On Target
February 21, 2014

Dollars without sense

This column has determinedly refrained from engaging any discourse when it came to West Indies Cricket.{{more}}

However, the many comments by the leaders of the regional game point to prostitution of one’s integrity for presumably, the mighty dollar.

At the centre of the most recent upheaval in world cricket was the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) governance structure.

The West Indies Cricket Board ( WICB) was one of eight full members of the ICC to vote in favour of the new proposal which was approved at the ICC Board meeting in Singapore earlier this month.

The new structure would see India, Australia and England wielding the power in the new governance committee.

But what is most disturbing is the pronouncements of the hierarchy of the West Indies Cricket Board, extolling the financial benefits that the new dispensation will bring to that organisation’s coffers.

President Dave Cameron said that the regional team is set to play more cricket over the next eight years, with financing and structure that will allow the sport to develop.

He noted that the WICB has been assured that the major nations will play an increased number of matches and series within that stipulated period.

In essence, Cameron is saying that the West Indies bilaterally, will stand to accrue more benefits than via the Future Tours programme.

As we say here, “ Fool ah talk, but nah always fool ah listen.”

Cameron and others are relying on their rhetoric to hoodwink and fool Caribbean people.

Yes, there might be some financial windfall within the next eight years, but what happens thereafter?

Are we going to become twenty/20 planners, who play now, enjoy the spin- offs, then beg your bread down the road.

It is this sort of myopic outlook which has caused the West Indies to degenerate into minnows on the world stage of cricket.

The West Indies were designated to play Bangladesh and New Zealand every year for the last two or three years.

Therefore, it stands to reason that the West Indies are not looked upon as any draw card.

Had the regional cricket bosses over the years paid attention to the development of sport, then the West Indies could have been in the same shoes as England, Australia and India, who are the shot callers.

When the West Indies ruled the cricket world, everyone wanted us to descend on their shores; the West Indies were a hot commodity.

So, will a few dollars deposited into the coffers of the WICB change things within the next eight years?

Unless, the sport of cricket is structured in the region to reflect growth and development, we will all be singing the same tune eight years from now. In fact, we may just be humming Silent Night, or the Sound of Silence.

Cricket has to refresh and begin again to grow from the ground up, before we can have a voice.

As it stands, the region is simply resigned to singing the choruses, while the others dictate the stanzas.

The big guns are cognizant that they can dangle a few berries in the regional cricket directors’ eyes and get them to buy in the short term.

Those who hold the purse strings of world cricket are showing that the silver lining is now, and that the dark clouds loom behind.

But whilst the ones at the WICB level are the persons who are at the negotiating tables, Caribbean people and the governments of the region are the eventual victims of today’s actions.

It is the many taxpayers who are funding the up- keep of the cricket facilities and stadia erected across the region.

We are already struggling to maintain them, so what happens when the likes of England and Australia find it unprofitable to visit the Caribbean?

So, let us not just look at the dollar, but have sense.