This article has haunted me until it had to be written. What was the reluctance? Simple, would people get it? Do people even understand or care? As Caribbean people, do we truly appreciate our cricket? Is cricket just another sport?
Cricket is a simple bat-and-ball game played between two teams with eleven players that is cricket. What makes this sport then worthy of Caribbean commendation? Understanding history creates humility. Cricket began in the 1500’s in South-East England and became its national sport in the 1700’s. In other words, cricket was established prior to re-discovery of the West Indies and was happening during slavery, and before our Caribbean nations even became recognized Caribbean nations.
International cricket matches were being played since 1844. Now consider the great achievement of having a team, combining nationals from Caribbean regions, with skill and expertise that is sufficient to even be considered worthy as a sporting rival. No other sport can give such psychological power. No other! It is, for this reason, that cricket fans throughout the West Indies lament when our players are enticed aside by the modern-day trappings of the sport. It is for this reason that we, as a region, walk just a little bit taller when any of our cricket sportsmen and sportswomen breaks records.
Cricket represents power, progress, and productivity. Cricket represents psychological milestones. One wonders now, with many of the younger Caribbean generation not knowing or even appreciating their history, what would be offering this sort of fortitude. Would it simply be the trend of the times to achieve? Okay, so we must admit that, as a region, our Caribbean nationals are doing quite well for themselves worldwide. However, why then was there talk or discussion of a ‘brain drain’? Could it be that we as a region might not be maximizing our resources?
One cannot help but wonder if the weakening of such a strong unifying sport such as cricket is contributing to the ‘brain drain’. How can we motivate persons in and from our region to actually think about regional development? It surely does seem a challenge, especially since ODI’s or One Day Internationals are tending to take preference to Test Cricket Series, which has long been considered the highest standard of the sport. How ironic it is too that some of our players are now being bought and sold even weakening at times their loyalty and allegiance to West Indian teams. Do we need to be more alert and ready to remind the sports world of the power and history of our cricket? Or is it that we need to do more to seek out and create a list of reasons for commending Caribbean cricket?
Who knows if the glory days of 1979 might return in terms of our domination of the sport? Even if it does not, it seems some sort of aggressive affirmative action might be needed to safeguard the benefits of our Caribbean cricket.
By Keriann Toby
Kerriann Toby holds a Master of Counselling and Bachelor of Psychology. She is a dynamic therapist, trained mediator; and educator since 2000. In addition to being a trained educator, mediator, and therapist, she is a certified Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) Professional. Kerriann has also trained in cyber counseling and holds clinical registration with Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) & Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).
In mid-October 2015 she initiated operations of KarryOn geared toward the provision of a variety of enhancement and developmental services for the individual, groups and the organization; e-Coaching/Counseling, Mediation, EAP Services and the creative presentation of psycho-social information. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.