Out with Old, in with New!
With odds only slightly in his favour, dynamism of the two men markedly different, Guyana’s new President David Granger should still be feeling like USA’s President Barack Obama did six years ago when he assumed the Oval Office after “younger” Bush - George Walker.
Congratulations, President Granger. We all hope that you and your government would try hard to make true Guyana’s national motto, forgotten by so many – ‘One People, One Nation, One Destiny.’ Let all renew hopes and aspirations!
Since 1992, some of those aspects did not obtain at all in Guyana. Like President Obama had to do, and is still trying to finish in his final term, President Granger will have to achieve many excavations too, but the “Golden Arrowhead” should be unfurled with pride.
One hopes that Guyana’s new President does not, as new leaders in the Third World seem to do, break down good things brought about by previous administrations. Just get rid of the bad stuff and people, as new American administrations try to achieve. Total retooling would take two sets of elections to be complete. Guyana does not have time to waste.
But, as we are on “Our dear land of rivers and plains,” why is there so much talk and many deliberations about my home-boy - “ahwe bhay” - from Unity-Lancaster, West Indies’ senior cricketing statesman, Shivnarine Chanderpaul?
Because he deserves much leeway for services rendered, even though he failed against England recently, Shiv should simply have already been told by WICB’s Chief Selector Clive Lloyd, Head Coach Phil Simmons and ultimately, by WICB President Dave Cameron, “Shiv, you have two Test matches to break whatever records you need to, get whatever runs you require. After efforts against Australia next month, your career as a WI Test cricketer is over!”
That should be the end of that story but not the end of Shiv. It would be unrealistic to select Shiv for tours later this year to Australia etc., but he should somehow be allowed to be involved in our cricket going forward. His experiences are too precious to be lost! Ideally, with tweaks, Shiv could be groomed as a Sporting Ambassador for Guyana, as repayment for 20 plus years as a Guyana and WI cricketer.
Anyway, why is there such a noise because Shiv is about to break the all-encompassing record of the Prince of Port of Spain, Brian Lara? So what if the Prince loses his WI total runs record? So Lara made 11,953 runs from 131 Tests and was magnificent getting them. Even if Chanderpaul is allowed to get past that record, his now at 11,867 from 164 Tests, there is no-one in the world who would select Chanderpaul ahead of Lara in any all-world team!
But where were those noises when Lara, as captain, and WI, were 3-0 down v England in Antigua in 2004, desperately needing to win that last Test of that series to save embarrassment?
Instead of declaring at day two’s end, WI 595-5, to give his team a chance at winning, Lara, 313 no, selfishly decided that he wanted to repossess his previous record, regardless. So, he got to 400 no, England won the series 3-0, but by batting well into that third day, WI’s chances of winning No. 4 were gone. It ended in a draw.
Nothing else happened afterwards either, so let’s get on here, records or whatever!
Guyana’s adopted newest fast bowling hope, from Montserrat, Ronsford Beaton should not be allowed to captain his region, Essequibo, in any cricket at all right now. If no-one noticed, he was excluded, rightfully so, from WI President’s XI squad to play against Australia next week.
Instead of being burdened by captaincy, if he wants to be compared to other faster men selected for President XI Barbadians Miguel Cummins and Carlos Brathwaite, Jamaicans Jason Dawes and Marquino Mindley, Beaton must first focus on improving his own cricketing abilities and frailties.
As seen against England earlier, WI needs fast bowlers desperately, as Kemar Roach, for West Indies, like Beaton for Guyana, has been struggling terribly. Considering that Jerome Taylor is already nearing 31, several new faster bowlers should be knocking at WI’s Test door.
For Beaton to be a continuing WI aspirant, he must first work diligently on his total fitness and elasticity, then his longevity in spells, then bowling abilities; how he uses the ball; hopefully all in tandem. If not, in that order. Thrusting captaincy responsibilities on Beaton now is just foolish!
But WI selectors Lloyd, Courtney Browne, Eldine Baptiste and Courtney Walsh must be tremendously lauded for renewing that real cause and focus of WI President’s XI. In the past, many a player, including yours truly, made their names in President’s XI’s for further WI honours.
And Coach Simmons new approach has made him go up too in everyone’s estimation, with him trying to field WI’s best team.
By endeavoring to make bee-lines to re-inclusions of Dwayne Bravo, his nephew Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, perhaps even Chris Gayle, Coach Simmons is checking out most of the old while trying to bring on the new WI too!