Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 26th 2014 Contents proven very correct,
and in only one sense,
wrong as well.
Rousseau was only
incorrect in that South
Africa, the No 1 team
in world cricket now, is
not yet included in the
cricket cartel conjured
up by International
Cricket Council (ICC),
Board of Control for
Cricket in India (BCCI),
Board (ACB), and Eng-
land & Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
So, even with high ICC rankings, but not having
won any major competitions, SA is out, at least for
That is probably more attributable to the seemingly
severe dislike by present ICC and BCCI regimes of
present head of Cricket South Africa, Haroon Lorgat,
who was once ICC s chief executive officer.
The word "cartel" conjures in the imagination a
collaboration of severely wealthy drug barons from
Central and South American republics coming together,
like a massive political coalition party, to run cocaine
exports to Europe and Northern America, maximising
profits while minimising detection and in-fighting
This new proposed cricket cartel sounds exactly
like that, mostly rich businessmen conspiring to steal
world cricket, except that they are committing larceny
of our cricket in bright open sunlight, in front of our
BCCI s position is, pure and simple, open blackmail.
They know that they have massive finances, so,
very publicly, in almost plain non-diplomatic speech,
they have told ICC:
"Put up or shut up. Accept what we propose or
lose out on our participation and our funding. Take
it or leave it."
BCCI is, if no-one believed it previously, flexing its
massive financial muscles, calling the tune it has been
playing for this last decade or so, especially since win-
ning its last ICC World Cup in 2011.
This last week, several of the world s cricket boards,
including CSA and WICB, have been scrambling to
find out, understand, appreciate and to reply appro-
priately, to this new, almost concrete, cartel edict.
Yet another Jamaican, Dave Cameron, present WICB
president, is now left to hold the can, to do whatever
it takes to clean up that mess left, partly, by our teams
not winning regularly and being attractive over the
last two decades, and to the outright greed and avarice
of especially three of the cartel s co-signees.
Correctly, intelligently, WICB has suggested that it
will have an answer, and a public one too, after properly
studying the situation, but will inform ICC first about
the concerns and objections, before informing us.
No problem with that at all, even if the first reaction
is normally the best and the most honest.
All Caribbean people want is truth, nothing but
that whole truth.
By unconfirmed accounts published, WICB will not
agree with the cartel s edicts, which could well mean
almost extinction with the very practical dissent to
this proposal, as it is well known that West Indies
cricket makes most of its money from tours to and
from India and England, sometimes Australia.
Interestingly, CSA has openly questioned the cartel s
motives and plans, as if they did not already know.
Bangladesh has suggested that it must side with
BCCI or die, while New Zealand has taken a wait and
see attitude, but will probably side with ACB.
Sri Lanka is, like Bangladesh, cautiously toeing
BCCI s line. Like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe will probably
West Indies cricket is, more than ever, in severe
jeopardy of disappearing from world view.
Something has got to give. West Indies is fighting
for its very life here. Enjoy!
January 26, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
It was from former West Indies Cricket
Board president Pat Rousseau that I remem-
ber hearing it, during West Indies tour to
England 1995, my first tour as a sports jour-
It was a series that West Indies led until
England won Test No 4 of 6, to draw the
series 2-2, that warning that fell on very deaf
ears: "If West Indies does not keep winning
on the field of play, to be attractive to the
much better financed and bigger teams
around the world, the time will come when
we, as a cricket playing nation, could be
severely jeopardised into being almost extinct,
as we are much too small, financially and
geographically, to fight against the big teams
that have the money. We need to keep win-
ning on the field of play to matter."
This was way before T-20 cricket became
the in-thing and destructor of what was
cricket back then.
The biggest irony, now, of that 1995 tour
is that every single day of six Tests---Lords,
Trent Bridge, Old Trafford, Edgbaston, Ken-
nington Oval and Leeds---was sold out, thou-
sands unable to gain entrance.
Back then, every cricketing country still
wanted West Indies on their shores, for attrac-
tive cricket, and, more importantly, to ensure
severely green coffers at least for twelve
Everyone clamored for Brian Lara, Richie
Richardson, Carl Hooper, Jimmy Adams,
Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Kenny
Benjamin and Ian Bishop, an excellent com-
bination, to do their West Indian thing.
Twenty years later, Rousseau, learned guru
he still is, in veins of Jamaican counterpart,
former prime Minister PJ Patterson, has been
COLIN EH CROFT
Who pays the piper calls the tune
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