QC: Sour note hurt WI unityRalph Thorne, QC. (FP)
By John Sealy | Sat, June 23, 2012 - 12:03 AM
Regional unity was dealt a serious blow by West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin when, from the pitch, he taunted former West Indies player Sir Vivian Richards, says Ralph Thorne, QC.
In the just concluded Test series against England, Ramdin, on scoring a century in the second Test, pulled a piece of paper from his pocket that read Yeah Viv Talk Nah in reference to Sir Vivian’s comments about his batting form.
“Ramdin’s rebellion against an authentic West Indian hero at the home of Test cricket is strong evidence that he (Ramdin) has lost sight of the opponent and that West Indian Test cricket has drifted from its purpose of uniting the region against the empire’s notion of its own superiority,” said Thorne.
The Queen’s Counsel was delivering a lecture, entitled Future Of Test Cricket, at St Catherine’s Social & Sports Club on Thursday to commemorate the club’s 78th year.
Thorne described Ramdin’s action “as a scene of tragic proportions that has spurred the international media to amplify it for its inclusive consequence”.
“There is a sense in which it represented an implosion – and I am not exaggerating it – but everybody had a bad feeling about it.”
Thorne said there was social importance to the game of cricket in the region.
“I think it was Tim Hector [Antiguan political activist and cricket administrator] who spoke of the high points of West Indian cricket occurring when the cricketers of Asian origin married their efforts with cricketers of African extraction . . . .
“That is a significant regional symbolism of unity of Caribbean people expressing itself on the cricket field.
“[Ramdin] does not understand the full extent of [the] injury that he has done to regionalism.
“If Ramdin, by excuse, claimed that he had lost his head, at another time he might have well literally have lost his head.”
Thorne also lamented that young West Indian cricketers might soon be ostracized from Test cricket.
He said that England, Australia and to a lesser extent South Africa would likely be a part of “a triangular trade”, in which Test cricket would survive.
The attorney-at-law said that cricket had “occupied a sacred space in the consciousness of Barbadians and, I daresay, more so than any other English-speaking West Indians.”
Thorne also said the emergence of the Twenty20 in Asia could exert pressure on traditional cricket.
He said that “cricket seemed to be discovering all too late that if the sport remains an exclusively social activity it would fall [victim] to the marketplace and become extinct.
“Animals that become extinct do not all disappear one night; the numbers are depleted over time.
“Test cricket will not disappear overnight, and I don’t think that in this part of the world it will become extinct like the vanished animals.”
He, however, juxtaposed the current status of sugar cane agriculture with the salvation of Test cricket.
“In the age of consumerism, sport has to become a saleable commodity if it is to survive.”
Touching on the contentious issue of fees for cricketers, Thorne said the struggle of the cricketer for higher wages was not a new one, and it dated back to 1948 when Sir Frank Worrell refused to tour with the West Indies because [of] what they were paying him.
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