Saturday, 17 February 2007

Giving Jack His Jacket

West Indies cricket has caused its fans in the Caribbean heartache after heartache in the past ten to twelve years as the team has sunk to depths never before thought possible. Much of the blame rests with the administration and structure of the game in the region, but blame must also be apportioned to the players, many of whom demonstrate a total lack of commitment to West Indian cricket, its past greats, its history and its place in West Indian society. I think the carefree, materialistic, undisciplined, prima donna type behaviour of a large proportion of the team is a reflection of the times we live in and the direction we are going. Many people make excuses about a young, inexperienced team that is now learning, but I don’t buy that. So many players cannot remain young and inexperienced after five and six years in international cricket. The comments they make, the performance on the field, the conduct off the field and the general deportment only serves to highlight their disregard for the rich history of the game in the Caribbean and for us the fans.

However, while I believe in constructive criticism, I also believe that praise must be rendered when it is due. Ramnaresh Sarwan is one team member who I have criticised heavily for not living up to his immense talent. However, I came across an article yesterday about an educational and sports trust fund he has set up in Guyana to assist less fortunate primary and secondary school students. The Ramnaresh Sarwan Education and Sports Trust Fund will award a financial grant to be used to purchase uniforms, footwear and educational materials to a total of fifteen students, to encourage them to stay in school and obtain an education. This venture of Sarwan is commendable and I am happy to see him giving back to his community. Let us hope that this social consciousness is an indication of his maturity and furthermore, that this maturity is manifested in his performance on the field.

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