Otis Gibson Sacked by the WICB

Otis Gibson

Otis Gibson

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) sacked Coach Otis Gibson tonight, a decision known 48 hours before it was announced. Hurray for transparency. The news that he was terminated by a telephone call after just renewing a contract for 2 years makes the Gibson sacking another saga to observe for the comedic relief it offers. It is no secret West Indies has become the laughing stock of the cricket world. The inability of the WIBC to stop the slide of performance by the regional cricket team for nearly 2 decades confirms the leadership vacuum which continues to choke success in almost every facet of  enterprise in our region. The most recent ICC Rankings positions West Indies at #8 out of 10 teams with only the minnows Zimbabwe and Bangladesh  at #9 and #10 bottoming out the rankings.

The WICB and the UWI represent two regional entities which have served the English Caribbean people well. In recent years these two entities have struggled to stay relevant in a world advancing at pace. It seems moronic that the WICB on the eve of an international ODI series against Bangladesh would become trapped into making such a significant management change.  Based on the WIBC press release the team manager, Sir Richie Richardson, will perform a dual role in the current series. While the WICB saga continues to unfold Barbadians were informed of very low registration at UWI, Cave Hill. Connect the dots.

All taxpayers in the cricket English Caribbean have a vested interest in the efficient management of regional cricket. In the build up to the 2007 regional governments mobilized several projects, including the building of new stadia, to host CWC2007.  And it has been reported greater than $500 million was spent by regional governments which taxpayers will have to repay for years to come. To observe the cavalier approach how cricket is being managed by the WIBC continues to be jaw dropping stuff.

A region which dominated world cricket for almost 20 years and is unable to build on past success to sustain future success. We play musical chairs with coaches and players yet one entity remains unchanged, as rigid as it was which it was named the WICBC.

BU can blog hundreds of words to express the feelings of the fans of West Indies cricket who have become numb to the poor performances  of the  cricket team on the field and in the boardroom. To express disgust at the latest black eye suffered by West Indies cricket is analogous to flogging a dead horse.

About these ads

Tags: , ,

73 Comments on “Otis Gibson Sacked by the WICB”

  1. Simple Simon August 19, 2014 at 10:35 PM #

    Control freaks.

    Like

  2. Pachamama August 20, 2014 at 2:47 AM #

    Good riddance Gibson. His appointment was indeed an indication of the ignorance within the Board itself. Now the proper thing to do, since the Board is ready to acknowledge its failures is for the Board, all the Boards, to resign and swim from territory to territory begging the people’s forgiveness. Gibson was always a colossal ‘a-hole’ who has done more damage to WI cricket than the proverbial hurricane. Good riddance Gibson!

    Like

  3. robert ross August 20, 2014 at 3:46 AM #

    What are the assumptions which underlie this post?

    Eg does the post writer assume that the team should be on top by divine right?

    Eg does the post writer regard himself as a failure because the team fails?

    Eg on “connecting the dots” – does the post writer suggest a link between intelligence AND student numbers with success on the cricket field?

    While he’s about it, will he please give the evidence for saying that the team is the “laughing stock” of the cricket world.

    Like

  4. jeff Cumberbatch August 20, 2014 at 7:33 AM #

    There is no connection whatsoever among the relatively low registration numbers for 2014-15 in a couple of Faculties at UWI and the political hotbed that is the WICB and the deficit in basic skills and concentration that typifies West Indian cricket currently.

    Like

  5. Gully God August 20, 2014 at 8:48 AM #

    Until WI can present 4 world class players in its setup at any time , it will remain at number 8 position on the rating list and coaches, managers, players and supporters will continue to grief.’ A change must Come’.

    Like

  6. The People's Democratic Congress August 20, 2014 at 10:18 AM #

    Imagine a bunch of players of the regional territorial terms believing and saying that they are WEST INDIANS?

    Imagine many millions of people of this CARICOM sub-region and primarily of Negroid and Negroid/Caucasoid extraction thinking and saying that they are WEST INDIANS?

    What stark ignorance and crass madness that they think they are WEST INDIANS!!

    No wonder some of these same cricketers and citizens of the various regional territories will continue to falsely think they are inferior to many others peoples in various social political material financial cultural spheres when they already wrongly see themselves as WEST INDIANS.

    Indeed, such deficient thinking will in turn adversely impact on many of those same people’s overall performances in those spheres even when they counter it (such thinking) with stronger ideological philosophical perspectives.

    Imagine the ignorancy of some people saying the University of the West Indies? The stupidity of some persons saying the West Indies (cricket teams)? The West Indian Commission? And look at their overall performances in recent times?

    PDC

    Like

  7. Artaxerxes August 20, 2014 at 10:21 AM #

    People must come to the realization that the West Indies cricket team is mediocre team. We have been losing with the same recycled players for the past few years. When one recycled group gets old, they choose a younger set of players and the recycling begins again. The WICB has bent over backwards to accommodate certain players while allowing them to behave as they please. Chris Gayle, for example, immediately comes to mind.
    The failure of the WI team is not isolated to Gibson alone. This team was losing when Harper, Logie, King, Moore and Dyson were coaches as well. It is impossible for any coach to manage an unruly team, and Otis Gibson found this out the hard way. He should have known when Sammy was relieved of the captaincy, he would have been next.

    Back in 2004, Australian Bennett King was appointed as coach of the WI team, replacing Gus Logie, who was fired as coach after the Champion Trophy. In 2008, King resigned from his post after poor performances of the WI team in the World Cup. He recommended to the WICB that his assistant coach, David Moore, be given the position.
    After King’s resignation, it was reported in the Jamaican Gleaner that WI captain, Sarwan said King was the worst coach he ever had, and that he was aggressive and vocally abusive to certain players.

    On May 3, 2007 David Moore was appointed head coach of the WI team, and by August 2007 the WICB was advertising for a coach.
    In June 2007 during the WI tour of England, Marlon Samuels wrote a letter to team manager Mike Finday accusing Moore of discrimination and not giving sufficient batting practice time in the nets. Gayle was also critical of the curfew imposed by the team management.

    In 2009, the WICB terminated the services of Coach John Dyson a few weeks before the Champion Trophy, and was temporarily replaced by Assistant Coach David Williams. Dyson’s termination came after the WI had two poor series against England and Bangladesh. I recall at the time Dyson was appointed, Jeffery Dujon was quoted as saying “No coach in the world can help West Indies”.
    During an interview by The Sydney Morning Herald in 2009, Dyson was reported as saying that the WI team “has created a culture of laziness while training for tournaments.” He went on to state: “There are some cricketers in the group, who unfortunately don’t like taking direction from people at all. They feel they are above that.”
    “It’s difficult getting the players together with the one single-minded goal. This is indicative of the fact that they come from different nations. It has been suggested that they break up the West Indies and have Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, Guyana, compete as individual teams.’

    Shortly after Gibson was appointed as coach, his criticism of the senior players led Gayle to publically lambast him. Gayle was supported by the media, fans and even politicians, because people tend to believe he is untouchable.
    But talk of double standards in WI cricket. This is the same Gayle who publically criticised Pollard, Ramdin and Smith after the WI 2 run defeat against Zimbabwe in 2010. The same media and fans agreed with his comments.

    Like

  8. pieceuhderockyeahright August 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM #

    @ Jeff Cumberbatch

    I think that the “connection” that the author is making is quite clear and they say it clearly with the statement and I quote “The WICB and the UWI represent two regional entities which have served the English Caribbean people well. In recent years these two entities HAVE STRUGGLED TO STAY in a world advancing at pace…”

    I would believe that the author, in stating the diminished numbers at the institution, is juxtaposing the undersubscription against what the organisations have been in the past, the gains made, of which you might have been a recipient, and the fact that in 2014, the institution has never been able to convert any of its intellectual capital into anything worthwhile CERTAINLY NOT anything that generates $$ to support the behemoth it has become.

    @ Ross

    Regarding your “divine right” comment.

    As a proud West Indian who lived through the scourge of Rule Britannia, first here as a young man growing up stupid under the Union Jack (off) and then in the mother cuntry of the UK where, whether you were a poor black sambo like me, or an accomplished black batsman like Worrell, Walcott or Lloyd, to be caught out in Victorian Britian, in your Cardiff’s and Liverpools at a certain time after dusk, was an invitation for a serious beating, I can identify with the concept of being a proud West Indian and solidarity with our West Indies team.

    That will be lost on persons of other races for they do not indulge in any such tribalism as such relates to their regard of their national sports e.g. football and baseball.

    When their national representatives fail at Boxing and people like Maximillian Adolph Otto Siegfried Schmeling fight with niggers like Joe Louis, it is infra dig for blacks to identify with another louis beating the Black Uhlan of the Rhine.

    So I am first to accept your points and, yes, as far as we West Indians are concerned, people like the author of this article are to be ridiculed and called out for what they are.

    Imagine that, the author to have made this assumption that other West Indians have adopted these clowns in cricket as representatives in a sport that this “we” once thought themselves to be indomitable in!!

    Who he is to think, then incredibly state that “we are the laughing stock of the world”.

    When some of you get up and blog these supercilious articles Ross, do you ever pause to review your submissions of what amounts to a viewpoint that is so obviously blinkered and cannot in a million years appreciate what we as black people contend with?

    I watch article from people like you because of the subtle aspects of “right of passage” it affords to the recently graduated chattel that we are.

    Do

    Like

  9. pieceuhderockyeahright August 20, 2014 at 10:34 AM #

    By the way, it is indeed the Worst Team we have ever had as is the current Government, the current Tourism Marketing team.

    We are living in a time of “uncomplimentary superlatives” rarely equaled and one which we pray will never be surpassed, but that is wishful thinking

    Like

  10. Hants August 20, 2014 at 11:05 AM #

    West Indies cricket management has to deal with the impact of T20 leagues.

    The cricketers with a few exceptions are focused on IPL, CPL, Big Bash etc.

    In a capitalist society you have to maximize your earnings.

    Like

  11. Artaxerxes August 20, 2014 at 11:11 AM #

    pieceuhderockyeahright | August 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM |

    I agree with you 100%

    Like

  12. David August 20, 2014 at 1:26 PM #

    @Hants

    Our cricket will not improve until we have a vibrant professional league.

    Like

  13. Pachamama August 20, 2014 at 2:15 PM #

    @ David
    Dey use to say, until we have an academy. Until, we have better facilities, and so on. The irony is that when we were ruling world cricket none of these were true. To fix this we need to go back to 1991 and fix the coup against the Lloyd/Richards dynasty which imorally transfer power from the players to the Board. Until we have a ‘dictator’, on the field, nothing good will happen.

    Like

  14. Hants August 20, 2014 at 2:24 PM #

    More humiliation.

    WI 37 for 5 in reply to Bangladesh.

    Like

  15. GEORGIE PORGIE August 20, 2014 at 2:27 PM #

    pachy
    you are 100% correct

    Like

  16. Pachamama August 20, 2014 at 2:48 PM #

    @ GP
    Thanks. We don’t know if you had a system that worked well for you, for over 20 years, why would you want to change it like a dutiful little englishman? Just to make the idiots in the board room feel powerful. Yuh gottah be kidding.

    Like

  17. Pachamama August 20, 2014 at 2:57 PM #

    We remember seeing Carl Hooper giving away his hand at Kensingtion. per usual, and was afraid to pass by Richard who was coming in next, because the’ Dictator-in-chief Richards, he knew would express ‘disappointment’, to put it mildly. So Hooper use another route to the pavilion.

    Like

  18. GEORGIE PORGIE August 20, 2014 at 3:19 PM #

    PACHY
    THE TROUBLES FROM WHICH WE HAVE NEVER RECOVERED ARE
    1 WHOLESALE DROPPING OF DUJON RICHARDS GREENIDGE IN 1981

    2 THE BANNING FOR LIFE OF 18 OF OUR VERY BEST CRICKETERS FOR LIFE IN 1981. THIS INTERALIA CAUSED A GREAT DENT IN BARBADOS &WI CRICKET AS CONTINUITY WAS LOST

    3 THE FIASCO WITH HAYNES IN 1985

    Like

  19. John August 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM #

    Like WI could win!!!

    130 for 5 and ball beating.

    Life isn’t fair Bangladesh must be saying ……

    ,,,, but then again the game isn’t over yet!!

    Like

  20. Bajan in NY August 20, 2014 at 3:53 PM #

    @ David | August 20, 2014 at 1:26 PM
    You are 100% correct!
    The records will show that 99% of the W.I. players were employed as professional cricketers in England during the 15 year period of world dominance. Talented batsmen will not improve playing against mediocre bowlers and vice versa. Additionally, T20 cricket will not help in the development of young cricketers worldwide. The IPL “flat track bullies” India took to England were exposed as the technical weaklings there are once the the ball started to swing and seam.
    Where the sponsorship to run a pro league in the region will come from is the big question.

    Like

  21. John August 20, 2014 at 4:01 PM #

    GP

    2 THE BANNING FOR LIFE OF 18 OF OUR VERY BEST CRICKETERS FOR LIFE IN 1981. THIS INTERALIA CAUSED A GREAT DENT IN BARBADOS &WI CRICKET AS CONTINUITY WAS LOST
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Agree with that 100%.

    …. and the banning was precipitated by our leaders apparently taking a principled position ….

    Bare jokers all of them.

    Look at the mess they caused with the economy too.

    Can’t build, can only mash up.

    No wonder only one so far been able to write a book about his experiences in leadership …… and he was from St. Vincent.

    If I am not mistaken we ain’t seen neither book from Barrow …. apart from the cook book (appropriate)…… Adams, Bree and Thompson dead ……. and for sure Owen isn’t going to be writing neither book …… hasn’t the intellect and besides he has nothing to write about.

    Sandi might surprise us but he learning Chinese in his declining years so I won’t be holding my breath!!

    In the US Sarah Palin and Hilary Clinton write books …. even George Bush for Heaven’s sake.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/hillary-clintons-first-week-of-book-sales-versus-sarah-palins-is-not-even-close/article/2549929

    http://www.salon.com/2010/12/28/bush_book_sales/

    Like

  22. Hants August 20, 2014 at 5:32 PM #

    A win is a win.

    Like

  23. David August 20, 2014 at 6:31 PM #

    @Jeff

    Missed your comment but PODRYR answered. It would be good to find out what research projects have been completed by the UWI,Cave Hill for example and the process in lace to commercialize.

    Like

  24. waiting August 20, 2014 at 7:23 PM #

    John you didn’t disappoint with your above comment that’s the rubbish expected from you. A bunch of greedy immoral cricketers ignore the sacrifice of the peerless Nelson Mandela and you hail them as heroes. The punishment they got was light their passports should have been withdrawn making them stateless. Blacks in Soweto and elsewhere not to mention Mandela sacrificing their very lives to combat the Boer racists while these cricketing uncle toms in apartheid South Africa as honorary whites for a few filthy pieces of silver. You cannot knock the position of our leaders on boycotting racist South Africa the entire world outside of USA and Israel stood in unity against the violent bigots murdering our brothers and sisters under apartheid. Our leaders were correct in setting their faces against Botha and the mass murderers of black people. Your attempt to ridicule former Prime Minister of Barbados for not writing books is despicable.

    Like

  25. GEORGIE PORGIE August 20, 2014 at 7:43 PM #

    Hants | August 20, 2014 at 5:32 PM |
    A win is a win.
    POLLARD & RAMDIN BATTED WELL & SENSIBLY….AND SO DID YOUNG JASON HOLDER

    Like

  26. Pachamama August 20, 2014 at 8:11 PM #

    @ GP
    Yes, a win is a win but it could have a ‘wind’ too. One not too pleasant. This win gives us no confidence in the head space of the top batmen. That top batting is too brittle, lacks a warrior ethos, is too inconsistent and none of these problems and more will go away any time soon. Most of all we lack confidence in this lot, still!

    Like

  27. Sargeant August 20, 2014 at 10:27 PM #

    Talent and natural ability will only get you so far and the rest of the world has caught up with the Windies as the talent also exists in those countries. They also have commitment, dedication and a willingness to work hard to improve their craft as without those attributes they are just spinning their wheels.

    Venus and Serena Williams could only go so far with natural talent, fortunately Richard Williams realized this and moved his family to Florida so that his daughters could avail themselves of the rigorous training at the Tennis academies there and the result is two Hall of Fame players. Ever study the training schedule of Michael Phelps? His day’s training is more than these cricketers accomplish in a month, you don’t get to be number 1 in the world and sit on your laurels. The Caribbean teams of yesteryear were outliers that fate and circumstances helped along, the Caribbean cricketers of today with few exceptions have a mañana attitude and they can never recover lost glory.

    It’s over the fat lady has sung.

    Like

  28. pieceuhderockyeahright August 21, 2014 at 4:49 AM #

    @ Sargeant

    Precise incontrovertible truths, well said.

    Talent, through exposure fashioned into dominance.

    Our “time” based on all the signals has passed, sad but seemingly true

    Like

  29. robert ross August 21, 2014 at 5:11 AM #

    Some thoughts…….

    “We lack confidence in this lot….”

    But who cares? The issue is whether “this lot” have confidence in themselves.

    “It’s over….our time has passed”

    The Roman empire fell. The British empire fell. Everything is in flux. The wheel turns. One day it will turn our way. There is no “divine right’.

    I wonder what our cricketers think of armchair pundits.

    The “white man’s Bible”…….the ‘white man’s cricket’……why are we so bothered? What makes cricket DIFFERENT?

    “Is that ALL we’ve got here – big ones and cricket?”

    Like

  30. balance August 21, 2014 at 5:54 AM #

    ” In 2008, King resigned from his post after poor performances of the WI team in the World Cup. He recommended to the WICB that his assistant coach, David Moore, be given the position.”

    “On May 3, 2007 David Moore was appointed head coach of the WI team, and by August 2007 the WICB was advertising for a coach.”

    YOU MAY WISH TO RE-VISIT OR CLARIFY THE ABOVE

    Like

  31. balance August 21, 2014 at 5:57 AM #

    Artaxerxes | August 20, 2014 at 11:11 AM |

    pieceuhderockyeahright | August 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM |

    I agree with you 100%”

    RE- HIS AUGUST 20 10.25 AM RESPONSE TO JEFF CUMBERBATCH OR HIS 10.34AM COMMENT.

    Like

  32. balance August 21, 2014 at 6:02 AM #

    “& SENSIBLY”
    That’s the operative word Dr Georgie

    Like

  33. Artaxerxes August 21, 2014 at 10:46 AM #

    balance | August 21, 2014 at 5:54 AM |

    “YOU MAY WISH TO RE-VISIT OR CLARIFY THE ABOVE”

    It’s just a typo…….. Bennett King resigned as WI coach in April 2007, but offered to remain in the post until May 31, 2007 and Moore was appointed interim coach on May 3, 2007 to accompanied the team on their tour to England.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………..

    balance | August 21, 2014 at 5:57 AM |

    “RE- HIS AUGUST 20 10.25 AM RESPONSE TO JEFF CUMBERBATCH OR HIS 10.34AM COMMENT.”

    BOTH

    Like

  34. Hants August 21, 2014 at 11:19 AM #

    The life of a West Indies cricketer. Party hearty in luxury.

    Like

  35. Hants August 21, 2014 at 11:21 AM #

    There is a group in Toronto who are planning a Canadian Premier League.

    Hope it happens.

    Like

  36. David August 21, 2014 at 5:40 PM #

    @Jeff

    UWI cut?

    UWI cut? University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus (FP)

    By SANKA PRICE and YVETTE BEST | Wed, August 20, 2014 – 12:12 AM

    SOME FIRST-YEAR COURSES and part-time lecturers at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill campus may be cut because of the low numbers of students accepting places for this academic year.

    Senior UWI officials said yesterday that this was likely, given the dramatic drop in the numbers of students who had accepted places to pursue degree programmes across faculties from September.

    A well placed UWI source said next week each faculty would meet to examine the enrolment trends and decide whether to shed courses and/or staff.

    He said such a meeting was held every year and in previous years when enrolment was high, more temporary staff were hired to ensure courses were adequately covered.

    Please read the full story in today’s MIDWEEK NATION, or in the eNATION edition.

    Like

  37. jeff Cumberbatch August 21, 2014 at 6:14 PM #

    Yes, David. But is this UWI’s fault or is it attributable rather to the new dispensation of students having to pay part of the tuition fee? Note that Law and Medicine have suffered minuscule declines only.

    Like

  38. David August 21, 2014 at 6:29 PM #

    @Jeff

    Some better placed than BU suggest there is a lot of fat to be discovered in the operating cost of the university, heads of faculty need to be more involved in wider society to support endowments, contribution to scholarships, sponsorships,funding to commercialize research. Do this and it places less of a burden on the pubic purse.

    Note also that the QEH is unable to accommodate interns.

    Like

  39. Hants August 21, 2014 at 7:20 PM #

    This drop in enrollment was predictable.

    Barbados is not like Canada where students and parents can find part time jobs to help pay fees.

    If the economy improves so will the fortunes of UWI.

    Like

  40. robert ross August 21, 2014 at 10:29 PM #

    Is the University performing an appropriate public service in failing to limit severely the number of intending students registering for Law? And given that the Faculty has taken on a good number of additional staff is this not compounding the problem? In other words, isn’t the “pursuit of excellence” rooted, in this respect, in cynical self-interest as with, also, the ‘graduate in every household’ policy?

    Like

  41. pieceuhderockyeahright August 21, 2014 at 11:22 PM #

    @ David [BU]

    I gine teif some info and a quotation from de internet tuh mek a point.

    If you plant for a year, grow rice.
    If you plant for a decade, grow trees.
    If you plant for a century, grow educated men and women — Chinese proverb

    David, the value of the endowment funds at Stanford is close to $18 billion!!

    Can you imagine that?

    19% of Stanford University’s funding comes from sponsored research and if you really want to see the disparity between whu white people does do and what we doan even come close to doing take a look at the National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute reports for the last 5 years

    With clowns like those at UWI, department heads who walk around like demi-gods and who don’t have any modicum of how to leverage research and or engage the private sector to support any type of initiative, irrespective of all the growth that the Principal Sir Hilary mentioned in his March CHILL Newsletter, all they have managed to do is to spend money.

    Check out the report – increases in buildings/facilities, in staffing, in salaries but there is no counterbalance in his report that shows them generating a cent in Research Income. Dem like stragglers on in a Rum Shop, dem knows how to spend money but dont know how to mek a cent.

    “A graduate in every household” is a noble outcome and a sexy sound bite but in reality it is a “waste foop” objective IF, as is glaringly evident, all that they are producing is a bunch of academically qualified, yet useless graduates.

    But then again, i waiting fuh de 12 oclock shot so i hallucinating about whu possible in Bulbados and how de University gine churn out Einsteins an’ Newtons instead uh Gearboxes and Professor La hahs

    very

    Like

  42. jeff Cumberbatch August 22, 2014 at 4:43 AM #

    @David@6:29 pm,

    Agreed, and quite a bit of that goes on. Indeed, much more than is made public. So far as dependence on “the pubic purse” goes; while it started out that way, it changed subtly with the UWI educating students for a fee rather than being granted a subsidy. But the consumer who took the services on credit now owes substantial sums, thus affecting the cash flow of the service provider and its ability to function effectively.

    @ Ross@ 10:29 pm

    Provocative!!

    Like

  43. balance August 22, 2014 at 5:41 AM #

    THANKS Artaxerxes

    Like

  44. Crusoe August 22, 2014 at 7:29 AM #

    Re The Otis Gibson issue…. (actually pertains to much more), including the UWI issue also mentioned….

    It is the old ‘definition of insanity’, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    The reality is that the issue is systemic, not individual (though that in itself is a relevant story) and requires much more than changing a coach….

    Much, much more……

    To cut a long story short, in the (expected) lack of action on the real issue, one can write off West Indies Test Cricket and keep it as a great memory to be cherished.

    They may as well focus on 20/20 going forward. Seriously.

    Like

  45. Hants August 22, 2014 at 3:23 PM #

    West Indies 247/7 (50 ov)
    Bangladesh 70 (24.4 ov)
    West Indies won by 177 runs

    Like

  46. Pachamama August 22, 2014 at 7:56 PM #

    Well the team has to be congratulated. However, this level of performance will not, no time soon remove us from the cellar of the one day rankings. Good win but unimpressive, especially the continuing lack of quality of the batting..

    Like

  47. GEORGIE PORGIE August 22, 2014 at 8:02 PM #

    HANTS
    THIS IS FOR YOU AS YOU ARE A CRICKET LOVER
    Let me share my story on that most dearest of topics to Bajans. It is entitled

    CRICKET, LOVELY CRICKET

    To many West Indians there is nothing dearer to the heart than cricket. These days West Indians are all depressed and despondent because the regional team no longer has the stranglehold or world supremacy in cricket that it had between 1976-1995. Well whether you like it or not, they say when Yorkshire was strong, England was strong, and when Barbados is strong, West Indies is strong. The fact is that Barbados’ cricket is no longer strong, and we can no longer command the presence of six to eight members of a West Indies touring team or test team. So how you expect the West Indies cricket team to be strong?

    So how did the little rock so consistently produce the plethora of proud players that pleasured the people of the cricketing diaspora? It was simply that we played nuff cricket and all sorts of cricket. We so much loved the game that as boys, when the rain fell, we sat and played “blind man cricket.”

    For those who do not know, this game was played by producing on a piece of paper a checkerboard into which numbers indicating scoring shots or the method of obtaining extras were entered at random. Also on the board were spots where the several ways of getting out in cricket were represented. With eyes closed, and blunt pointed pencil in hand one would raise the fist and blindly bring the penciled hand down on the paper. Runs were scored or wickets taken according to the square in which the pencil point landed. In this way whole “cricket games” were played.

    Some of us modified the game by entering the relevant cricket information on a circular disc and spun it on a nail, or hat pin in the middle of the disc in the manner of “wheels of fortune.” Our affluent contemporary children know nothing of these poor people pastimes. Perhaps we have been too busy to share such with them. Perhaps television, video and other current technologies might restrict their interest in hearing.

    On some rainy days my brother and I, or my best friend then, played an indoor version of “marble or lilliputian or kneeling down cricket.” In this form of the game both the batsman and bowler took their places at their respective ends by kneeling. The length of the wicket was of various lengths according to the size of the room, verandah, and when played in the yard on better days according to the magnitude of the backyard.

    One major modification of the rules in this form of the game was that the wicket keeper, who also kneeled or stooped behind what was used as the makeshift stumps, could stump you if you did not get your miniature bat down in the crease after the ball passed, whether or not you had played a shot. This called for very keen reflexes on the part of both batsman and keeper.

    Remember that technically the batsman kneeled within the batting crease. So to have a stumping this innovative rule was a necessity. This rule was a demonstration of the ability of our people to think and create. In order to score runs the batsman had to get up and run between the wicket in the normal way.

    When we played in the living room-yes the living room, for balls, we used marbles, table tennis balls or anything suitable that resembled a ball. And yes we caused some damage to things, but not half as much as the damage to lives that is caused by illegal drugs and guns today.

    My childhood best friend went on to open the batting for Combermere school in first division cricket in Barbados, and with his partner established in 1970 the record for the first wicket-over 300 against the Lodge school. This record stands today. He later represented Barbados under 19’s and became President of the USA cricket Association. All I ever achieved was to become a life member of the BCA. This had nothing to do with my cricket prowess. I was proud to hear my friend tell some friends at cricket a few seasons ago that I had some talent as a lad, but didn’t pursue it. Generous fellow!. What I lacked in ability, I demonstrated in zeal!

    There was also yard cricket, whether Lilliputian or the standard form. This caused for amazing dexterity on the part of the batsman. Depending on what side of the yard the pailing was you had to curtail certain shots, because if you struck the pailing full or otherwise, there would be a great commotion caused by the next door neighbor- and you would be out! “Out”? “Yes siriie”. “How” you may ask. Out- hit pailing. Out!

    Thus if the pailing was on the off side you had to leave out your extra cover drives and square cuts, and divert the appropriately pitched balls straight, or through the leg side some how. If the pailing was on the leg side, one had to “use one’s feet and hit inside out to the off side. When you see the international players do this in one day internationals today, that is nothing new. Those stokes were invented in back yard cricket in Barbados.

    I recently read a comparable story out of Antigua by the brother of Viv Richards which explained the tendency of this player to hit the ball through mid wicket. To hit straight meant getting out “hit pailing!”

    Now of course in those days we could only afford to play with a real cricket ball if someone who played representative cricket gave you a discarded ball. This tended to turn out some good old ball bowlers too, as you would expect. We generally played with tennis balls, and bowling over hand- not under handed as they do in the other islands.

    I have seen fellas do everything possible with a hopping ball (which has no seam as you know) as is done with a cricket ball. This is playing on the asphalted main road, or a concrete surface. I aint mean when some of you fellows used to turn the ball by hitting certain stones in the pitch when we played on rough pasture land.

    We also made our own balls. These were composed of a piece of tar or a pebble for a core and wrapped around with cloth. The mass was rounded and held in place by knitting using cord left back from kite flying season, or from disravelling onion bags obtained from the nearby village shop.

    Beach cricket used to be used in Barbados in days of yore to “hone in” one’s batting skills and technique in playing the ball that skids through. For you islanders one seeks in this form of the game to gain an advantage over the batsman by bowling when a wave has come in to shore. As it recedes it leaves a film of water on the hard sand by the waters edge. When the ball-especially a tuff sponge ball is pitched into that film it skids off, and the batsman needs a little extra skill in order to defend his wicket. Do you really expect Barbados, and therefore West Indies cricket to be the same with out all these little training nuances?

    Added to this most boys who play games have so many from which to chose that cricket can no longer be king. Not enough cricket is played. Most of the boys today are either criminally minded, or they play Nintendo, Pokemon or with computers. They don’t even worry much with handsy pansy, or footsie footsie with the girls.

    In recent times taped ball cricket is the thing. The standard tennis or hopping ball is covered with insulating tape. Some even tape in a seam by using a broad rubber band beneath the tape. I played some of that type of cricket with my sons and nephew and some of their peers and their parents in the late 90’s. (in my early 50;s)

    The older men bat first in order of descending seniority. We continue the innovation of old in that we have a 20 ft container 8 feet behind the wicket. If you edge the ball, and it hits that container you are out. Out, caught Container! And friends Mr Container never drops a ball!

    The first day I played I delivered a leg break like the one that Shane Warne bowled to Gatting in his first test in England about ten years ago. Every one was fearful just as the English team was that season. Unlike Warne, however, I have been unable to repeat that performance, and I now rarely bowl. When I do, I am definitely not feared.

    Playing this geriatric cricket is real fun or embarrassing depending how you take it. The first thing that must be understood is that getting old is really only mind over matter. As long as you don’t mind, it don’t matter. Many times a fellow hits the ball, and brain says Georgie take two steps to right and catch ball. Ball passes, Georgie aint get round to moving yet! Georgie says to the youth, “Twenty or thirty years ago I would have caught (or stopped that ball easily).

    We old boys have, however, taken some amazing catches despite the fact that we have deserted our reflexes- or is it the other way around? We usually try to make the youth work hard to claim our wickets. I find that with all the ex test players commentating on the frequent television cricket broadcasts that we see today that I have a better grasp of batting techniques, even though the receding of my near point, and less acute reflexes restricts the execution. But as I said before, playing old man cricket is only mind over matter. As long as you don’t mind doing lots of silly things, or being unable to do exactly the right thing, it don’t matter. All you do is join in with the chaps when they laugh at you. The truth is that I have enjoyed geriatric cricket better than in my juvenile days.

    Imagine my own 20 year old son has tried to intimidate me by bowling vicious bouncers at me. The best bouncer I have ever received in my life was an evening when the para-cricket conversation had to do with “horning.” One of the best fast bowlers responded with a bouncer when the chaps suggested that he was getting a “German horn”, i.e he was being horned by his wife to be who was on a course in Germany.

    Cricket is life! Cricket is certainly an essential part of our heritage. Our English colonialization revolved around college, church and cricket; all three are meant to be institutions of learning. Cricket must therefore not be seen only as a game as correctly pointed out in C L R James’ “Beyond a Boundary”. I would dearly like to expound on my theories about this, but I prefer to make you laugh now than bore you further. I want you to enjoy my prose, not endure it.

    You may think that women don’t understand the relationship of life to cricket, but this is far from the truth. I once overheard a conversation between a tourist and a local Bajan white woman while on one of the Sunday morning National Trust sponsored walks. She was asked “What is the real difference between a one day international and a test match? She replied with out hesitation, a one day game is like a one night stand, but a test match is more like a marriage.” How very profound!

    Like

  48. Hants August 22, 2014 at 8:44 PM #

    @ G P very enjoyable reading.

    The “modernisation ” of Barbados has diminished our capacity to produce Test class cricketers.

    It is not just the electronic distractions but other sports like Basketball are now popular.

    The boys on the block in our younger days played cricket.

    Boys on the block today smoke and sell weed.

    There will be no return to former Test cricket glory but we will create a few millionaires from T20.

    Like

  49. GEORGIE PORGIE August 22, 2014 at 10:42 PM #

    hants
    I am told that after Roberts & Richards got in the WI team in the early 7o’s there were all kinds of cricket competitions in Antigua throughout the week.
    I lived in Antigua for 3 months in 2003–I never saw any cricket being played at all.Nothing like how we used to play in the 50’s and 60/s as children.
    I lived in St Lucia for a year in 2011- same thing. Same thing in St Kitts in 2002

    In the story that I posted earlier the original had in interesting double entendres on third men, and long legs, short legs and hitting balls in the “‘ V “

    Like

  50. Crusoe August 23, 2014 at 7:04 AM #

    @GP,

    Very pleasant reading, concise and well written. Thank you.

    Your early experiences mirror my own.

    Sadly, passion, dedication and honour such as you mention, is no longer.

    And yes, in that too, cricket mirrors life in many ways.

    Which is why I see the decline in cricket as mirroring the decline in Caribbean politics and economies.

    Systemic.

    Have a good weekend.

    Like

  51. GEORGIE PORGIE August 23, 2014 at 10:10 AM #

    thanks Crusoe

    Like

  52. John August 23, 2014 at 11:45 AM #

    I think there are two factors at play, the dominant one being that we just don’t play as much cricket as boys as before.

    The second factor is that other larger countries have resources, money and population size to feed into cricket we will never have. Contracts to keep the players in money and training expertise separate the have’s from the have nots.

    Having said that I always wonder what would happen in cricket if we suddenly produced bowlers the caliber of those in the past and were miraculously able to inject them into our team.

    Look what Mitchell Johnson did with England!!

    Maybe there is a third factor at play, with the modernization we have become too fat and lazy to bowl really fast and sustain it.

    Watch how we Bajans stowaways used to move back when the West Indies produced Michael Holding. There is an energy and litheness we just do not see today.

    Enjoy the skill of Michael Holding and watch how we moved in the field.

    We have an obesity epidemic here.

    Like

  53. John August 23, 2014 at 11:47 AM #

    Oops

    Forgot the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loYyJllsj68

    Like

  54. David August 23, 2014 at 11:49 AM #

    Douglas San Hue dead at 82.

    Like

  55. GEORGIE PORGIE August 23, 2014 at 1:41 PM #

    Most of us WI cricket fans seem to resonate with the successes of 76-95.
    However, we seem toforget that we were champions also from 62 – 68 also.
    In those days there were no lot of coaches.

    If one checks the archives in Cricinfo.com, it is noteworthy that the representatives of the team performed credibly in inter territorial games, and later in the Shell shield, and took these performances into test cricket. Statistics reveal why these persons were chosen, and that they deserved thier selection– even though in those days we had no real first classseason prior to 66, and only a limited oneafter that..

    When you review the statistics of players selected for most of the other teams today, we see that players have a relatively long domestic first class record prior to selection. In contrast, we seem to elect jokers who have played little first class cricket and a relative lack of other type of cricket.
    How can we expect better results? .

    Like

  56. David August 23, 2014 at 3:42 PM #

    The following was posted to BU Sports Corner by Clifford Jones

    West Indines does not need a foriegn coach.It has not worked and it will never work.Since 1995 the year West Indies lost the Frank Worrell Trophy to Australia we have never been able to retain that standard of play that we enjoyed under Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards.The main cause of this problem is that all West Indies Test players were forced by the WICB to return to the West Indies and play in the local cricket matches arranged by the WICB to be considered for selection in Test Matches.This started with Desmond Haynes not being considered for the Australian Tour of 1995 and has continued ever since.Gradually all upcoming West Indies players have not been playing League and County Cricket in England as they had been doing since the 1930’s,starting with Learie Constantine and George Headley.My suggestion is that once you discover a talented player that shows a lot of promise take the next step and get him a contract in League or County Cricket in England.The discipline and responsibility learned in England cannot be replaced by coaching in the West Indies.When West Indies dominated Test Match cricket and did not lose a Test Series for fifteen years every cricketer on the team had a background of League or County Cricket.Three West Indies Cricketers have been appointed captains of County Cricket Teams in England-Roy Marshall(Barbados),Garry Sobers(Barbados)and Clive Lloyd(Guyana).Sir Frank Worrell said it best in his book Cricket Punch published in 1960 "On the contrary nothing is better for a young cricketer from the tropics than to have experience in the leagues,for it in league cricket that you come up against so many different varieties of bowling from the ones you are used to in our home country, you meet swerve,spin ,varying pace -the lot.Furthermore,it gives the cricketer from the tropics invaluable experience of English weather and English wickets.It also gives a young player a sense of responsibility,and a strong sense of responsibility is essential for any good international cricketer.Need I say more?"Frank Worrell won the batting average for both teams-In his First Test Match Series in the West Indies1948(147.00) In his last Test Match Series in the West Indies 1962 (83.00) 14 years apart.

    Like

  57. GEORGIE PORGIE August 23, 2014 at 4:04 PM #

    THE ENGLISH ARE NOW MAKING IT VERY DIFFICULT FOR WEST INDIANS TO PLAY IN EITHER THE LEAGUES OR INN COUNTY CRICKET.

    THE COUNTIES ONLY SEEM TO HIRE VERY SENIOR OR DISCARDED WINDIES PLAYERS IN RECENT TIMES

    Like

  58. John August 23, 2014 at 4:25 PM #

    GEORGIE PORGIE | August 23, 2014 at 1:41 PM |

    Most of us WI cricket fans seem to resonate with the successes of 76-95.
    However, we seem toforget that we were champions also from 62 – 68 also.
    In those days there were no lot of coaches.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The answer is fast bowling

    … Hall and Griffith then

    …… Roberts, Holding, Garner, Croft, Walsh Amprose, Benjamins, Patterson

    Holding went to Australia against some people’s advice … not enough known about him

    Apart from our flirt with spin in the 50’s … Ramadin and Valentine …. fast bowling has done it for us in both those periods of dominance.

    To win you have to take 20 wickets and while we had good batsmen …. no, exceptional batsmen ……. in those periods we bowled other sides out cheaply.

    We used to collapse regularly inspite of the batting talent.

    The difference between then and now is that in those days we would inevitably be saved by Sobers or someone else.

    Remember Roberts and Murray against Pakistan in the World Cup in 1975 and who could forget Dujon’s priceless, if flawed,masterpieces against Australia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjPxqFJ4Re4

    I still rather watch Dujon bat than any other batsman … sublime, but flawed..

    If we want to play the world at their game now we need coaches and technical expertise.

    Otherwise, we need some exceptional bowlers of pace that bring to the game an element of fear ….. and that cannot be coached.

    You have it or you don’t ….. and ….. if you have it you can get better by practice.

    Even joke batsmen can win a game of cricket once their bowlers have restricted the opposition.

    Australia did not have truly great batsmen after 1995, but their bowling unit restricted the opposition and they were unbeatable.

    And just to reinforce the pace argument, remember Thomson and Lillee in the 1970’s and Australia’s dominance.

    … and Mitchell Johnson taking apart England even though the batsmen were good.

    Look at Pakistan with Waqar and Wasim and Imran Khan. True pace wins matches.

    …. but, diligence, training and patience can also win if the opposition is limited in its ability to bowl you out and unsettle your batsmen.

    Like

  59. Gabriel August 23, 2014 at 9:03 PM #

    Who can forget Lindwall and Miller!For me the finest ,most intelligent bowler
    in West Indies cricket thus far was Curtly Ambrose.The bean stalk walking back to his run up and flicking his elbow into his waist and each of the six balls delivered was different and at lightning speed.He was a fit and very focused individual.

    Like

  60. John August 24, 2014 at 3:35 AM #

    It’s pace!!!

    The Invincibles of 1948 vintage.

    Yeah they had Bradman but Lindwall and Miller ensured the opposition was bowled out twice.

    Bradman with no Lindwall and Miller could force dull draws. Lindwall and Miller did the deeds.

    …. and then there was Larwood and Voce …

    West Indies took a really long time to figure it out.

    Like

  61. Gabriel August 24, 2014 at 12:30 PM #

    Then there was the fearsome Jamaican Roy Gilchrist with a temperament of an untamed stallion who dared a batsman to hit him for 4 or 6,because the next ball was a scalper with an appropriate comment spoken in French introducing what is now referred to as ‘Sledging’.And what the whiteys did?Complained of his bowling action and Frank Worrell,after taking him on tour to Australia against the wishes of the WICBC,was forced to leave him out of further consideration.It won’t happen today because most of the ICC whitey teams have adopted and modified the psychology of sledging to good advantage,Australia being the most effective of course, given their genetic makeup

    Like

  62. Sargeant August 24, 2014 at 1:21 PM #

    @Gabriel

    Apples and Oranges

    Two different eras, sledging in sport is now the accepted practice whereas in Worrell’s time it was “infra dig” this was a time when England was still debating the wisdom of having a professional cricketer as their Captain. This was the time of “gentleman amateurs” e.g. Peter May of Cambridge and Colin Cowdrey of Oxford as English cricket captains.

    BTW Gilchrist didn’t tour Australia with the WI Cricket team

    Like

  63. John August 24, 2014 at 7:49 PM #

    Gilchrist got sent home from the 58-59 tour of India for bowling beamers. Rumour has it he pulled a knife on his captain.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Gilchrist

    Gerry Alexander was the captain.

    He got hit for 3 boundaries and the Indian batsman taunted him.

    Couldn’t take it so he retaliated.

    …. some stallion!!

    …. but I always heard he was fast.

    “Roy Gilchrist (28 June 1934 – 18 July 2001) was a West Indian cricketer who played 13 Tests for the West Indies in the 1950s. He was born in Saint Thomas, Jamaica and died of Parkinson’s disease in St Catherine, Jamaica at the age of 67.

    Gilchrist’s Test career might have been longer had he not been sent home halfway through West Indies’ 1958–59 tour of the Indian subcontinent after disagreements with captain Gerry Alexander. One cause of this was Gilchrist’s “penchant for bowling beamers from 18 yards” as Cricinfo has put it, as well as off-field arguments. [1] This involved deliberately overstepping the bowling mark by four yards to come closer to the batsman and intimidate him. In the Fourth Test at Nagpur, after Indian batsman AG Kripal Singh had struck three consecutive boundaries and taunted him, Gilchrist deliberately overstepped the bowling mark by six metres and delivered a bouncer which hit the Sikh batsman on the head and dislodged his turban.

    In the following match, against North Zone, he unleashed a barrage of beamers against Swaranjit Singh, whom Alexander had known at Cambridge. He ignored his captain’s instruction to cease this form of attack. During the lunch interval Alexander substituted him, and he was subsequently sent home, while the other players proceeded to Pakistan for the remainder of the tour. Alexander told him: “You will leave by the next flight. Good afternoon.” This marked the end of his Test career. There were suggestions that he had pulled a knife on Alexander.[2]

    He later attracted attention while playing in the Lancashire League by removing a stump from the playing arena and striking an opposition batsman in the head.

    Gilchrist was said to be one of only four bowlers ever to have actually hit the sightscreen after first bounce on the pitch, on the full.[3] (There is some doubt about this, as the scorebook for the match in question, however, showed only three extras).

    After the end of his Test career he spent many years playing in the English Lancashire League. He was successful there, reaching 100 wickets each season until 1979, but there were continued stories of his violent temper. In 1967, Gilchrist was sentenced to three months’ probation after attacking his wife Novlyn during an argument. The judge in the case said: “I hate to think English sport has sunk so far that brutes will be tolerated because they are good at games.”[1]

    He returned to India in 1962-3, playing for Hyderabad and South Zone.[4]”

    Like

  64. Hants August 25, 2014 at 1:35 PM #

    Matching starting in 1 hour. West Indies need to keep the momentum going.

    Like

  65. GEORGIE PORGIE August 25, 2014 at 7:08 PM #

    iNTERESTING COMMENTS BELOW FROM ALVIN KALLICHARAN

    Who are the people who influenced and inspired you the most, in your career and in life in general?

    All my uncles on both sides were cricketers. My father captained the local team, so it was cricket all around. We followed them around, fed off the passion and learnt a lot from them. Interestingly, it was a shopkeeper back in my village, Mr Ramsey and his family, who influenced me in the early days by providing money to travel to Georgetown to see and play cricket, and I was inspired by being in a village that produced so many West Indian cricket heroes like Rohan Kanhai, Basil Butcher, Joe Solomon, John Trim and Robert Christiani. I also read a lot at the local libraries about earlier heroes like Learie Constantine, George Headley, Weekes, Worrell, Walcott (the 3 W’s), Frank Worrell and then came the genius Garfield Sobers. These were the people who influenced and inspired me the most, people who you copied mentally and physically and felt their vibrations and sense of purpose, those who set high standards and the strong foundations for us who came later.

    Why do you think West Indies cricket has deteriorated like it has?

    The feeder system leaves a lot to be desired. There are too many gaps from the grassroot to the national and international levels. These gaps are a lot wider than in my era. Also to be a success, you have to be hungry, to want it and be prepared to work hard. Most of all, you must have discipline. I don’t know how many have the upbringing and the influence in their lives to have that burning desire and discipline to make it happen. The mental strength and understanding that you are in a battle, in a war, you do not see danger or anxiety, but you must win the battle mentally and physically, whether as a batsman or a bowler. That’s how we played as a team in my era and were able to dominate for so long.

    Like

  66. Hants August 25, 2014 at 7:12 PM #

    August 2015

    http://cplt20.ca/news/

    Like

  67. ac August 25, 2014 at 8:24 PM #

    jesus christ wunna sound ole as shit up in here,,starting to think that all wunna from the same nursing home .btw wuh happen to professor brass bowl today,,,

    Like

  68. ac August 26, 2014 at 7:24 PM #

    sorry to mek wunna run away from wu nna liltle sport of pac me on the back,,but …. btw how come nobody mentioned one of the best spin bowlers lance gibbs,,,

    Like

  69. ac August 26, 2014 at 7:42 PM #

    if you like vintage,,,,this article makes for palatable reading while sipping from the cup of oldies but goldies
    aptly titled,,the westindies team of the century,,,written way back in the 90 ts/ but it conjures up fond memories of when cricketers played for the love of game and country

    http://www.landofsixpeoples.com/gywicent.htm

    Like

  70. David August 26, 2014 at 7:44 PM #

    Hants et al

    Any thoughts about the fact Pollard, Smith, Malik and Coach Robin Singh will not be turning out for the Tridents in the Champions League? What it shows is he who pays the piper plays the tune, in this case India (IPL).

    Like

  71. Hants August 26, 2014 at 8:36 PM #

    David it is about money and the way West Indies cricketers are treated in the IPL.

    Thousands of adoring fans and “groupies”.

    These modern day cricketers are selling their services to the highest bidder.

    Like

  72. David August 28, 2014 at 6:51 PM #

    It was hilarious as well as embarrassing to watch the groundsmen in St. Kitts battle the wind and rain to get the covers on in the rained out T20.

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Otis Gibson Sacked by the WICB - Vibe Audio StationVibe Audio Station - August 19, 2014

    […] Otis Gibson Sacked by the WICB […]

    Like

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,456 other followers