cricket

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Sanjay Manjrekar: Coaches


“The coaches that actually make a difference to Indian cricket are those that coached players like Tendulkar, Dravid and others, when they were kids. The grassroots level coaches.”—Sanjay Manjrekar.

Chris Henry Gayle answers his critics once more but invites more criticism


‘King‘ Chris Henry Gayle has all the answers.

Speaking to Donald McRae of the Guardian, the West Indian blaster defended his recent outrageous behaviour and comments in his inimitable blunt Caribbean cadence.

The Jamaican first reminded the journalist of his proud heritage and that West Indians always felt disrespected by the English. The reference was to Mark Nicholas’ stunning dismissal of their T20 prospects, ““The West Indies are short of brains.”

In a statement with shades reminiscent of the movie, Fire In Babylon,  Gayle said:

“That drove us even harder. How can you disrespect the West Indies when we were so dominant in world cricket for so long? We have to face it ourselves because our own board don’t defend us. So we have to fight our own war in the middle against these allegations about West Indies having no brains. How can you jump to that conclusion? It shows no respect. They smile at you – while trying to destroy you in the media.

We were very disappointed. We should have been one of the favourites but we weren’t even in the top five. As West Indians we have always been disrespected. As soon as we fight back they make it look like we are the bad one in the media. We’ve experienced these things over the years. So it’s no surprise.”

But it’s his autobiography Six Machine that’s hitting all the right (and wrong) notes across the world with excerpts published in most major newspapers.

From describing his triple hundreds, his mammoth 170+ in the IPL and staying at Vijay Mallya’s Goa bungalow, the memoirs cover it all. The voice is authentic and the style is no-holds-barred.

Chris Gayle reveals how his fledgling career was tended to by a woman.

He writes of his Kingston schoolteacher and first coach:

“Miss Hamilton is a wonderful woman. She kickstarted things and gave me that self‑belief. Most of the time, as a kid, you’re nervous. She would try to get in your head and give you confidence. She was also our football coach – so she was very talented and to have a woman lead you at a young age was really good.”

But Chris feels nothing about disrespecting Mel McLaughlin in January this year at the Big Bash.

His latest words on the sorry episode are even more dismissive.

He said:

“If she was upset she would’ve said it. At no stage did she say she felt offended by me. Then they wanted an apology and she came on air and said: ‘He’s apologised – so let it go everybody.’ You could tell she had been forced to say those things. Trust me. She’s of West Indian background. She knows the culture. From what I understand her mom is black. What do they call it? Samosa (Samoan)?

Yeah. So she knows. But people put things in her ears – just to slaughter Chris Gayle.”

Chris Gayle is remarkably insouciant and , perhaps, realistic  when asked what if his baby daughter Blush were to face the same kind of behaviour 25 years on in a journalistic career.

He adds:

“If you put yourself there you have to expect that. You have to deal with it. Not all situations are going to be the best. You have to brace yourself. You have to be professional, yes, but expect the unexpected at all times.It could happen to anybody. Anybody. It could happen again.”

Chris then accuses Charlotte Edwards of setting him up as a villain in her piece for the Times and threatens legal action.

He says:

“The first interview I did by the pool. The recorder was on the table. The interview lasted 2½ hours. Basically discussing the book, it went according to plan. But the outcome was very sad. That’s why I say people can’t be trusted – especially you guys.

I know. Obviously she came with a different mentality. Even that first interview I did with her she was trying to get me to say things about Shane Warne. I said: ‘Listen, this is not about Shane Warne.’ So the interview was good even if she didn’t get what she wanted.

I was having dinner by the bar when the agent texted. She’s leaving in the morning and wants to say thanks for the interview. I said: ‘OK, no problem.’ She came by and that’s how it happened. She started telling me her life story. She tried to ask me if I’d ever smoked weed. I said: ‘Listen, I’m a sportsman, how can I do those things?’ So whatever questions she asked me I asked her back. She went on to say she is a single mum. She had also been to a war [zone] and she was telling me that when all the media people come to drink they sleep together. I asked her: ‘Did you do it?’ And she said: ‘No.’ It’s not an interview – we’re talking at the bar. If she had a tape I wish people could hear it.

In the interview’s first line she says Mel didn’t get the chance to have a drink with Chris Gayle – but she did. That was her agenda. She put these things out to make me look like the bad one. She got the attention but I’m going to speak to my legal team.”

If Gayle’s version of the story is true, then it’s understandable why most sports stars prefer to be tight-lipped to the press rather than drop their guard and make off-the-cuff remarks. Every word could be misconstrued and twisted. And if Gayle’s infamous remarks to Edwards were off-the-record, then she is in serious breach of journalistic integrity. Neither party comes out smelling like roses.

“There can be no trust”, Chris Gayle says in his life story.

He adds:

“There’s no sadness in saying that. It’s the reality. You can’t put trust in people. There’s no loyalty out there. You have to be sceptical – regardless of what that person says.”

Gayle’s account, however, of his relationship with his girlfriend cannot elicit much sympathy.

He writes:

“I am the Six Machine. I am the only man in the history of the world to have scored two triple centuries etc. I am the only cricketer in the history of the world to have his own pole-dancing room in his house. I have a girl. I can’t remember her name. We’ve been together for nine years. Though mostly it probably sounds as if we’ve been apart. She doesn’t like World Boss’s pole-dancing room. But luckily loads of other women do. So it hasn’t been a total waste of money.”

Chris Gayle will make news wherever he goes as long he’s scoring runs—not women.

They’re merely sideshows in his grand design of things—in his “World Baass. Universe Baass. Multiverse Baass.”

That’s the uncomfortable truth and he expects the people in his life and the world at large to live with it.

Is that sad or great? You  tell me.

Chris Gayle: I am honest


“Don’t hate me just because I am not what you want me to be. Don’t hate me because I am not what you are. I am me and I am honest.”
—Chris Gayle.

Why Virat Kohli doesn’t deserve our sympathy


Should we sympathise with Virat Kohli?

I mean, come on, the guy’s been performing like a maniac over the past few months—first for Team India and then surpassing himself and everyone else with his mind-blowing feats in this year’s IPL.

Almost single-handedly taking his team to the knock-out rounds and yet so near and yet so far.

He cut a forlorn figure at the prize-distribution ceremony post the final.

The Indian  media and fans have compared Kohli to that all-time great, Sachin Tendulkar.

The comparisons sometimes seem apt, sometimes odious, but it’s been about the statistics, the numbers and their stature in their respective sides.

Longevity will tell—it always does.

But what Virat has recently had a taste of is what Tendulkar and ,to an even greater extent, Brian Lara, experienced throughout their careers—their inability to carry and inspire their sides across that intangible finish line

English: virat kohli

virat kohli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That kind of frustration, that kind of heartbreak where you have to stand alone among the ruins requires a special kind of resolve.

Virat has it and that is what’ll make the man truly great.

Not the numbers alone, not the glory alone but the losses—the losses that hurt, the losses that build.

Irrfan Khan: Heroes


“It pains me when a film actor or a cricketer is a youth icon. I don’t have anything against them. They are great entertainers; they are useful to the society. They contribute to people’s lives. But they are not heroes. We haven’t redefined heroes. Heroes are different people. Heroes are people who sacrifice their own concerns and do something bigger, who change people’s lives. We film stars and cricketers shouldn’t be aspirational in such a big way for the healthy growth of the society. It’s a sign of consumerism at its extreme. That’s why I find it so cool and so hip to see that photograph of the women scientists of ISRO celebrating a launch. That’s heroism. That’s cool, that’s hip! Lekin main agar kahin se udhaar le kar, kuch bana ke, thodi der ke liye aapka time pass kara de raha hoon, just because I am famous, you aspire to become me – that’s not cool, that’s pathetic.”
Irrfan Khan.

English: Irrfan Khan at the launch of NDTV Lum...

Irrfan Khan at the launch of NDTVLumiere’s The Orphanage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Has Chris Gayle overstepped the line again or is it simply publicity for his autobiography?


Chris Gayle never learns or so it seems.

The macho West Indian star first made the front pages this year for his infamous ‘Don’t blush, baby’ line to Mel McLaughlin in an on-field interview at the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia.

Gayle escaped with a warning and a stiff fine of AUSD 10,000.

But the smarts just wouldn’t end.

The Jamaican enjoyed rubbing it in naming his newly-born daughter—with partner Tasha—Blush.

Why draw her in into his mess, Chris? 20 years down the line, would your daughter like to be reminded of the circumstances around which she was named so? Go figure.

Trouble goes around in threes.

And there was surely a ‘threesome’ in store.

Chris Gayle pressed down on the accelerator—ignoring speed bumps— when interviewed by Times journalist Charlotte Edwardes where he talked about sex, female equality and homophobia.

Gayle told Edwardes that he had ‘a very, very big bat, the biggest in the wooooorld’  and whether she thought she “could lift itand that she’d need both hands.

The Jamaican embarrassed her further by questioning whether she’s had any black men and been part of a threesome.

The interview touched on other aspects as well.

On women’s equality, Gayle said:

‘Women should please their man. When he comes home, food is on the table. Serious. You ask your husband what he likes and then you make it.’”

“Women should have equality and they do have equality. They have more than equality. Women can do what they want. Jamaican women are very vocal. They will let you know what time is it, for sure.’

On homophobia:

“The culture I grew up in, gays were negative. But people can do whatever they want. You can’t tell someone how to live their life. It’s a free world.”

The timing of the interview could hardly have been more ‘fortuitous’.

Gayle is on the verge of releasing his autobiography, ‘”Six Machine” excerpts of which have been published (where else?) in the Times.

Reacting to Freddie Flintoff’s description of him as a “bit of  a chop” after the McLaughlin incident, Gayle said:

Freddie Flintstone, a young boy like you taking Viagra? Don’t lecture me. The only chop Freddie (Flintoff) knows is when he used to bowl short to me and I would chop him past backward point for four.”

Describing the McLaughlin fiasco, he added:

“Now T20 is different. It’s not Test cricket. It’s chilled and fun and let’s do things different. So when Mel asks me that question I stay in the T20 mind, and answer informal and fun. I meant it as a joke. I meant it as a little fun. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful and I didn’t mean it to be taken serious.

Channel 10’s commentary team could be heard laughing in the background … but someone above them clearly decided to step in, and a throwaway comment in a fun format escalates and blows up and within hours it has turned into a major international incident.

The southpaw had even stronger words reserved for Ian Chappell.

“Ian Chappell, calling for me to banned worldwide, a man who was once convicted of unlawful assault in the West Indies for punching a cricket official. Ian Chappell, how can you ban the Universe Boss? You’d have to ban cricket itself.”

Former Australian opener Chris Rogers was one of his most vocal critics claiming that he set a bad example to his younger teammates.

Gayle responded thus calling him a bit of a “Roger Rabbit”.

He said:

“Chris Rogers, how can you claim that when it was you and me at the bar most nights? I’m not a snitch, but I’ve heard from your own mouth what you’ve done. Next time you want to open your mouth, maybe chew on a carrot instead.”

Is Chris Gayle in trouble yet again? Has he landed in deeper, hotter waters this time around?

His detractors would like to believe so.

Melbourne Renegades have decided not to continue with the T20 star.

This, however, does not prevent any other BBL side from signing him on.

While Somerset chief executive Guy Lavender admitted that he was disappointed with Gayle’s latest blowout, he added:

“But as I’ve said before, we found him to be fantastic the last time he was here, in terms of activities both on and off the pitch.

It’s a shame, because it detracts from his cricketing ability. The fact is, what he has said is inappropriate. But we haven’t had an opportunity to discuss [it] with him. I’m sure we will. But I don’t see it as grounds not to have him playing for us this summer.”

And in India, IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla is taking the matter seriously.

Talking to Times of India, he said:

“The players must behave themselves. We expect the players to adhere to a certain kind of behaviour when the tournament is on. The players should maintain the sanctity of the league. These kind of statements are totally uncalled for in public domain. I will take up this issue with the president and the secretary of the BCCI.”

BCCI’s secretary Ajay Shirke said:

“At this point, we’ll not look into it. We’re focused on completing the IPL, which has reached its final stages. What has happened in this case is between two foreign individuals. It is a personal matter between people who aren’t from India. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that we’ll ignore it. If a complaint is brought to us, we’ll act on it. If it develops into something more, we’ll look into it at an appropriate stage.”

Gayle , in his latest interview, believes that most of the criticism directed his way after the McLaughlin imbroglio was racially motivated.

He says:

“Successful black men are struggling because people do things to put them down. I would say this anywhere in the world, in any sporting arena, right now in 2016: racism is still the case for a black man. Trust me. They just want to get a little sniff of the dirt. They find out some shit and they want to sink you. It’s reality. You have to deal with that as a successful black man.”

Racism has always been an issue in sport.

Henry Gayle was born in a Kingston slum and used cricket as his vehicle to become one of the world’s most beloved and entertaining sportsmen.

Writing for the Guardian, Andy Bull says:

“In the last year the Zimbabwean Test cricketer Mark Vermeulen was banned by his board after he referred to black Zimbabweans as ‘apes’ on social media, while Vermeulen’s old team-mate Prosper Utseya accused that same board of racism in their running of the sport. And several Pakistani players have spoken out about racism in English county cricket, in the wake of the offence committed by Craig Overton. These issues are always there, bubbling under. But it’s rare for a star player to address them directly, as Gayle has just done.

Gayle was talking about something more insidious, about attitudes ‘off the field’, especially, he seems to be saying, among the media. And some aspects of our coverage should make us uncomfortable. As Peter Oborne pointed out in his book Wounded Tiger, the Pakistani team is often subjected to the most ludicrous stereotyping, which has stretched as far as the suggestions, widespread at the time, that certain members of their 2007 World Cup team may have had a hand in the death of their coach Bob Woolmer. Innuendos always swirl when they play poorly, quicker to gather around them than their competitors, though cheating, and fixing, are universal problems.”

Racism is not restricted to the Western hemisphere.

Foreign cheerleaders in the IPL have complained several times about the treatment and slurs they are subjected to by Indian men.

In 2008, British dancers Ellesha Newton and Sherinne Anderson were prevented from performing during a Kings XI Punjab game.

Anderson said:

“An organiser pulled us away. He said the people here don’t want to see dark people. The ‘n’ word was used and they said they only wanted beautiful white girls. We were crying. I could understand if it were the crowd but they were very receptive. This kind of thing has never happened to us – not in Europe, not here, nowhere. “

There have not been any black cheerleaders in any edition of the IPL since.

An unnamed cheerleader in a free-wheeling chat on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) had this to say:

“I hate the racism. Why is my team made up of 99% white girls? Why do Indians feel it’s ok to dress white girls up in skimpy outfits but they won’t let their fellow Indian women do it? It’s messed up.

I’ve asked my managers [about why no Indian girls as cheerleaders] and they don’t know. I’ll keep asking around, though, because I’m curious too. They could probably just get good dancers and train them; there’s no shortage of those.”

 

Chris Gayle adds in his autobiography that some people consider him “lazy“.

He writes:

“People think that [my] attitude towards the game stink. That’s how it come across: lazy.”

If Gayle’s indolent, his record proves otherwise.

He has played 103 Test matches in 14 years, scored two triple centuries and is arguably the best T20 batsman in the world.

But playing the race card in this seemingly complicated mess only addles the issue.

Racial discrimination is not the only kind that exists. Women everywhere face sexual biases on a daily basis. To claim that one is better or worse than the other sidesteps the issues raised by Gayle’s nonchalance towards the ramifications of his ‘jokey‘ sideshows.

Discrimination of any kind is to be frowned upon.

To clear things up, one would probably hark back to the rustic retorts Indian women (and defenders of their modesty) dish out to eve-teasers and molesters, “Tere maa, behn or beti nahin hai kya?  (Don’t you have a mother, sister or daughter?) How would you feel if someone dealt with them in the same way?”

No racism about it—just a question of right behavior in a public space.

That, Chris Gayle, is the crux of the matter. Not anything else, not anything more.

 

Virat Kohli: Temper


“My temper has been an issue for me. It has been very hard for me.”—
Virat Kohli.

Azhar: Simply not true enough to be paisa vasool


Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Language: Hindi.

Directed By: Tony D’Souza

Produced By: Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor, and Sony Pictures Networks

Written by:  Rajat Aroraa

Cast:

Emraan Hashmi as Mohammad Azharuddin.

Lara Dutta as Meera

Prachi Desai as Naureen, the first wife of Azharuddin.

Nargis Fakhri as Sangeeta Bijlani, the second wife of Azharuddin.

Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Azhar’s Nanu.

Rajesh Sharma as M. K. Sharma

Azhar, the movie, does not claim to be a biopic.

It is a fictionalised picturisation of Mohammad Azharuddin’s life-story. Azhar was the skipper of the Indian cricket team—making his way from a middle-class home to the pinnacle of Indian sport, from simplicity and humility to the easy arrogance of Armani suits, from a reclusive , reticent person to seeking and gaining the favour of one of Bollywood’s top actresses.

The movie is an attempt to whitewash and dramatize the Hyderabadi’s part in the match-fixing scandal that rocked the cricketing world in the 2000s.

Emraan Hashmi essays the title role with aplomb and mimics the former Indian skipper’s mannerisms to a T but is unable to dominate the frame in the way you’d expect  a larger-than-life Azharuddin to do.

Azhar’s teammates are reduced to caricatures jealous of his success, philanderers and simply unwilling to be embroiled in the messy match-fixing soup the protagonist finds himself in.

The famous showdown between Navjot Singh Sidhu and Azhar during in the 1996 England tour wherein the Sikh famously walked out of the side and returned home is not even alluded to in the film.

Jaywant Lele, in his autobiography, reveals the reason was that Sidhu was constantly abused by his captain.

The movie focuses on the court case filed by Azhar against the life ban imposed by the ICC and the BCCI which incidentally he won in 2012. The ban was revoked by the BCCI in 2005.

English: Mohammad Azharuddin Sangeeta Bijlani

Mohammad Azharuddin Sangeeta Bijlani (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The movie fails to capture other aspects of Azhar’s life such as the tragic death of his son Ayazuddin in 2011. The separation from Sangeeta Bijlani is skipped over and there is no mention either of this third marriage to long-time friend, Shannon Marie or his rumoured affair with Jwala Gutta—which incidentally both deny vehemently.

There is also little focus on his aggressive fielding at point and the training that made him one of the most brilliant fielders of his generation.

The women protagonists have surprisingly substantial parts in the film.

Prachi Desai as Naureen is demure, sensitive and suffering. She is dignity itself while certainly not a women’s lib proponent.

Hashmi portrays Azhar as both bewildered by the turn of events and his personal turmoil yet fascinated by his new love interest, Sangeeta Bijlani.

Bijli catches Azhar on the rebound from her failed relationship with Salman Khan, leader of the brat pack of Bollywood. Azhar’s dedication of his match-winning knock to his new love interest at a man-of-the-match ceremony—signalling the end of his first marriage—is crass and cowardly.

Nargis Fakhri as Sangeeta is disappointing, unable to capture her glamour or her chutzpah at snaring a married cricketer under the noses of his unsuspecting spouse and the media. She comes across as a weak-willed woman who succumbs easily to the advances of a married man. The melodramatic scenes evoke very little emotion. Fakhri is no thespian. Period.

Bollywood and cricket can never be divorced. Dalliances happen all the time but seldom end well.

Lara Dutta as Meera, the defending counsel, has the most substantial role after Hashmi in the film. She’s bold and gutsy, speaks her mind and makes no bones about turning from friend to foe, fan to hater.

Ajay Sharma, Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Jadeja and Azharuddin were all banned by the BCCI—Prabhakar and Jadeja for five years.

Jadeja’s ban was lifted in 2003 and he made a return to domestic cricket but he was never the same batsman. He never played for India again. Nayan Mongia—accused by Azharuddin—-was forced to retire despite not being found guilty by the CBI.

Hansie Cronje was the most tragic victim of this match-fixing scandal dying in a plane crash.

MK Sharma (MK Gupta) is the bookie turned approver who introduces Azhar to the sordid world of match-fixing.

Azhar—in the movie—purportedly accepts a bribe but only to shield his teammates from temptation. The reasoning is so spurious that one would best walk out from the movie hall at this point.

Navneet Mundhra writing for SportsKeeda does a competent job of listing the facts and distortions in the movie.

(Mundhra’s piece refreshed my memory about the facts of the case. The match-fixing controversy was the first to hit Indian cricket and it was the reason why I stopped following Indian cricket for a while. The Indian cricket fan has never been the same—the joys of victories tinged with suspicions about losses. Tehelka made its reputation for hard-hitting journalism based on its revelations with Manoj Prabhakar’s assistance.

My memories of Azza are of a wristy batsman who burst on the scene as a bundle of talent scoring three consecutive Test centuries on debut in a home series against England after staking his claim with a series of excellent scores in domestic matches. Azhar had arrived.

He was not—by any reckoning—a brilliant skipper, more a lucky one. He began the trend of having pitches suit the home side in Indian cricket.

He had a weakness against short-pitched pace bowling which he responded to in a counter-attacking style—all aggression , preferring to die by the sword rather than live on his knees.)

The scoreboard listing  the mangled  names of Sri Lankan and Indian players gives the game away.

The movie would have appealed to viewers more had it attempted to be a more accurate portrayal of Azhar’s feats and foibles. Look no further than The Program for a template.

The movie is bland and boring.

If you’re a die-hard Azhar fan, you’re better off staying home and catching his batting and fielding videos instead on Youtube or DVD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Caricom Cricket Review Panel lays down the law for WICB reform


English: A map of the former West Indies Feder...

A map of the former West Indies Federation. Map of CARICOM member States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) consists of 15 Caribbean nations and their dependencies.

Caricom’s main purpose is to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy. It is also a regional single market for most of its members.

Flag

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The West Indies Cricket Board has six member associations:

Barbados Cricket Association (BCA)

Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)

Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA)

Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB)

Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA), itself composed of:

Anguilla Cricket Association

Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association

British Virgin Islands Cricket Association

Montserrat Cricket Association

Nevis Cricket Association (for the island of Nevis alone)

St. Kitts Cricket Association (for the island of St. Kitts alone)

St. Maarten Cricket Association

United States Virgin Islands Cricket Association

Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control (WICBC), itself composed of:

Dominica Cricket Association
Grenada Cricket Association
St. Lucia Cricket Association
St. Vincent & the Grenadines Cricket Association

 

The Caricom Cricket Review Panel was constituted by the Prime Ministerial Committee on the Governance of West Indies Cricket.

The members were:

CHAIRPERSON:

Prof. Eudine Barriteau, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal, The University of the West Indies.

(Cricket Studies is an academic discipline internationally and in the Caribbean, at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.)

MEMBERS:

Rt. Hon. Sir Dennis Byron, President, Caribbean Court of Justice.
Dr. Warren Smith, President, Caribbean Development Bank.

Mr. Deryck Murray, West Indies Cricket Legend.

Mr. Dwain Gill, President, Grenada Cricket Association.

The West Indian Cricket Board (WICB) publishes its Vision as:

To establish and sustain West Indies cricket as the sporting symbol of the West Indies, and the West Indies team as the dominant team in international cricket.

and its Mission is:

To develop and promote West Indies cricket for the benefit and enjoyment of the West Indian people, its clients and other stakeholders by procuring a consistently high-quality, successful and international West Indian product.

The Caricom Cricket Review panel criticises the existing governance structure of the WICB which focuses solely on the shareholders in the body namely the six territorial boards and the WICB itself.

Other stakeholders such as “several Caribbean governments who finance the construction and maintenance of the stadia where the game is played; several important industries such as tourism, aviation and food and beverages; former players, some of whom constitute an elite group of exemplary ambassadors of the game known as the Legends and the current players, both women and men, and their representative organization, the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) constitute another key group of stakeholders and finally, the Caribbean public” have been either side-lined or completely ignored.

West Indies cricket is a public good.

Interestingly, the panel states that “it has no issues with the individuals who occupy the leadership and composition of the WICB or the territorial Boards” and then commences an unbridled assault on the current Board and its state of affairs. The above statement appears redundant. Why make such a statement? The Cricket Review Panel was formed to investigate the current workings of the existing system and recommend reforms that would help better the state of Windies cricket. Why even bother to try and mollify the current incumbents?

The panel also terms the current governance structure “obsolete”.

It  then recommends the dissolution of the WICB and the appointment of an interim board.

Panel members  cite the precedent of an interim board appointed by the Sri Lankan government to run matters. What has been conveniently omitted is the fact that Sri Lankan cricket has often been run by government-appointed interim committees one of which left the Board financially crippled after the co-hosting of the 2011 ODI World Cup.

The antecedent, one hopes, only pertains to the feasibility of such an imposition and not mismanagement by the interim board.

The panel then points out the lowly ranking of men’s and women’s cricket teams to justify their indictment of the WICB’s bad governance.

The men’s team failed to qualify for the 2017 Champions’ Trophy, the first time in West Indian cricketing history that the side will not be participating in a World tournament.  Other reasons listed are the team’s Test ranking—sliding to number eight, recent abandoning of the Indian tour, suspension of coach Phil Simmons following his stated despair about not being able to field the best eleven for the tour of Sri Lanka, West Indies Players Association (WIPA) not being fully representative of players and reduction of home Test series to just two-or-three games.

Other concerns expressed are the unhappy state of women’s cricket, whether a private company structure can deliver a public good, universal concern in the traditional and online media about the state of governance, absence of vision and lack of accountability.

The panel draws upon recommendations from past governance reports specifically the Wilkins and Patterson ones to propose a new structure.

The new structure will comprise five board/management committee/directors handling the following functional areas:

  • Cricket
  • Human Resources
  • Governance
  • Audit
  • Nominations

The emphasis is to be on professional competencies over territorial considerations.

The number of Board members is to be reduced to just nine.

One Board Member will specifically represent Women’s Cricket.

A head-hunting firm will oversee the selection process which will review candidates chosen by the Nominations Council.

The Caribbean Development Bank must be asked to fund “a team of consultants to define the process and regulatory framework for a transformed Board’s management structure, governance arrangements and shareholding in a new dispensation.”

The six territorial boards must be incorporated under similar rules or criteria.

The Change Management expert will ensure the Board members are distinct from executive management personnel while forming the Interim Board.

Women’s cricket should be addressed in the vision statement of the Board.

The Board must develop “specific marketing and sponsorship strategies to popularize the game, especially with families and young girls and to promote the star female players as mentors and role models, as well as to enhance their commercial value to sponsors.”

Appendix III lists the names of interviewed persons as:

  • Dr. the Rt. Honorable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada and Chairman of the Cricket Governance Committee
  • Dr. the Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves, Prime Minister of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  •  Mr. Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron, President, West Indies Cricket Board
  •  Mr. James Sutherland, Chief Executive Officer, Cricket Australia
  •  Mr. Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, England and Wales Cricket Board
  •  Mr. Michael Muirhead, Chief Executive Officer, West Indies Cricket Board
  •  Mr. Roland Holder, Manager, Cricket Operations, West Indies Cricket Board
  •  West Indies Cricket Legends:
    – Sir Wesley Hall
    – Mr. Lancelot Gibbs
    – Mr. Michael Holding
    – Mr. Alvin Kallicharran
  •  Mr. Wavell Hinds, President and CEO, West Indies Players Association
  •  Ms. Ann Browne-John, Cricket Administrator and Former West Indies Women’s Cricketer
  •  Mr. Winfield Griffith, Director of Research and Information Technology, Caribbean Tourism Organisation

 

 

K L Rahul: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Baby name elicits stares from women bystanders.

What he said:

“We were at airport and I said, ‘Baby, grab my bag’, two women started staring at us.”

Royal Challengers Bangalore opener and wicketkeeper K L Rahul recounts an unusually hilarious anecdote about his left-handed teammate Sachin Baby.

What he really meant:

“Was I looking at you,  ma’am, when I said that? Was I, ma’am, was I? Owww!”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Baby, don’t Blush when I call you by name.”

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