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The road less travelled


LEONARD ST HILL

The road less travelled

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WITHOUT FALSE MODESTY, but seeking no compensation, I lay a justifiable claim to the West Indies Professional Cricket League (WIPCL) in whatever modified form today as my “intellectual property”.

Evidence in support of this claim may be found in the Register of Companies kept by the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office in Barbados.

This fact is introduced to contrast the lament prevailing for the summary dismissal of Sir Curtly Ambrose as bowling coach to West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) with the eventual action taken by Franklyn Stephenson in somewhat similar circumstances.

The lament is typical of those conservatives whose worship of the “establishment” is pivotal on the hymn “We like it so” meanwhile obstructing with noise and no action any progressive moves away from the embarrassment of contemplating change.

Some 40 years ago, I incorporated the (WIPCL) in Barbados to create an opportunity for promising young players to earn a living as cricketers with the investment of time and talent of established and retired professionals and public participants as shareholders in the enterprise.

The Barbados Cricket Association would not countenance the participation of a professional team in any division of its competitions. With the exception of Everton Weekes and Wes Hall, no established player was enthused.

To crown it all, Kerry Packer came on the scene. With the passing of that comet, the glory that was West Indies cricket declined.

Back then to Stephenson, who did not think himself less worthy than Sir Alf Gover, and instead of moping about the loss of WICB status, invested his imagination, time, assets and talent in an academy that satisfied his ambition.

The wonder of all this is: Why haven’t any or all the legends done anything similar? Is destiny or lack of enterprise to blame?

Whatever the cause might be, there is the certain feature of resistance to some of the best ideas that can be heard sotto voce: “Not from he. Never!”

Some call it destiny, others think bigotry.

BCL is invited to take over WIPCL Ltd.

– LEONARD ST HILL

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