Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 27th 2017 Contents viewpoint A19
Saturday, May 27, 2017 guardian.co.tt
GUEST EDITORIAL---Jamaica Gleaner
How the mighty
West Indies cricket fans may
well suffer more emotional
hardship than other fans in any other
sport anywhere in the world. How
many other fans can say that they
grew up watching an all-conquering
team that ruled the world and now
have to suffer the ignominy of watch-
ing them become beating sticks?
Who could have believed that the team
that won the first two 50-over Cricket
World Cup titles (and were surprisingly
beaten finalists in the third) would now
be unable to find a place in a Champi-
ons Trophy global one-day tournament
because we are not among the top eight
teams? Has there ever been any team that
has fallen from such glory to such depths?
I doubt it, and we fans know better than
anybody else what it means to feel the
thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
One of the effects of the West Indies'
prolonged stint as a "bramble" team is
the inevitable blame game. We, as West
Indians, can't accept that the social forces
that made us such a great cricket team are
no longer at work.
I have written about this before. The
reason why the West Indies did so well
in cricket three or so decades ago is that
cricket was more like a social pastime
than it was a game then for boys in the
Caribbean. They honed their skills simply
by the hours and hours they played from a
formative age. Our success in Test cricket
in the 1980s had nothing to do with the
West Indies administrators.
As I have written and said before, our
passion for the game was the single big-
gest reason for the West Indies cricket
dominance. We kid ourselves when we
find any other reason to account for our
cricket success in the '80s. The reality is
that no one planned our path to the top of
world cricket back in the day. Administra-
tors did not get us to the top in the '80s,
and they won't be able to get us to the top
Now that we are losing, the West Indies
Cricket Board (WICB), especially the West
Indies board president, is coming in for
unwarranted criticism. I have heard Dave
Cameron being blamed for everything,
from pitches that didn't play the way we
liked, to team selection, to players opting
to play in the T20 franchises around the
world rather than in, and for, the West
None of this makes any sense. The
WICB is just as able to produce a
high-quality cricket team in the short run
as I am able to levitate! Dave Cameron
has been given a basket to carry water and
continues to be walloped in the media.
We have to face the fact that fewer
youngsters are interested in Test cricket.
Don't be fooled by the fact that youngsters
are still playing some cricket at the high-
school level. That is not the real yardstick
to measure true passion. True passion is
demonstrated not only by what we do, but
by what we watch. The way to assess this
is to see how few youngsters are at Sabina
Park for a regional game. The park is usu-
ally empty when there is a regional four-
day game. That is an indication that there
is no real interest for the game at the base.
We could blame Cameron until we
are blue in the face. The truth is, there
is precious little that the board can do
that can transform West Indies' fortunes
overnight. Dave Cameron and his board
cannot rub a lamp like Aladdin and make
some wishes that will come true. The
simple truth is that the quality and stand-
ard of cricket have been dropping because
the quality of interest is falling, espe-
cially for the longer formats. Our most
high-profile cricketers are now hired guns
for T20 cricket. The board can't compete
with the money they make elsewhere, so
invariably, we don't have our best cricket-
ers here as often as we would like.
Cameron is on the right track when he
is offering increased revenue to regional
cricketers. He is doing the right thing by
ensuring that an extended season is now
the norm. The problem is not Dave Cam-
eron or the board. They are doing the best
they can. ---Orville Higgins, Gleaner
Christians silent on important issues
We are a country of protesters. Certainly
some things should be protested and
protested vehemently against. However, what of
those that merit support?
When we protest we are surrounded by a troop
filled with "righteous" indignation baying for
blood. Within this setting our position is vindi-
cated and any actions we choose to take can be
justified. Not only is there the power of persua-
sion in such a troop but others seek to join sim-
ply to feel a part of the comforting whole.
But what if we choose instead to take a posi-
tion of support for what we believe to be right?
Well, we will find no supportive troop surround-
ing us. In fact, we risk being shouted down by
contradicting others. To stand for what is right
you often have to stand alone.
Consider the situation of Barrabas and Christ.
Were those seeking Christ's crucifixion in the
right? No. Were they even in the majority?
Perhaps not. However, Christ's supporters had
either fallen silent or fallen away from him; this
for the purpose of remaining safe from the crowd
or going even further and ensconcing themselves
within its bosom.
For the support of Christ and the Christian
position many throughout the years have stood
alone and paid severe consequences. Nowadays,
though there is no longer any persecution of the
Church on this side of the world, is it that Chris-
tians are still falling silent or falling away simply
to join the crowd?
I support the paying of Property Tax as a
Christian and a Trinidadian. I do not, unlike
some others, purport to have one issue with the
tax, which when answered turns into another
and another. My God and my country have been
supremely good to me and I can't wait to con-
tribute to Trinidad and Tobago at this time in
As for my fellow Christians and Trinbagoni-
ans, stand alone when you believe something to
be right, forget the crowd. Write a letter, post a
comment, speak out. Support.
Fear system, not punishment
Were I ever to contemplate a life of crime,
my biggest fear would not be getting
caught and being punished but rather, what I
may have to endure before I ever get to trial.
You know, many years in Remand in squalid
conditions before my case is called, having it
postponed many times because of legal ma-
noeuvring or greed, having the matter finally
started and half-way through only to be told
we have to start all over again. That is the real
punishment, and the best deterrent, not the
fine or sentence my crime may warrant.
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