Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 13th 2014 Contents A32
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, June 13, 2014
How inflexible and uncompromising
those in authority can be. The exclu-
sion of Sunil Narine from the Test series
against New Zealand may not be a
conundrum after all, but another sad
example of the authoritarian streak and
mind-set that continues to affect the
governance of the game in our region.
Here is a West Indian player who has
excelled at the sport. He is rated as one of
the best spinners in the world and is play-
ing in what is now the most popular and
viable cricket league, where all the world s
premier players ply their trade. He had
earned the opportunity to play in what
was now the most watched cricket final on
the planet. Through consistent perform-
ance, he, more than established fellow
West Indians like Gayle and Pollard, had
perhaps done the most in the 2014 IPL to
keep the West Indian flag flying high.
And so what do our cricketing authori-
ties do? Rather than finding a way to
understand his quandary, rather than sup-
porting him, we find a way to punish him
and in the process shoot ourselves in the
At this juncture, where we remain at the
bottom of the ICC rankings, we should be
exerting every effort to give our newly
appointed captain the best possible team,
striving to use every resource at our dis-
posal to give Ramdin our best possible 11
as he assumes the weighty responsibility of
captaincy, with the goal of returning West
Indies cricket to the top. But it appears
that we do not fully appreciate what win-
ning and getting back to the top means.
Cricket is the one institution that has
done us proud and cemented our identity
as a West Indian people. To this we are
indebted first and foremost to our players
and the remarkable talent that took us to
the top in the 80s and 90s.
While it is debatable how soon we
might get back to the top, what is not
debatable is that if our governance of
cricket does not rise to what is required
today, then we will continue to languish
at the bottom.
West Indies dominance of the game in
the 80s and 90s was partly due to the
huge reservoir of raw talent that we had
access to. But it was also due to the lead-
ership of Clive Lloyd and the fact that the
nucleus of his team was able to develop
and hone their skills in England, where
many of them held professional contracts.
With the advent of the IPL, Sunil Nar-
ine has developed as a world-class spin-
ner second to none. It is the IPL arena
which has allowed him to grow and
mature, bowling against the world s pre-
mier batsmen in high-pressure situations.
While I fully support every effort by the
new administration to take us back to the
top---the inclusion of former Test stars in
the current preparation camp is commend-
able but long overdue---I wonder whether
for Narine it was a case of "my way or
the highway," an authoritarian streak in
which basic common sense was lost.
There is simply no room for the type of
inflexibility shown towards Narine.
Instead, there must be room for empathy
and understanding. The new policy must
also be firmly grounded in the realities of
the 21st century.
Here is a humble and unassuming
young man who from all expert accounts
has been simply brilliant in the 2014 IPL
and the lead-up to the final on June 1. He
carried the team to the finals being called
time and again by his captain to bowl the
so-called "death overs," and on each
occasion, he delivered.
Any West Indian at home and abroad
who followed the IPL would have similar-
ly heard every single commentator from
every corner of the globe extolling Nar-
ine s brilliance in every game. Yet, sadly,
our own administrators could not find a
way to understand the player s wish to
play in the IPL final and also participate
in the camp.
I wonder what the communication
might have been with Narine in the lead-
up to the training camp. Was he given an
ultimatum? Were there any genuine
efforts made to reach out to him, know-
ing the pivotal role he played all season
long in Kolkata s rise to the top? Was
there any understanding of the predica-
ment he faced?
So thank you, Minister Anil Roberts, for
fighting the good fight and for pointing
out that Narine s choice was not a flout-
ing of the "West Indian first" policy.
Indeed, your assertions are spot on. By
playing in the IPL final on June 1, Narine
might have been better prepared than his
WI peers for the Test series as he would
have been playing at the highest competi-
But this is not just a T&T thing. For it
could have happened to any other West
And so this is what prompted me to
put pen to paper. For I felt that we are
punishing a player who is not deserving
of this type of treatment. He has achieved
global recognition as a West Indian and it
is therefore our duty to support him.
Surely, this situation could have been
better managed, and could still be
resolved in the best interests of the player
and of West Indies cricket. No player who
has been an outstanding ambassador for
the sport, and who has achieved the
highest standards of excellence, should be
penalised for this.
After all, Narine s heroes are Muralitha-
ran and Lara---two of the world s best---
which tells you something about the
young man. He strives for excellence.
A way could still be found out of this
impasse. But if it isn t, it will confirm the
sense among many of us who believe that
we are still dealing with a mind-set and a
set of management tools that are wholly
unsuitable for managing WI cricket and
taking it to the levels required for success
in the 21st century.
Rajiv Ramlal is a former T&T Foreign
Service officer currently serving as a sen-
ior officer on management in the Execu-
tive Office of the Secretary-General,
United Nations, New York.
LACKS COMMON SENSE The madness of war
Fools and despots seek war to solve problems.
My clan kills members of your clan. Your clan re-
sponds with a shower of bullets upon my clan. In
a see-saw cycle of death we go at it, inching,
never nearer to a decisive victory.
As time wears on, our weapon contractors'
bank balances swell from the income we waste
buying their technologies of death to kill each
other. Weapons and technologies of destruction
makers prosper as we replenish stock from them
and our clan members die.
Slowly, it dawns on each of us that our clans
are dwindling in number from this foolish orches-
trated war. Mothers, fathers, kids and other kin-
folk from both our clans are falling victims to the
Suddenly, it dawns on us, we have been alive
for 20, 30, 40 years but never lived one month,
one week in peace. We have never lived free of
this insane aggression. This war has forced both
our clans to know the cemetery all too intimately.
Cabinet not helping PM
take country forward
We are at the mid-way point of the year of
promise, success and true happiness. A lot can be
said about 2013 to justify what we are seeing
today, but let us not dwell in the past. We are
here to talk about 2014.
What can be said? More lies, deaths and cor-
ruption are unveiled on a daily basis. I am a gen-
uine supporter of Kamla Persad-Bissesar and all
her efforts to improve the standard of living in
our great nation, but I now realise that she can't
do it by herself. One would think that it would be
safe to say that her Cabinet would lend support
and work relentlessly to get this country back on
the horse of success. Well today one would have
wasted many thoughts in thinking so.
I think it is unfair that our beloved Prime Min-
ister has to play principal in the schoolyard every
other month to groups of highly educated and
I am not here to judge or list what fills the
media on a daily basis. The thing is, do we try to
fix this or do we play the blame game and con-
done the sneaky, dirty politics that political forces
have engaged in? We all need to take a look at
ourselves and really look beyond the tomfoolery
and shenanigans and make a decision on how we
I am of the firm belief that if another adminis-
tration comes in to power in 2015, dog days are
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