EDITORIAL: WI cricket tightens grip on uncertainty


Mad call I it, for, to define true madness,
What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?   – Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2
Recent events unfolding in West Indies cricket can only be best described as rivalling the existing uncertain cloud of economic turbulence.
Masters of the subject have been sparing in their assessment of what 2011 holds for us or for the wider world. True the International Monetary Fund speaks of moderate economic growth estimated to be about two per cent.
The enquiring mind immediately asks to what sectors of the economy one should look for such growth and here lies the uncertainty. Shall it be tourism, construction or agriculture?
In similar vein,  lovers of West Indies cricket are befuddled by the change of horses in midstream, not of the board’s own making but rather brought on by circumstance as well as the lure of bulging purses.
Why has Cricket Australia and other competing nations been able to batten down their hatches and withstand, almost painlessly and certainly without madness, the vagaries and wind storms of a new form of the game boring its way to the glare of television and overwhelming crowds?
As happened with the advent of “Packerism” in the late 1970s, has the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) been caught napping?
Is it that WICB administrators do not grasp the new way of cricket professionals? Are they mistaking the madness for lack of loyalty and commitment? Are they still being choked by a lack of funds and hence their inability to offer contracts that are sufficiently meaningful to cause the players to place longevity in the game above instant financial gratification?
The announced choices of Messrs Brendon Nash and Darren Sammy as captains of the Test and one-day teams, respectively, smack of adhocism, certainly in the case of Nash. An exemplar in commitment and application but at the end of the day can he command a play in the Test side? Some might argue the larder is so bare that he can. Let us hope so if only to avoid a further conundrum.
One would have thought that given the experience of WICB when Mr Gale joined the team in England a mere two days before the start of a Test match would have been sufficient to warn them what they were seeing was just the beginning of players showing their preference for purse above national feeling.
 WICB continues to ignore, seemingly, the necessity for succession planning and preparation.
 Will those players who opt to miss tournaments be selected when available? What message will this convey to other players?
It is clear WICB urgently needs to consult with other boards and its own players in search of a way forward which will enable West Indies to field its best team and avoid the frightening madness.


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