West Indies Cricketing disgraces

Findlay’s skills were always evident to the authorities but the very structure of the game in the region and the weakness of the representatives from the smaller islands worked against him and he was eventually the victim of the prejudicial mode of operation of the Board.

The list of victims from the Windward Islands alone in respect of the cricketers who have been discriminated against is an extensive one that cannot be included here for want of space.

Everton Weekes vs F.O. Mason

The experience of F.O. Mason deserves special treatment here. There are many Vincentians and people around the Caribbean who knew that our own F.O. Mason was perhaps one of the fastest bowlers around and that his failure to gain selection on a West Indies team was sheer discrimination and insularity. It came as no surprise therefore that in his book, Garry Sobers made bold to enter into what some may see as a sort of catharsis. Sobers detailed the scenario when Mason was engaged in his second set of trials to make the West Indies team to go on tour. In his book Sobers noted that Everton Weekes wanted to ensure that the newcomer, Wes Hall, gained a place on the team ahead of Mason and so he advised his Barbadian colleagues, including Sobers, to go after Mason and make him look much weaker than Hall.

According to Sobers the good balls from Mason were dispatched for four and the bad balls received the most savage response. In the end Hall was given the nod over Mason.

What we have learnt from Sobers is that the Barbadians then, led by someone whom we are now called upon to revere as a cricketing legend and one of the renowned 3Ws, Everton Weekes, apparently displayed a mode of behaviour that was at best extremely selfish and crassly insular in respect of the game of cricket in so far as the selection of players from the region to the West Indies team was concerned. From Sobers’ account it would appear that at the time Barbadians on the West Indies team looked after themselves. It did not seem to matter how well players from other countries, especially the smaller ones, were able to handle themselves on the field of play.