If Not, Why Not?

Date Published: 
Kaieteur News
Colin Croft

“If not; why not?” That was the eternal question that always came from the mouth of “Blue Food”, incessantly, as he, and cohorts, man-handled proceedings at the old ‘Concrete Stand’, at Queen’s Park Oval. Whoa be unto any player, West Indian or visitor, who screwed up. That was real stress!!

Guyana’s present cricketing situation far outstrips that, so let us cut to the chase. West Indies Cricket Board, regardless of what many might think about its existence, did what it ought to have done, leading from the front, at least for once. Whatever the situation, cricketers anywhere just want to play cricket!

I do not hold briefs for WICB. Indeed, I hold briefs for no-one. Only last week, West Indies Players Association again, relatively easily, it seems, trumped WICB at arbitration. However, I doubt that even WIPA, whose legal representatives seem truly excellent, could change this. This time, WICB is right!

The Guyanese cricketers should not be made to suffer because some educated jackasses in vaulted positions and over-blown egotistical fools want to destroy the youths’ opportunities. I applaud WICB’s stand in facilitating, doing all possible, to allow the Guyanese team to play CT-20 2012. Cheers!

This does not suggest that what WICB had supposedly done incorrectly in the past would be exonerated, far from it, but we must salute them for doing, and not just talking, like so many others in Guyana. Surely, this is not the end of this fracas, but WICB has won this round, easily, hands down!

I would even put my head on a block that no Guyanese player really cared for that payment that would have come his way anyway, even if he did not play. Playing cricket is what cricketers want to do; period!

I also acknowledge that there are lawyers everywhere; in the Caribbean too; who could actually convince juries and assessors, that a man born with only one hand; his right; was actually left-handed, but no addition of Guyanese cricketing icons could change the politically-related rules as set out by ICC.

On a lighter note, but related, if you played at T&T’s QPO in 70’s and 80’s and did not incur the wrath of the Concrete Stand’s Posse, you were extremely lucky indeed. Most present West Indies ‘baby’ cricketers who complain about everything, would have died many times then. They would be lost!

When West Indies, including me, bowled Australia out for 90, 1st innings, 1978, the loud C-S, QPO dirge was; “Oh Lord, what could the matter be? Simpson bring down a s..t side!!” Brutal, real brutal!

That abuse; only word for it; was unrelenting. Many careers disintegrated from opinions of C-S, QPO. “There is always room in the …… air”, the embassy driver bellowed to opposing batsmen. He was right!

As a bowler, I always interpreted ‘Blue Food’s’ – I never even knew the man’s real name – utterances to mean; “if you cannot bat, then why the hell are you here facing West Indies’ fast bowlers at all? You could always try to hit over the top, but someone will almost always catch it!” That was very true too!

When exactly did he actually work as a chauffeur, no one knew. I played about 50 days of my entire cricket career; club, country and region; at QPO, and “Blue food” was always there, before the players arrived, and left way after the players left too. Maybe the Ambassador that he drove was imaginary!

But, to paraphrase “Blue Food”, as West Indies T-20 2012 starts tomorrow, and especially Guyana’s pitiful preparation, perhaps it should be; “If not, then do not! There is always more room up here!” There must be! This is such crap! Why are West Indians so much like proverbial crabs in a barrel?

While the respective captains – Guyana’s Christopher Barnwell, Trinidad & Tobago’s Denesh Ramdin, Barbados’ Kirk Edwards, Jamaica’s Dave Bernard, Leeward Islands’ Wilden Cornwall, Combined Campuses & Colleges’ Romel Currency, Windward Islands’ Daren Sammy, Canada’s Jimmy Hansra, Netherlands’ Peter Borren, and Sussex’s Michael Yardy, should have been honing their teams’ skills, this absolute embarrassment presents itself. Are we not really tired of this massive morass of asininity?

I thought that Guyana’s first, and last, “African-style” dictator, L. Forbes S. Burnham, that same dark-black guy who paraded down Water Street, seated on a milk-white horse, 3:00pm on afternoons, flanked by handlers, ala young Robert Mugabe, to ‘admire’ thousands of ‘his people’ lined up, sweating and swearing outside Bookers Ltd., just to buy cheese, had died. Do some like him still exist in Guyana?

Anyone would and could believe anything, even his own rhetoric, but no set of supposedly educated people could be so asinine and greedy; rank idiots; to be embedding ‘Green Land of Guyana, of rivers and plains; made rich by the sunshine, and lush by the rains”, into this doo-doo. Can none of them involved and running Guyana’s cricket right now, read? Did they buy their degrees, those that do have?

In Guyana, “mouth open, story does jump out!” US$200,000 is a lot of money, anywhere, for six months’ work. That is really good work, if you can get it. Is that the cost, or charge, of finally getting to the promised position? With this expose, only the severely dense would vote “yes” after this! Stupid!

I strongly believe that if you take a professional position, or it is awarded, you either perform well or leave. There is no room for cowardice or hiding behind shadows. People in these positions must make decisions on behalf of Guyana’s present situation. The silence is extremely loud, deafening even!

Where in this are Guyana’s stalwarts Mark Harper, Roger Harper, Reon King, Colin Stuart, other former Guyana, some West Indies players, who still live in Guyana, and are still so very involved in cricket? Where is all of the noise that normally emanates from these blow-hards? Where are they? Or are they too in agreement of this destruction of Guyana’s cricket? Shameful silence!

Years ago, I saw something at Piarco International Airport that stayed with me, and reminds me of this. Austin “Jack” Warner was travelling, with his wife, to FIFA events.

Their seats were in 1st class, but, boarding early, Jack caught the eye of the flight’s final security person, and was pulled aside for a search.

Jack asked him the security man if he knew who he was. He answered in the affirmative, but explained that it did not matter who Jack was, random checks had to be done.

I give Jack great kudos. He never batted an eye-lid. He and his wife joked with the guy as the search was completed, then went their merry way. How many of our cricket mini-gods would endure that?

Like WICB, A-J-W was not always right, and may have been often incorrect, noting recent events, but I firmly believe that West Indies cricket could have gone way ahead of its present self if someone with gumption had been running our cricket. Just look, ungrateful people, where Jack took Jamaica and T&T!

Why not? This idiotic inifighting in our cricket would not have occurred, to sadden 2012’s start, even detracting from the anticipation for a good Caribbean T-20 2012! Enjoy.