In January 2019, I wrote a letter calling for Guyana to exit West Indies Cricket and develop a local sports policy that would include establishing a cricket academy at Turkeyen and upgrading Skeldon and Affiance cricket grounds to international standards, all with the intention of going it alone.
Among my recommendations were the implementation of the following to achieve the objective:
* Government to establish a Sports Policy in which the Ministry of Education would employ a vast array of qualified cricket coaches to conduct coaching in schools across Guyana.
* The coaches, along with Guyanese cricket legends, develop a Policy Paper that would be used to inform the overarching strategy to move Guyana to Test status within five (5) years.
* Coaching being available at the club level to provide continuity from school team to national team.
* The present crop of Guyanese national cricketers being integrated into the system and become the nucleus for a Guyana team to enter ICC international cricket competitions in T20 and ODIs in the short term.
* In collaboration with the University of Guyana, establish a Cricket Academy which would be used to round our players and complete the preparation for international cricket.
* The Government must adopt a sports policy, in collaboration with corporate Guyana, to provide sponsorship etc. which can positively impact the tourism industry as well as other aspects of Guyana’s economy.
Fast forward to October 2022, the West Indies have been relegated to the status of minnows, where they have to play among the second-string teams, including Scotland, Namibia, Ireland, UAE, Zimbabwe and Scotland (who whipped them in the first qualifying round match) to book a place in the T20 World Cup finals. This is so, after entering the 2021 T20 World Cup as defending Champions and being eliminated in the first round, whilst fielding a team comprising a number of overweight and unfit players despite the availability of younger players who were performing.
When you look at the quality of West Indies Cricket among the minnows, the level to which the quality of West Indies Cricket has sunk over the years is very painfully obvious. Afghanistan, who started playing ICC cricket decades after West Indies, are automatic qualifiers in the 2022 T20 World Cup, while West Indies have to play for qualification.
Anyone suggesting that West Indies Cricket has improved would be being economical with the truth, and should be subjected to psychiatric evaluation. The reality is that, in the 2021 T20 World Cup, West Indies, the then defending champions, were eliminated in the first round under Mr. Pollard; and now, in this 2022 T20 World Cup, under Mr. Pooran, they have been shamelessly kicked out by Ireland from Qualifying for the Group of 12. In fact, West Indies have ended up at the bottom of the Group, which, as far as I am concerned, is rock bottom.
According to the words of a senior citizen, they are as low as a “duck’s ankle”. That the current manager and bowling coach are still in charge is unbelievable, and only a fool with the highest accolades for foolishness would have expected anything different from what has transpired. The current manager and bowling coach should have been gone since the conclusion of the 2021 World Cup, but we all know that insanity resides in places where you least expect it.
They must be fired with immediate effect, preferably before the plane touches down on West Indian soil, wherever that may be. Though I am seldom challenged with words, I find great difficulty in finding the appropriate ones to describe those two. The charlatans who have dominated West Indies Cricket administration over the past two decades are merely living in hope, spewing rubbish at every opportunity, but offering no clear and logical plan to do anything that makes sense to save it from further destruction.
Like Montesinos delivering his Whitsuntide sermon, this lone voice of mine crying in this disgraceful wilderness of West Indies Cricket exhorts the Guyanese public and the Government to listen, not with careless intentions, but with all your hearts and senses. This voice says that West Indies Cricket is suffering from a rare form of cancer, diagnosed as insularity and greed, which is malignant; and the future outcome is clear for all to see, even the blind included.
The question must be asked, “Must we abandon this sinking West Indies ship, or must we sink with it?” I say, “Hell, no!”, the “May Day” call must be sounded and heeded with alacrity. Time to put aside sentiments and false pride. The trumpet must be sounded loud and clear for all to hear. Time for GUYEXIT: Guyana’s exit from West Indies Cricket.