On Target
April 30, 2021
Are we developing a cricket cult?

Are the operations here in the St Vincent and the Grenadines quietly carving out a secret lodge movement?

This has to be the assessment based on another episode in which the Vincentian sporting public has been taken for granted and treated with scorn.

Questions are being raised and concerns ventilated, when last Tuesday, it was heard through the grape vine that the draft for the third edition of the Vincy Premier League (VPL) T/10 was set to take place.

Whilst there were some inkling of the tournament happening, as there were snippets of information being bandied, there was nothing definitive coming from any authoritative source.

Lo and behold, the fact that there was a draft, is instructive that some plans were hatched and in any advanced stage, such that players could have been allocated to the six franchise units.

More so, unlike the previous two drafts, members of the local media were never informed of it happening. Indeed, it was a slap in the face for those freelancers and others who often ensure that the cricket events at all levels are covered.

It cannot be an oversight, or the vision of those who are in charge of VPL 3.0 has been obscured by the tons of volcanic ash which have been dumped on the country for the past three weeks.

Basic ethics and courtesy would have been to let the Vincentian public know that the VPL was set to take place.

Obviously, there will be the excuse of that the marketing plan and media outreach did not include involvement of the local press in the draft last Tuesday.

Whatever spin is put on it, such actions are more akin to a cultish operation, whereothers outside the set up and the clan, are useless.

Yes, it is common knowledge that the VPL is powered by forces outside St Vincent and the Grenadines, but it is equally important that locals here must be treated with some sort of decency and respect.

But the conundrum is exacerbated by the seemingly silence and ignorance of those who are in charge of the sport at the national level.

It begs the question, that is it a distinct grouping from the executive of the SVG Cricket Association Inc. which is responsible for the affairs of the VPL?

Over time, many have labelled those who are in the box seats of cricket here as an elitist bunch, and what unfolded at last Tuesday’s draft, in some way would have given credence to that categorisation.

Beyond the secret nature of the draft though, one has to begin to ponder and search for answers as to what is the reasoning for having the tournament with such frequency.

It was just last May that edition 1.0 took place. Even before the novelty of first chapter was revealed, the 2.0 edition was staged. Therefore, it was two in one year, and another is imminent to take place next month.

So, the VPL T/10 tournament is allowed to stage at will, while the national progamme has been put on pause. As it is, every iota of effort is being put into the VPL T/10, to ensure that it happens and with some high level of efficiency.

Are we seeing this type of urgency in the national competitions? No, but in the midst of a double whammy, the VPL is given permission to flourish.

Could it mean therefore then, that other sporting disciplines can attain the same status, get the same leeway and host tournaments in light of the prevailing crises as the focus on the health of the nation still takes precedence?

But all what can be done at this juncture is to wait and see, as the prepared rhetoric will be that cricket is not a contact sport, while the likes of netball, basketball and football are physically engaging.

Hopefully, this column would be proven wrong and the powers that be will give the green light for other sporting events to take place in safe conditions, just like the VPL T/10 cricket tournament.