Seeing the West Indies Women Cricket Team beating the Australian Women Team in the T20 Finals was exhilarating and when the West Indies Men defeated India in the finals, I was transported to a wonderful state of ecstasy. Unfortunately I was brought back to reality when I heard the comments of Captain Sammy when he castigated the West Indies Cricket Board in saying among other things that the team was disrespected by the Board and that as a result of poor administrative arrangements by the Board, the new manager had to rush off away from the team.
The comments by Sammy in front of the whole world and in the midst of our victory were unfortunate and it does tell the sad story of the deep rift between the team and the Board. As a sports administrator I cringed when I heard the comments and asked myself what could have driven a successful captain in the halo of victory to denigrate his Board to whom he has to answer to!
The president of the Board Dave Cameron and perhaps other members had been in India and I am sure that he had attended the matches that were played by the West Indies. The reports emanating were after the West Indies qualified for the finals and before Sammy spoke, Dave Cameron or the Board had not sent any congratulations to the team. It seems that Dave Cameron despite being in India and attending the matches was not in contact with the captain or the team. This fact that no congratulations had been sent or contact with the team has not been denied by Cameron or the Board.
I really cannot imagine this as regardless what problems or rift that may have divided the two sides, the victory was a path to which dialogue could have begun. Words of congratulations should have been sent both by Cameron and the Board. As president of the Guyana Olympic Association, I make it my duty and honour to always have a team meeting before the Games begin in order to give words of encouragement and support to the team. There is no excuse why a president should not do so and in my books, Cameron was wrong and he should apologise for this lapse.
I will also fault Sammy for his outburst as this was not the occasion for it and it threw a bad light on us all. What is important now is for good sense to prevail and the Board and the players must sit down and talk. To me, this is such a simple matter and pride wherever it is must be cast aside.
The governments of Caricom want the Board to be disbanded and its wings clipped but this also is a position that must be re-examined for it is not practical and will not happen. Dialogue is now so much necessary and more so with the cricket fraternity in Guyana.
There is a host of matters pending in the Courts and we need to get rid of them. The Minister of Sports should commence, difficult as it may be, to initiate talks between the factions. I would suggest that one of the first steps is to get the parties to agree on their respective constitutions so that there could be elections. Please let us try to clean the slate and begin afresh so that we can concentrate on the development of cricket and not in winning in the Courts.
President of the