Over the past weeks, the Rickey Skerritt-led West Indies (WI) has been making some bold moves in the right direction.
Life has its way of coming full circle. I recall as a school boy in 1988, Pakistan, led by the indomitable Imran Khan, now Prime Minister, came to the Caribbean. Desmond Leo Haynes was at his brilliant best for the Caribbean side.
Starting with the five (5) ODIs that the Windies swept, Desi’s unbeaten hundred in the final match was threatened by Salim Malik’s brilliance, the home side prevailed in the end.
Pakistan’s greatest batsman, Javed Miandad got his only two hundred against the West Indies, one in the first test at Bourda and the other, courtesy of Courtney Walsh at Sabina Park in that series.
The Master Blaster, IVA Richards had already indicated his time as a leader would come to an end.
In my opinion, Desmond Haynes should have been the automatic successor to Viv, only to be overlooked for another great RB Richardson, who eventually quit due to Acute Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).
This decision at that time has haunted Caribbean cricket since, there would have been no campaigning for the captaincy and the constant infighting that led to low team morale and a team disrespected worldwide, as Australia called them ‘Pretenders’ in a Boxing Day Test Match.
It should have been a smooth transition from Richards to Haynes, Richardson, Lara, Gayle, or Sarwan in that order.
It proves time and again, blunders by self-centred and short-sighted administrators in any system can have far reaching consequences, both for a specific individual and to a wider extent an entire institution.
Grenada’s Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister, made a valiant effort to soothe things, for cricket couldn’t die under his watch as Caricom Chairman.
Hillary Beckles went further, “for cricket remains the only single institution that unites us as a people”.
I am absolutely delighted to see Des Haynes named Chairman of Selectors, one of the best moves in years, Sarwan will now be groomed as a future Chairman of this panel.
Heartiest congratulations to you both, with outstanding careers to their credit, among the best to play for the Caribbean.
You are now tasked with transferring your on-field exploits to administrative work, there will be no need to stifle any young player because he achieved more financial success than you, you are both wealthy people, only the best for the Caribbean can come from this brave move.
It’s been a troubling question for the years, why some of the Biggest Underachievers internationally are rewarded with selection duties?
The West Indies is guilty of that and they have paid a heavy price for this. When you look around the world, Desi and Sars will be in illustrious company, shaping the future of this game we love so much.
Andrew Strauss – England
Sourav Ganguly and the wall from Rajasthan, Rahul Dravid – India
Graeme Smith – South Africa
Michael Slater- Australia
Sanath Jayasuriya – Sri Lanka
Ramiz Raja – Pakistan.
We now look forward the best eleven representing the Caribbean in any of the formats going forward.
Caribbean cricket is breathing better.