WEST INDIES CRICKET IS ROTTENING FROM THE HEAD
The entire leadership of West Indies cricket must be fired, immediately! When we say the leadership we are not speaking about Darren Sammy alone. We include the members of all the Boards, executive management, selectors and team management. Nowhere in Christendom has any set of managers been so inept, produced almost (20) years of failure and like a petty dictatorship in a banana republic, has held the people of the Caribbean ransom to their autocracy. In addition, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) outsources capital development cost to the people of the Caribbean, has generally failed to produce a structure that could support the senior team over time, seems incapable in getting its financial affairs in order and rigidly enforces a bankrupt colonial policy of social conformity.
Darren Sammy, a St. Lucian, has for quite awhile been positioned to take the captaincy by the President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) another St. Lucian and former Prime Minister Julian Hunte. Hunte has longed made the argument that he wanted to see Sammy made the first Saint Lucian to captain the West Indies. Sammy couldn’t have been elevated based on his personal record as a marginal player. He was not made captain because he was judged to have had exceptional leadership qualities – there is no evidence to support this proposition. He could not have passed the primary test for being captain – an ability to retain his place in the team. On the contrary! The tyrants deep within the management of West Indies cricket have been, like a ship of drunken sailors, stumbling from failure to failure. This structure can be easily navigated by Hunte, the politician, for it fails to meet the requirements of effective management.
In these twenty years we have seen many captains. These include Richardson, Hooper, Lara (twice), Chanderpaul, Walsh, Gayle and Sammy. But regardless of the method used to find a leader, the team continues to produce poor or mediocre performances on the field. The on-field performances have been systematic of the Board’s general state of failure in the management of West Indies cricket, off the field. This is the same Board which failed to capitalize on the dominance of the West Indies teams under Clive Lloyd and Vivian Richards. A period of dominance that was not the result of anything the WICB ever did, in fact, it was a backward Board which, while benefiting from the exploits of the players, were unremitting in their efforts to subject the players to a colonial and submission mindset. Again, it was the players ability to win the battle of minds, off the field, that gave us the halcyon days from 1976 – 1991.
We have stated elsewhere that the philosophical underpinnings of West Indies cricket must be built on the age of dominance - a spiritual ethos in which Worrell, Lloyd and Richards are the archangels. Two of these people are still alive today. While we do not judge that these individuals should be necessarily involved in day to day management of cricket, we contend that they have long been slighted by the WICB. However, this should not preclude us from applying the military precision that they brought to the game. On the recent tour of India, almost every time our team came to a critical juncture in a game, we failed to efficiently manage those moments in order to win the game. These failures reveal the ineptitude of our players, the weakness of the psychological training they receive and the management of the Board ultimately.
In recent years Hilary Beckles, a Board member who we judge with all the others, has set up an academy and a high performance center at the UWI in a vain attempt to stymie the deterioration in West Indies cricket. To date these efforts have had little or no success and are likely to continue to fail. These efforts are generally misguided; look to England for their spiritual and intellectual support; are mired in petty jealousies and bureaucratic infighting; lacks the consciousness to draw from the well of our former greats; too dependent on corporate elites for financial support; omit military strategy for fear it could be turned against them; refuse to include radicalism as a potent philosophical worldview; are made in circumstances where political, economic environments in the Caribbean lack a regional consciousness.
Our greatest fear is that the there will be increased pressure to dismiss Darren Sammy as captain. This time, we must remove any political space for the WICB to offer us the head of Sammy while keeping the underlying rotten management systems intact. We have no expectation that the people of the Caribbean will follow the Global Awakening Movements and revolutionize their environments even in circumstances where the supine political leaderships of the Caribbean allow this wicked and pernicious WICB to continue to violate the basic human rights of Christopher Gayle. But should we come to a collective understanding that all these oligarchic, hegemonic, imperialistic, suppressive systems are near the end, we may well find the energy to make the Caribbean a better place - a place where all tyrants, elected and unelected, will be displaced.