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Sir Hilary offers advice on Cameron’s next move

Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies Professor Sir Hilary Beckles has hailed Sunday’s double win by the West Indies men’s and women’s teams in the global T20 cricket tournament, saying it has restored the region to “a pinnacle of global cricket leadership.

“By winning World Cups in the coveted, cash rich T20 format, West Indians, bursting with passion, proved to the world of critics without compassion that they are advocates of a sophisticated civilization perfectly ready for winning performances in the pressurized global space that seeks to marginalize our small states,” Sir Hilary said in a letter to media editors.

“Our women and men have sent a powerful message into the universe,” he added.

Sir Hilary went on: “2016 is the epitome of a long, hard journey to justice. From 1886, when the West Indies team was invented and went
on its first tour that year to Canada and the USA, to 1927 when it received Test status, to 1950/1 when it ended England’s rule and moved on to challenge Australia for the World Test title, to 1978 to 1995, when it dominated first the Test nest and then the One Day International (ODI) arena, to this day, 130 years later, West Indies cricket has been surrounded by mentalities lacking in generosity and scientific observation.”

“This mind”, the top regional academic said, was now represented by English writer/commentator, Mark Nicholas, whose comment that the West Indies team lacked brains triggered a strong rebuke from T20 captain Darren Sammy who said it only served to inspire the team to greatness.

Said Sir Hilary: “Commenting upon our loss of Test dominance, Nicholas says that he sees nothing in West Indian society to indicate that the team has any further leadership role. He concludes that so intellectually backward and bankrupt is Caribbean culture that our golden years of dominance in Tests and ODIs should best be described as a ‘fluke’.”

“As he and his cohort watched the Windies rise on [Sunday] and take control of the T20 game, in much the same way that they did Tests and ODIs a generation ago, it is unlikely that he reflected upon the miserable nature of his musings. The jaundiced mind sees no light in space even in the face of the blazing sun, but the trail speaks for itself.”

Sir Hilary, an ardent enthusiast of the game, underscored that no other cricket nation, except the West Indies, has dominated all versions of the cricket game. “Nicholas might wish to take this fact into his festival of folly,” he said.

Sir Hilary went on: “Captains Sammy and Taylor are no ordinary leaders. With their players drawn from a nation of post-colonial citizens, they stood against teams from countries with populations and gross domestic products thousands of times larger, and proceeded to mobilize their mentality that knows no boundaries.

“A young woman [Hayley Matthews] and a young man [Carlos Brathwaite], both debutantes, green behind their ears in the maroon wear, allowed their imaginations to run away with them. In their flight, they took the game with them. They had the audacity and the nerve to be bold and courageous, and to say to the old foes ‘We are West Indies’ in a fashion only David Rudder knows best.”

Sir Hilary contended that British Prime Minister David Cameron’s call on Caribbean people to forget their collective history, made in response to the region’s campaign for reparations as compensation for colonialism and slavery, and to move along had something to do with the resurgence of West Indies cricket.

“And this is why we have The University of the West Indies that stood elevated, again, as Brathwaite, its student and captain of the Cave Hill cricket team, raised to excellence within its faculty and the Combined Campuses and Colleges culture, dug deep into our past and came up with an intellectual answer for the future,” said Sir Hilary, referring Brathwaite’s masterful batting display in the final over when he struck four consecutive sixes to pilot the West Indies to victory over a visibly demoralized England.

“All that is now required is for the WICB, president and directors, to complete the over. There are two balls left to face, one is to accept the governance reform that calls for the Council of Stakeholders as set out in the Patterson Report, and the other is to recognize that by accepting the governance interdependence of cricket and society is not to lose autonomy,” Sir Hilary said.

“The players have done their job on the field. It is now for the president, whose heart resides in cricket as much as any one of us, to do his and lead his board boldly into the rest of the decade with public support and popular legitimacy.”

“Without this reform,” Sir Hilary warned, “West Indies runs the risk of being razed to the ground by internal conflict and acrimony. The golden monument we have all built as a tribute to our cultural tenacity and collective wisdom must come first. This is your task, Mr President. It’s a duty of your generation.”

10 Responses to Sir Hilary offers advice on Cameron’s next move

  1. BaJan boy April 6, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Thank you Sir. Hillary in fact in a blood two days ago I said you should lead the charge in reforming our regions past time. The politicians can’t even lead their respective countries small economies I find it impossible for them to successfully engage this huge task. Our biggest difficulty is however reducing Cameron’s ego and getting a little class in him to approach this task respectfully and for Bravo to learn some manners or dismiss the talentless little boy.

  2. Donna Harewood April 6, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Gosh, I didn’t know Nicholas had said all of that! The same way that Sammy and Co. used this as motivation so should Dave Cameron and his board and so should all of us take positive steps to make him and all others like him eat crow! Dave Cameron must answer David Cameron and complete our uprising against the colonists. Did you see their faces on Sunday? How much did we enjoy the sledger Ben Stokes sinking to his knees? How much did we enjoy seeing the sledger Joe Root’s angry outburst after his dismissal? How long will we allow them to be so smugly disrespectful? They even want to tell us how we should celebrate. We should be gentlemanly as they are on the field with their nasty sledging? They fined Marlon Samuels for sledging Ben Stokes but ignored the fact that he started on Samuels the moment he came to the crease. Jos Butler claimed a catch he had to know he hadn’t taken. Barely a whimper. He of course was unaware that he hadn’t caught it. That’s according to the commentators. I remember the outcry against Denesh Ramdin just a few years ago for the same offence only Ramdin never even appealed! Let us stop fighting each other and fight the real enemy! How much did we enjoy Sunday? Come on, this is the moment! Let’s go! Forward ever!

  3. Alex Alleyne April 6, 2016 at 9:35 am

    The complete conversation of nonsense that “punk’ Mark Nicholas made should be publish for one and all to read .
    If his employer(s) had any respect for the Caribbean people , they should FIRE him. I do hope in future he don’t get a work permit to carry out any kind of sport duties in the Caribbean , print or electronic.

  4. Sarifa Patel April 6, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I have one desire as far as West Indies Cricket is concerned and that is to see the heads of Dave Cameron and the current board roll so that a new board can be appointed.
    My argument is why does Mr. Cameron get defensive when constructive criticism is directed at him, usually when someone goes on the defensive it means he has something to hide and I wonder what that can be.
    Two things need to happen an investigation into the financials of the WICB and an exposure of the running of the WICB as to why uniforms were not in place for the team representing the region.
    Thank God for the Indians who are a giving people, people who stepped into the gap and made provision for the team, had it not been for them we would have been embarrassed.
    I am sure that they are thanking God that they don’t have men like Mr. Cameron as the head of their organizations.
    Please Mr. Cameron do the honorable thing resign or come out with what you are hiding behind the scenes.

  5. M. Arlene Young April 6, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Well said Sir Hilary. Timing of your article could not be more perfect. I do hope the person’s who are calling for the removal of Sammy as the Captain reads, digest and understand what your article is saying and where we are positioned as West Indians….The days and times of “slavery” and “backra master” mentalities are over. I wish the President and the Board go back to the “drawing board” after reading your article, understanding the history and milestones and now do their part to complete the over. The players have put their hearts in and done their part on the field despite all the internal obstacles, silencing the wider world and hopefully gave them something to ponder over.

  6. Natallie April 6, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Mark Nicholas apologises for describing West Indies as ‘short of brains’

  7. Baba Elombe April 6, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Brilliant and to the point.

  8. David Maitre April 6, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    What a great and inspiring piece. As I read, the deserving accolades bestowed on our heroes I was overcome with an indescribable joy and of course faith that the sojourn in the cricket
    wilderness could soon be a thing of the past as I have no doubt that Sunday’ performance will inspire generations of young cricketers to come.

    I thought that by Sir Beckles piece and Sunday’ performance that a kind of vengeance had been exacted upon those idiots who equated our team’ brain matter to that of Monkeys.

    And finally, I join you Sir Beckles in appealing to Mr. Camron to bowl the other 2, or they may just be for him and knowing him, he will attempt to hit 2 consecutive sixes but he will be out caught.

  9. Victor R Callender April 6, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    I am sitting here with tears in my eyes Sir Hilary. I have bought every book you have written, and when asked who I most would like to meet, in human form, I said Dr. Hilary Beckles. I am a Barbadian who have fussed for years at the defeats suffered by the West Indies team, this week I came to work here in Seattle, Washington USA, to see and hear my Aussie and British co-workers speak highly of my region. I doubted the West Indies based off of past performance, but when Carlos Brathwaite handed the world magic, I wept like a baby. It wasn’t about the win or the championships by both teams, it was about the unity. I always want folks from other countries to know that I am a West Indian, born in Barbados. I am a bajan, you see how proudly I said that? I am somebody, from a region filled with giants just like you Sir Hilary. I might be poor, but I have worth, I have value and so do our fellow West Indians. We beat them, we rose from the ashes of defeat to be led by our “Invictus” Indeed, we are the captains of our ships, and the masters of our destinies.

  10. Michael N April 7, 2016 at 1:13 am

    A powerful piece by Professor Beckles. He has the perspicacity to see the significant in things that many of us do not see.


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