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Yorker at Sir Hilary

Ezra Stuart

Yorker at Sir Hilary

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The West Indies Players Association (WIPA) wants the stumps pulled on Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.
Yesterday, WIPA called for the immediate resignation or expulsion of the outspoken Sir Hilary as director on the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for what it claims are unfair references relating to former team captain Chris Gayle. It wants the director’s innings with West Indies cricket ended.
WIPA, in a letter to the chancellor and vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), condemned the remarks made by Sir Hilary, principal of the UWI’s Cave Hill Campus, on the topic Frank Worrell: The Rise And Fall Of West Indies Cricket in St Kitts.
WIPA also asked for an investigation by the UWI, noting that Sir Hilary holds a most senior position at the institution and is involved with several cricket-related activities within the UWI, including considerable responsibility for the High-Performance Centre and the Combined Campuses and Colleges Cricket team.
According to WIPA, Sir Hilary said: “Frank Worrell is the Father Of The Nation, Sobers is the King Of Cricket, Clive Lloyd is the Statesman, Richards is the General Of The Army, Brian Lara is the Prince, and Chris Gayle is the Don.
“And these are very interesting images indeed because the movement from the Father to the Don, and those who follow him and his cohort in the team do relate to him as their Don, and he has brought, it is said, the Don-manship into how ‘tings’ operate in the team, and what the West Indies Board is trying to do at the moment is to uproot this Don-manship out of the culture in much the same way that the Jamaican people are trying to uproot ‘Dudus’ from their politics.”
(“Dudus” real name is Christopher Coke.)
WIPA also claimed Beckles said the West Indies Under-19 team is “an interesting collection of very smart and bright young men and there is a different quality of personality at the moment. They do not wish to be like Chris Gayle, they do not wish to be like am, ah, Marlon Samuels . . .”.
In another letter to the WICB’s board of directors, WIPA recommended that Sir Hilary should have no further dealings with West Indies cricket, indicating that its “organization and its members would find it difficult to have any confidence in a person who appears blatantly prejudiced against some of the players”.
WIPA also felt that Sir Hilary was in a position to make decisions that could affect the livelihood of Gayle and Samuels.
“We are convinced that his remarks about Mr Gayle could do tremendous damage to Mr Gayle’s reputation and future relationships with members of the Jamaica and West Indies teams.”
WIPA said Samuels had gone through some difficult times and had just been recalled to the West Indies squad where at least one of the Under-19 players Sir Hilary talks about would have to interact with him.
A third letter was sent to Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, as chairman of the Heads of Government, in which and WIPA said Sir Hilary’s remarks “must be seen within the context of the ongoing deterioration and destruction of the West Indies cricket brand and reputation”.
Efforts to reach Sir Hilary yesterday were in vain.