West Indies Cricketing disgraces

Poor payment etc

One of the gravest disgraces in West Indies cricket has been the very poor pay packages given to our players for many years. This fact was nowhere more highlighted in song by The Mighty Sparrow, of Trinidad and Tobago, following the departure of several top players in the region to the Kerry Packer innovation. It should be noted here that the Board at the time as well as its international parent body attempted to stay the hand of the players who, recognising for the first time that they were going to be well paid, readily grabbed the opportunity.

Wes Hall may be well placed to explain his experience as a West Indies player and the role he played in this particular period of West Indies cricket.

The harsh reality is that the history of the game in the region is that the Board at the time did not seem to think much about the players, especially since we had also at the time witnessed a ‘blackening’ in terms of the composition of the team.

Some may wish to recall the years when only men of colour were able to play for certain teams in the respective Caribbean countries. At that time, too, the leadership of the sport at the regional level also fell to men of colour. Black people had to know their place and this was to bowl and field while the white men batted. To dare to suggest that one was able to play the game earned the same ire in cricket as it did in Tennis around the Caribbean at the time.

Hilary Beckles and Verlene Shepherd have chronicled this particularly sordid period in West Indies cricket history. It is perhaps this very legacy that allows the so-called cricket legends of the Caribbean to become the putrid pawns that we see hanging around Stanford’s table. This is in and of itself another major disgrace.

Perhaps another critical disgrace has to do with the treatment of Alvin Kallicharan of Guyana who was somehow persuaded to stay loyal to the Board but who was left out to pasture once the Packer loyalists returned to play for the region.

Kallicharan was never offered an apology by the Board.