTE
This bold stand by this
powerful son of Arima can
only truly be appreciated
when we have the final
outcome for which the
region is hoping. Whether it
is the activists at Caricom
or individual Prime
Ministers with strong
characters and a belief in
truth, the people need a
hero. They need someone
they can identify with as
being honest. Simmons'
stance shows there is hope.
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