To The Editor:
Kudos to Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller for taking a stand on the Chris Gayle-West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) issue and the incompetence of those who run West Indies cricket. The response by the WICB was not only out of order and illogical, but also arrogant, disrespectful of a head of state and smacked of ‘massa’ mentality.
To suggest that a head of state was misinformed on a matter that has been so highly publicised is indicative of the attitude of the WICB over the years that it is the only repository of what is accurate and valid.
Furthermore, the claim that Gayle’s comments were “tantamount to a member of the Jamaican Cabinet lambasting and deriding the leader of the Cabinet and fellow Cabinet colleagues and being returned to that august body without any accountability for his or her actions” is ludicrous at best. For one, Gayle is not a member of the WICB so he cannot be equated to a cabinet member. Secondly, like any citizen of the region, Gayle has the right to freedom of expression. Thirdly, Gayle is not simply an employee of the board but a cricketer representing the entire West Indies and one who has done so with acclaim over the years.
Finally, the WICB is not a ruling cabinet with political power nor a corporate board in charge of private interests but a group delegated to take care of our cricket and that delegation comes from the people of the region.
The simple fact is that Gayle’s comments reflect the views and feelings of the majority of West Indian cricket fans and lovers, thus if the WICB was not a group of self-righteous dons, it would have taken cognizant of the sentiments of Gayle and the thousands of others expressed over the years and really put in place recommendations to address its incompetence and maladministration of the past two decades or so.
Madam Portia Simpson has taken a stand. It is time that other heads of state and governments join her in calling on the WICB for accountability and reform so that our cricket can get back on a footing that would lay the base for its rise once again.
Meanwhile, we ask all fans and lovers of West Indies cricket to please do the following:
1. Write letters to the media calling on governments to follow the lead of the Jamaican prime minister.
2. Call, fax or write the West Indies Cricket Board to express your views about their incompetence and mismanagement.
3. Log on the Facebook page ‘Guardians of WI Cricket’, click the like button (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Guardians-Of-WI-Cricket/353213088034412?sk=wall&filter=1) and share your views. Also invite others to do so.
4. Sign the petition that will be sent to the WICB – link on the FB page ‘Guardians of WI Cricket.’ The petition will be available soon.