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Wednesday, March 6, 2002

Sir Vivian


Sir Vivian may not be the best man for the job of coaching. There are many examples of great men who are incapable of coaching lesser mortals. This basic fact applies to sports, medicine, music, and I dare say, to all vocations. A few years ago, I asked the best pan man in the world to explain why he chose a particular set of notes on top of a specific progression of chords. His response was: it was the most natural thing to play. A similar response came from a neurosurgeon in a successful, difficult operation in which he made a seemingly unorthodox incision. Great men seem to have a multidimensional view in which space and time converge. They may not understand that lesser mortals are still struggling with basic two-dimensional length and breadth.

Why then was Sir Vivian such a great captain? I have heard it said, by those who should know, that Lloyd was a good captain because he had a great team. I have not heard similar words about Sir Vivian’s captaincy. But is it not true that Sir Vivian’s men were, at best, men who could respond to his demands? Such a response would require basic skills that seem to be lacking in too many cricketers today.

There are many examples of men of lesser rank being called upon to put a team through the ropes while the great man fulfills a different role. We see this in a drill sergeant, a first violinist or a leading pan man who rehearses the orchestra until the conductor takes over, a junior doctor preparing medical student for the consultant, etc. This begs the question: what is the role of Sir Vivian or the other Knights of West Indies Cricket?

I have approached this issue from the perspective that there was no intention whatsoever to humiliate Sir Vivian. Therefore, I have to conclude that the WICB is thoroughly and constitutively confused. I agree with the statement about not letting out information on certain matters of the WICB and that one would not expect similar a disclosure from a private company. But therein lies the paradox: The WICB is not a private business even though it may have to deploy some private business practices. And the WICB is not a public, government organization either. How is the WICD constituted? If it is derived from the regional cricket associations and boards then we the West Indian people must play a more meaningful part in our local (village, parish) and national cricket teams, associations and boards.

The whole structure, constitution, and management style and fashion of the WICB must be reviewed. There must be a way to bring the Knights of cricket to the WICB round table. Are the WICB members afraid of the King and the Knight? The time has come for us to make a meaningful input into our cricket.

In short, all of us must “get some thing and bat”.

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