Sunday, April 14, 2024

EDITORIAL: What then comes of love and loyalty?


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I’ve seen people that don’t treat their animals well and yet their animals are still just as loving to them, even though they’re not treated that well. It’s very hard to find that kind of loyalty and love and affection in human beings. – Dick Van Patten, American actor.
He has been called stabilizer, gladiator, standard-bearer – and more – of the West Indies cricket team.
He has been held up as an exemplar of commitment, dedication, stickability.
He is a where-thou-sendeth-me-I-will-go fellow – except when it comes to retirement.
It was one of the most shocking allegations to be made by the trouper Shivnarine Chanderpaul against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB): that the board’s selectors tried their best to get him to retire. And, to date, not a single word of denial.
It is sad that one of the senior and better players of the game should come to this. Chanderpaul’s recent delisting from the West Indies team in the first place took many cricket fans by surprise, and the excuse for it that the selectors were blooding new talent didn’t quite wash with most supporters.
The WICB selectors have made some odd selections in the past, and we have learned to live with them – even if temporarily. Usually the oddities pass. But Chanderpaul’s April 29 letter to the WICB has given us cause to ponder  these things more deeply.
Chanderpaul writes of anger among the selectors when he “bluntly refused” to retire as allegedly suggested.
He implies dismissiveness by some after his injury in Australia and laments having to pay for all his medical expenses on his return home.
If it be true that Shiv was advised to rest for his injury, when in fact he needed “to have a cast because of the seriousness” of it, what explanation will the board offer?
Chanderpaul paints a most distressful picture of his former employers.
The Guyanese-born, veteran, cricketing star has been virtually the lone, reliable and consistent standard-bearer of the West Indies team over the years.
Being lumped together with other “top players” in an ill-advised statement by the board’s CEO Ernest Hilaire about indiscipline and misapplication must hurt considerably the team player who has been known to do what he has been told in the interest of West Indies cricket.
Chanderpaul has been swinging, the WICB seemly on the back foot.
So where do we go from here? What is the WICB’s game plan? Really!


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