CARICOM and sport

Thus far it has only served to mediate between the West Indies Players Association, WIPA, and the West Indies Cricket Board, WICB, when the nature of the conflict became such that it threatened the future of the game as perceived by the politicians.In reality though the CARICOM Committee on Cricket reflects a distinctive bias in favour of one of the sporting disciplines practised in our region and against those other disciplines which are practised and which have served to aid the international recognition of our Caribbean region.The distinctive bias has been present from the early days when the CARICOM Heads sought more to assist Sobers per se rather than fashion a broader developmental perspective on the role of sport in the regional integr
ation process. This broader perspective is still absent from the focus of the current crop of CARICOM Heads.With their heads buried in the sand, for the most part, our CARICOM leaders today still fail to see beyond their noses in so far as sport is concerned. They are yet to understand that sport is and must be integral to the broader developmental process in each of the Caribbean countries as well as the collective that is ours to integrate.
Asafa Powell stood atop the world at the World Athletics Gala in Monaco last December, a proud Jamaican and Caribbean athlete in the sport of athletics, which has a global membership of 212 full members.
First Jamaica and later Trinidad and Tobago contested the FIFA World Cup Finals in the sport of football, which has a global membership of 207 full members.
The West Indies is somewhere in there in the International Cricket Council, which has only 10 full members. However the ICC seeks to shore up its image by claiming to have 32 Associate members and 54 affiliate members bringing what it considers its total membership to 96 members. This in itself is something of a sham in reality compared to the two aforementioned international sporting bodies.
The CARICOM therefore, by singling out cricket for special treatment has essentially displayed a level of prejudice that should have no place in our efforts at regional integration.
If it is a truism that sport plays a role in forging relationships, camaraderie and some forward movement towards cooperation and understanding then we in the Caribbean should be highly supportive of all sports practised and our regional Heads of Government should readily adopt this same principle.
It is the distinctive Cricket bias among our leaders that has led them into the heavy and as yet unintelligible expenditures on a Cricket World Cup that is of dubious benefit to us as a region.