West Indies cricket captain Brian Lara is right, of course.
The current impasse in West Indies cricket is not simply
a regional cricket problem but involves governments, economics
and judgments of the world at large.
That is why it remains disappointing that Mondays
meeting in Grenada of the five parties directly involved
in the impassethe West Indies Cricket Board, Digicel,
the players themselves, the West Indies Players Association,
and Cable and Wirelesscould not find a resolution
that would allow for a healing of the hurt that is threatening
to paralyse the game in the region.
In a statement prepared two days before WICB president Teddy
Griffith announced that Lara and six other players who had
personal contracts with Cable and Wireless would not be
considered for selection for the upcoming series against
South Africa, Lara stated that he was worried by the cloud
hanging over West Indies cricket and called for a philosophy
of give and take.
The time has long passed when any one party can say
I am only taking and not giving. We all have to admit that
in everyday life we do and say things that we would do and
say differently if we had another chance. I suggest a lot
of sincere apologiesprivate apologieswould pave
the way forward and once an apology is offered, let the
issue be dropped once and for all, the West Indies
master batsman wrote.
Lara is in a much better position than most to understand
the complexities attached to the current situation and no
doubt his comments would have been made against this background.
As he himself pointed out, he is employed by the WICB; is
sponsored as a WI team member by Digicel; has a personal
endorsement from Cable and Wireless; and is also a member
Some may argue that his sentiments come against the background
that he has quite a bit to lose if he is not selected for
the West Indies team in the future.
On the other hand, his call for dialogue and burying of
the hatchet must be seen as a platform from which may come
the resolution that fans throughout the region were hoping
for on Monday.
Information out of the meeting has, at best, been patchy.
Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, chairman of Caricoms
sub-committee on cricket, stated that considerable progress
had been made in understanding the exact positions of the
respective parties. He promised a solution by tomorrow after
discussions with other prime ministers in the region.
Whatever the outcome of those discussions, it must be understood
that in the current climate, West Indies cricket is swirling
in the eye of a hurricane.
In a few weeks time, the cricketers are due to take the
field against South Africa.
Not only must the West Indies have its best team available
to play against the visitors, but there must be a new atmosphere
in the game that will allow the West Indies to move away
from confrontation and bacchanal into a calmness that will
allow the team to climb out of the despair in which West
Indies cricket finds itself today.
Some would say that from the present position of West Indies
cricket, both on and off the field, things can only improve.
As Lara has stated, time is not on our side. But the dialogue,
goodwill, sensitivity and generosity of mind which he calls
for are ideal balms to soothe the wounds.
Is anyone listening to him?