Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 9th 2013 Contents A47
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
There is little doubt in my mind
that the organisers of the
Caribbean Premier League (CPL)
breathed a sigh of relief when
Trinidad and Tobago was knocked
out of the Champions League T20
tournament in India on Saturday
by the Mumbai Indians.
This would have emphasised that
this was the true "Red Force" and
not the imitation "Red Steel"
invented by the CPL.
It was refreshing to watch and
listen to the storm of support as
the team started well, but then
stumbled against its first Indian
Premier League team. That loss
was was a bitter pill to swallow.
However, the belief remained and
contest, the Red Force delivered.
While we beat the Titans via the
Duckworth Lewis system, it was
the performance against Chennai
Super Kings that stirred a nation
and brought T20 pride back to the
faces of each and every loyal citizen.
It may have been a working day,
but from early on that Wednesday,
there was an air of tension and
Disciplined bowling, followed by
determined batting, brought a tri-
umph rarely seen in sports. Super
Kings were rated the best team on
paper in terms of its composition
and in terms of titles won. The way
Red Force dismantled them led
many to believe victory in the final
was a certainty.
Firstly, the team needed to reach
Sunday s final.
In the end, it was not to be.
On Thursday and Friday, wher-
ever I went, people approached me
and supported my calls for the team
to stay together despite the errant
CPL. It is a pity that it has taken
some persons longer than others
to realise the importance of the
"Red Force" to the national com-
munity. On Friday, T-shirts were
being printed to support T&T, with
many calling the organisers of the
CPL deceitful and the T&T Cricket
Board no different.
So as it stands, T&T lost. But
there remains a strong belief that
for a small country like ours with
1.3 million persons to run some of
the best teams in the world with
the most expensive players so close
must mean there is not only talent
And this is my point---there was
so much patriotism, so much
resolve, so much team spirit, so
much happiness from this cam-
paign, that the value of sports
becomes more glaring for those
who will watch. This will not hap-
pen with the Red Steel in its current
embryo and regulations.
Only our "Soca Warriors", our
"Strike Squad," our athletes have
likewise been able to invoke this
desire to watch and be entertained
like this Red Force team. When
children can ask about cricket on
Saturday morning instead of car-
toons, that should be revealing.
When wives/girlfriends can post-
pone their hairdresser/manicure
visits to watch cricket, that should
be revealing. When young men who
love the English premiership can
forget that their club team is in
action and focus on cricket, that
should be revealing. When men
who would lime late on Friday
nights, reach home early to rest to
wake early on Saturday, that should
be revealing. When a family can
gather for lunch with in-laws,
young and old to watch cricket,
that should be revealing. When
some journalists can cancel their
shows to watch cricket, that should
fearlessly be revealing.
All of this and more occurred on
Saturday. And afterwards, this
country wanted more ...more ...
more. People all talked about
another chance, another opportu-
nity to fly our flag. No wonder the
Ministry of Tourism recognised
But alas, because of the CPL, the
West Indies Cricket Board and the
T&T Cricket Board, that "dream"
is no longer a reality.
In cricketing circles, the current
cricket board executive seems set
to pay the ultimate price for this
with their dismissal from office on
Saturday October 26 when the elec-
tions will take place.
The new group has already
expressed the view to address some
of these serious concerns on the
patronage and heritage of the T&T
Red Force team.
KINGSTON---A leading Jamaican
track and field coach, Glen Mills,
has lashed out at sections of the
international community for what
he says is unfair targeting of the
Jamaica s anti-doping programme
has been subjected to intense inter-
national scrutiny lately, particularly
following a damning report written
by former Jamaica Anti-Doping Com-
mission (JADCO) executive director
Renée Anne Shirley.
"They target Jamaica because of
its success. There is no doubt about
it... ," declared Mills in an interview
with the Gleaner.
"The Jamaican anti-doping pro-
gramme is, by comparison, fairly new.
Most countries performing at our
level have been well advanced in their
anti-doping programmes in terms of
years of experience and expertise."
Shirley s report, among other
things, accused the local powers of
not being serious enough about anti-
doping after six Jamaicans, including
star athletes Veronica Campbell-
Brown, Asafa Powell and Sherone
Simpson, tested positive for banned
JADCO was formally established
in 2008 after the passage of the Anti-
Doping in Sport Act.
"I believe that the criticism is
somewhat harsh in that based on the
fact that the World Anti-Doping
Agency (WADA) came here and did
an evaluation of the programme and
gave it a thumbs up, and that was as
early as last year, I am a bit surprised
that Jamaica, a couple months later,
is being seen as a country that is not
developing or enforcing a good anti-
doping programme," said Mills, who
conditions sprint stars Usain Bolt,
Yohan Blake and Warren Weir.
"Why? Nobody wants to see
Jamaica continue its dominance of
sprinting at the world level. And the
international media---again, one has
to question the balance of their
reporting. I have read some terrible
articles written about Jamaica. I have
read some terrible articles trying to
insinuate that Usain Bolt s success is
false because of all of this."
Mills also criticised the Jamaica
Athletics Administrative Association
(JAAA), which he blames for not doing
enough to defend the image of the
He also accused the Jamaican Gov-
ernment of dragging its feet in the
"The Government is lagging
behind; whether it is a financial reason
or whatever, but they need to do a
lot more," Mills said.
"I also feel that the JAAA has not
done a good job in managing the
whole thing and defending Jamaica s
More than 16 Jamaicans have tested
positive for banned substances since
Top Jamaican coach
Mills lashes out Long live the Red Force
Sunil Narine....showed true spirit of the Red Force
Andre E Baptiste
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