Wednesday 22nd June, 2005


The Spalksman with Anil Roberts

Lequay self-appointed cricket deity

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Alloy Lequay

Cricket belongs to no man. Regardless of the extent to which the individual exists in his own alternate reality. Alloy Lequay continues to dwell in the realm of fantasy. He believes that he has been great for cricket and in fact, cricket owes its continued existence in no small part to his perceived administrative prowess.

Wake up and smell the coffee Alloy; longevity does not ensure a lasting, positive legacy.

Though you must be congratulated for being able to surround yourself with a cadre of spineless followers who due to non-existent self-esteem have blindly carried out your every whim and fancy. You have ensured that no matter how qualified the challenger, your inept slate shall always prevail.

For this stroke of political genius, you must be applauded. You have played the game well. You have solidified your place alongside some of this nations “greatest” political leaders who, despite their continued non-performance, manage to hang on to the reigns of power.

Leadership is a complex mechanism which can function in a variety of ways. Great leaders are able to inspire those around them to exceed their best. Unfortunately Alloy, I have not been overwhelmed by your ability to inspire anyone. Over the years of your tenure, cricket in T&T has been on a constant decline. The of young boys and girls playing cricket now hovers at unacceptably low numbers. The T&T senior team has only won one regional First Class title in the last 25 years and only managed two one-day titles in the last 15 years.

This, from a country with the greatest resource base in the Caribbean. Our facilities are the best in the region, economic activity in T&T is unparalleled, our human resource base with specific regard to coaching, cricket knowledge, physiology, sports medicine, technology and talent is far more developed than in other parts of the region. The problem is, Mr Lequay, that you have chosen to ignore intelligence. You feel threatened by anyone with the capacity for having an original thought.

In your zest and lust for self-preservation, you forgot one very important factor: that the game of cricket is bigger and better than you. You have single-handedly determined who represents this country.

Managers of teams must be at your beck and call at all times. All decisions must be approved by you. So much so that the current president of the T&T cricket board, Ellis Lewis, does not even realise as yet, that it is he and not you, who is the president.

Is it a coincidence that Mr Lewis continuously makes statements to the media only after the CEO has spoken on the issue? Furthermore, these statements are always redundant as Mr Lewis simply echoes the very same sentiments of the CEO, in most cases verbatim. You may argue here that this reflects unity and solidarity within the board which are essential factors for effective administration However, I simply interpret this as a “one-man show.” In my humble opinion the “one man” has proven to be quite ordinary.

Great leaders are brave enough to surround themselves with men of greater intelligence, aptitude and special talents than they themselves possess. The great leader will then delegate authority with specific attention to specialiastion in order to produce the desired result. You, Alloy, have consistently chosen over the years to surround yourself with individuals whose productivity is hindered by their fear of reprisal from the absolute leader. Men who may have been able to contribute to the development of cricket in T&T and the region but allowed their passion, commitment, creativity, resolve and ambition to be smothered by a jealous, insecure dictator. Rather than inspire and motivate these individuals by rewarding initiative, you chose to add initiative to your list of the seven (now eight) deadly sins.

A great leader encourages and rewards his followers, workers, members and employees. But not you Alloy, you have chosen instead to denigrate, belittle, attack and malign anyone who dared to hold a divergent view.

From the greatest batsman in the history of the game, to the bar staff at the Oval, no one is spared your wrath. Who are you to pronounce that Lara has done nothing for cricket in T&T?

Lara has single-handedly ensured the continued survival of cricket in T&T. When cricket faced strong challenges from other more exciting sports and recreational activities, Lara’s amazing performances inspired young and old alike to keep the faith. Lara has also been responsible for enlightening players on a variety of issues facing them. From remuneration, to not simply pandering to the underachieving, arrogant, self-indulgent administrators who are motivated by ensuring that their point of view is gospel, rather than what is best for the game.

In short, Brian Charles Lara has done more for this country, the game of cricket and sport in general than you could ever possibly achieve in 100 (long) lifetimes. Yet you, a mere sanctimonious administrator, saw it fit to ill-speak him to the entire world in 2001. Then you had the gall to heap praise on him in 2004, following his record-breaking innings of 400 not out.

You claim that you are on your way out in October, 2005. If this is true, it is clear that you would like to leave as you came in. Your unwarranted attack on the “Friends of Cricket” simply sums up your entire career.

What could possess you to describe men and women who have given their lives to the development of the sport of cricket in this country, as greedy and self-serving? Deryck Murray, Forbes Persaud, Raphick Jumadeen, Anne Brown-John, Colin Murray, Theophilius Trim, Harry Narine, Allan Sammy, Omar Khan and others have proven for decades that they truly love the game. Their passion has even survived your tenure as the supreme cricket deity, which in itself is absolutely amazing.

This country will independently thank these people for their stick-to-itiveness. Unfortunately not even those who you have been able to control and manipulate would thank you. In fact the very same cowards shall give a loud sigh of relief as you trudge off into the sunset. Hopefully, it is not too late for them to revive their suffocated ability to make meaningful decisions on their own.

Goodbye and good riddance!

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