THE SCORE: My calypso for Windies cricket
By Ezra Stuart | Wed, June 06, 2012 - 12:00 AM
FOR SOMETIME I was promising to pen a calypso on cricket.
With so many topics to choose, like Crazy, I would have enough lyrics to write 25 verses.
I would probably receive encore after encore if only I get an appearance at Saturday’s final Cavalcade to sing my new material and really hype up the festival for kaiso lovers.
Of course, like RPB with a new thirst to lick a lolli-popsicle, I would be doing some commentary with a song called Cricket And Controversy full of rhyme and reason.
Unlike Bajans, I will respect Darren Sammy as West Indies’ leader. How dare I place him in the cellar when he is making the team better with exemplary character and behaviour?
At least, he isn’t deaf and dumb to reason. He is a warrior like Samson!
Not like his supercool predecessor, whom the professor has maligned, while praising Floyd Reifer. But isn’t Marlon Samuels still not one of those supercool dudes?
It is only because he has made some runs that his critics are saying he has paid his dues.
After losing impressively in the sunny Caribbean to the Aussies, it was off to a cold and chilly England for this Test series.
So like Sammy, I don’t care about a chorus or singing the same tune.
Or why the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) agreed to start the series in May and not in June.
So even if the board won’t take a stand, I will strike up the band on the Line And Length Network and rally around the Windies from Lords to Edgbaston.
But it is still a puzzle why the Board dropped control off its name but the players they still want to muzzle.
The cry is for the WICB to treat cricket as a business but for professional cricketers, they are berated for looking after their interests.
The average man seeks wealth and prosperity but for cricketers, loyalty is the name of the game.
Oh! Not so in Australia anymore, where Cricket Australia is now desperately trying to settle a wages dispute with the players, who are threatening industrial action unless they receive a share of cricket revenue.
West Indian players should ignore big Twenty20 offers but endure negatives and play with pride for the Windies while earning fewer dollars.
The maroon cap is all that matters but after a few failures, a fate like Ramnaresh Sarwan you suffer. But there is no guarantee; just ask Sulieman Benn, Jerome Taylor or Brendan Nash. Even the compliant Shivnarine Chanderpaul was asked to retire because he was no longer seen as a West Indian batting treasure. But his counter-attack at the selectors, coach and CEO was so shocking that he was allowed to continue batting and batting.
Still the rules are not the same for all when it comes to the IPL ball.
Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Marlon Samuels and now Mystery Man Sunil Narine are allowed to play.
While Gayle, after brazenly refusing to apologize but again pledging his commitment and turning his back on Somerset because of the West Indian fans, is kept at bay, attending more meetings than any executive where he must bow and say sorry before he can represent the masses again.
But the anti-Gayle supporters of Caribbean cricket have a short memory. They forget the winning start to his captaincy.
Only West Indian skipper to win a Test in Mandela’s land, followed by a five-match series triumph against new No.1 England.
Wasn’t it the WICB who spoiled the hard work of the players?
Grabbing at extra money by agreeing to an unplanned tour of chilly England after others said no way.
Have you forgotten how coach Ottis Gibson backed Gayle and said he was his own man in Guyana against Zimbabwe when he boldly called out Pollard, Denesh Ramdin and Dwayne Smith for bad shots?
Gayle even went further and sent a disobedient Benn off the field in Dominica. All the time, Gibson conceded the team was creating winning opportunities against the Proteas.
Yet, after 20 Tests, in which he won three, lost eight and drew eight, Gayle was replaced by Sammy, who has so far in 18 Tests as captain, won two, lost eight and drawn eight. So what really is the big fuss around the Caribbean and here in Barbados?
The reality is that whoever captains the West Indies now or in the near future, the results won’t be any different unless the selectors pick the strongest available team and the senior players, coach and CEO Dr Enest Hilaire stop acting like little children, unwilling to play with each other because they did this and that.
In fact, Sir Hilary Beckles, in an interview I did with him in St Vincent in July 2009, when the first-choice players boycotted the Test series against Bangladesh, said he did not “believe in abandoning anyone.”
A lot has been said by Gayle, Sarwan, Taylor, Chanderpaul, Hilaire and in some cases written by Sir Hilary himself since then, so that’s why, I must really start composing that calypso, so that all these things, the public will know.
Now, look at the West Indies “A” team: the bowlers are scoring runs and batsmen taking wickets.
How can we really get high performances when foreigners are more suited to head our academy than any of our legends like Greenidge, Haynes, Dujon, Ambrose, Gomes and company?
But if the radio stations ban this song, I may again beg the National Cultural Foundation to have a competition for picong.
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