On Target
March 4, 2005
Have we lost that consciousness?

The Caribbean has always turned out its share of controversy. Ever since we were introduced to cricket by the English, the region has gravitated to the game with an affinity that defines a spirit yearning for some sense of identity.

For after slavery, something, anything was needed to fire that despondent mortal. {{more}}

Through the years, we learned the ropes, adjusting to what rules that were carved out, fashioned to undermine the flamboyant regional flair of our unorthodox performers.

With the legacy of forced removal and labour perhaps still etched on the psyche of the Caribbean mass which embraced the sport, it was no wonder that the game cricket has been used as a tool to regain prestige and uplift our people to the belief that we were equal to anyone.

Our reign as World champion for some time, served as a source of pride for the West Indian of whatever extract. The region has distinguished itself as a cricketing nation. And the lessons of that cricket story reverberate beyond the cricket field. Ask CLR James, and his famous novel ‘beyond the boundary,’ is a reference to the depth of the game.

The pride gained from a West Indian cricket victory is a natural tonic; a source of renewed energy for the entire work force wherever the supporter may have followed the game. But the fortunes have been faltering rapidly of late, despite our capture of the ICC trophy six months ago.

The level to which our performance have sunk in that time as manifested by that dismal VB Triangular Series still gives many a fan nightmares. For they are yet to regain the energy lost from sleepless nights following the fortunes of their gallant heroes or misfortunes of their villains as the case may be.

And the furore raised by the disclosures of the behaviour of the West Indian players has perhaps thrown us into the full realisation of the mode of operation of the West Indian.

There seems to be an obvious breakdown in the Caribbean. The traditional community approach has been overrun by behaviour to which the senior citizen was never accustomed. And that may have also gotten into our sustainability or success on the filed of the sport.

We have lost that consciousness, which drove the original West Indian cricketer. He went about his duties with discipline and self-assuredness.

The global trend must have influenced the young cricketer today, and the passion for anything worthwhile has disappeared from his mental faculties.

No wonder anyone would contemplate throwing anything at us, for they believe that the Caribbean man is spineless, willing to take anything for a few dollars more. The present sponsorship scenario has exposed us as a group of gullible money grabbers, unconcerned about the merits of representing one’s region and flying a proud flag.

So if attempts to divide us take root, we have ourselves to blame. There seems a crop always willing to play that betrayal role and sell our soul, for little or next to nothing.

And the politicians must take their responsibility. We have the task of hosting the 2007 World Cup. Everyone or most every one is optimistic about our idea of staging one of the greatest such shows. I dare say there will be lots to reflect upon when the champions are crowned. But the region has to step up sooner rather that later. Our quest for regional unity always seems to be plagued by some selfish desires, like politicians thinking that their turn to control the reigns of power is around the corner.

We can’t stand still. We have to move with the times, and adjust and adapt to the trend.

We have to grasp the idea of beyond the boundary in real life. Cricket and sports on a whole have the potential of providing tremendous wealth throughout the region. Even if we overlook the health value of sports and its participants.