Blame ‘lack of discipline’
A BREAKDOWN in discipline within and outside of cricket circles has been instrumental in ushering in the decline of West Indies cricket, thereby enabling the relegation crisis now looming.
That’s the view of David Alleyne, president and CEO of Sagicor General Inc. Alleyne was delivering the feature address at the Barbados Cricket Umpire’s Association’s (BCUA) awards ceremony, held at the auditorium of the Barbados Public Workers’ Cooperative Credit Union, Belmont Road, last Saturday night.
Addressing the world cricket relegation proposal that has been a major talking point over the past couple weeks, Alleyne spoke to the question, “Relegation . . . Could we really be relegated? How could this even be a possibility for West Indies cricket?”
Alleyne identified what he described as “the breakdown in discipline and in the moral fibre of our regional societies,” as being one of the major causes for our struggles in cricket.
Poor management at the level of the WICB and a reluctance to “fix our issues” were also listed as significant reasons for the decline in West Indies cricket and “the modest standards we have grown to accept”.
“My father Charles, as many of you know, was an integral part of the Empire cricket club set-up and captained the First Eleven many seasons ago.
“Empire was to play Spartan in the local Derby one weekend and on the Friday night before the Saturday start of the game, my dad was pushing his bicycle up Station Hill going home maybe around midnight or so . . . A couple of oldsters were having a last drink at a shop on Station Hill and when they saw the captain hustling home they said, “Wait that is captain Alleyne . . . now going home . . . at this time . . . before a major game . . . you better make sure all goes well tomorrow.”
“Can you imagine anyone daring to admonish any young player today in that manner? Past players were called to task for indiscipline and were accountable to the team, the administrators and maybe most importantly to themselves,” Alleyne told the audience.
He also recalled leaving the Boatyard one Friday night to go home and rest because he was going to watch the West Indies play at Kensington and the next day.
“It was late and I was tired. I left two senior West Indies players still at the bar drinking and liming. I was going home to rest to go and watch them,” Alleyne said, evoking much laughter in the audience.
“The discipline and pride in one’s self which was ingrained in our people in days past seems to have disappeared in general from our population and is manifested in the way our players see the world they live in and operate within the game’s environment,” he added.
Alleyne, who played Division One cricket for the Pickwick Club prior to the establishment of the Elite division, praised the umpires for their serious approach to their business and the example they have set.
“I am happy to have been asked to speak to an association that has continually shown the benefits derived from good, solid, professional administration driven by a desire to advance your skills and the level of your vocation . . . a determination to excel and exceed the level you have attained and to contribute to our beloved sport,” Alleyne said.
“In that regard I congratulate you on the standards exhibited, although there is always room for improvement. I congratulate you on the progress your members have made regionally and internationally as recognized by the ICC and note your president’s [Gregory Brathwaite] contribution in that regard.
“I hope you can somehow influence the West Indies Cricket Board to use your template . . . your model . . . your commitment . . . to effectively administrate our regional game . . ., but it’s probably not as simple as that.
Brathwaite also addressed the audience during the impressive function which featured cricket statistician Harold Eastmond as the emcee.
Umpires John Collymore, Wayne Daniel, Ernie Fields, Fredrick Hinds, Ronald King, Anderson McClean, Dennis Osbourne, Anthony Welch and Kevin Yearwood, received awards for their performance in last year’s local exams.
Glenville Clarke, Anthony Farrell, Tunley Franklyn, Vinsford Greene, Anthony Mascoll and Sherlock Wall received awards for 30 years of service while retired first-class umpires Farrell, Dalton Holder and Mervyn Jones earned Awards of Achievement for reaching that level.
Fields received a special prize for gaining the top mark in the local exams while Derryck Davis was the top achiever in the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association’s exams last year.
There were also special awards for umpire Ralph Cumberbatch, the Barbados Cricket Association and sponsors Sagicor General Inc.
St Catherine captain Derick Bishop was among the specially invited guests in keeping with the BCUA’s policy of recognizing a local cricket captain for his management skills on the field.