“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” – Psalm 23:1

Well, Well! Last week’s column generated so much discussion via email and casual face to face discussion that I have enough information to feed this column for weeks on end. But alas, I shall not be tempted lest I induce an avalanche or even a tsunami which is beyond me to control. More importantly, there is other crucial and exciting information that I would like to share in future columns on the concept of an invigorated entrepreneurial thrust. Crucial and exciting because we can only achieve sustained economic growth one successful enterprise after another. We therefore need to encourage and shepherd entrepreneurs as we partner with them on the journey to sustainable success. One comment was “Basil, I thought everything would be fixed as soon as they got rid of Lara”. I responded with an actual quote from one of my columns, dated 16 April 2007, as follows: “The development of West Indies cricket does not have a hope greater than that of a snow ball surviving in hell, until Brian Lara retires from the international game. Then, and only then, should we start the rebuilding process from top to bottom”. Well Brian Lara left and we have not started the rebuilding process and are suffering as a result. Then there were a few short quips “Couldn’t be better put”, “You are on the ball”, “’Ow’s zat.??!!!”, “Thank you very much for this one”, and “a good shepherd indeed”. These were good for my ego. Then, wow, the grand charge! “ I am a recipient of your emails so I feel I’m entitled to comment on your column on the recent cricket fiasco. Like you I’m deeply disturbed about West Indies cricket… and I won’t bother to go into the long blahblah about how important it is to the region. I was disappointed by the essence of your commentary which seemed as if it wanted to appear balanced, but really intended to come down against the players”. “If you followed WI cricket over the years, you will see that there is a systemic problem with the Board going back many, many years. That is not only the root of the problem, it is the main problem. I will admit that there are issues with the players, but that is also part of the Board’s mismanagement. Who can forget how the Board kept bending backwards to facilitate Brian Lara just so they could reap the rewards of his fame? That set the tone for many of today’s players”. “One comment in particular, positions you well – Until the West Indies players start performing consistently, I think that there is little justification for them to be going on strike, whether or not they are right or wrong in the context of collective bargaining protocol – ‘…whether or not they are right or wrong…’. If they have been wronged, and remedial action isn’t taken to fix the issue, then they should take industrial action. It has nothing to do with performance. That is a separate issue. If individuals are not performing, they should be dropped from the team. Essentially, you are saying that no matter the conditions they are forced to work under, they should not take collective industrial action until their performance improves. Could it be that their performance is affected by the conditions? And you say they should ‘show some consideration for their supporters’. Well, what examples are they giving the exploited working class, buckling to the demands of those who are exploiting them… ‘It’s fine. Remember that Massa jus loves your cooking?’. You want something to do, apply pressure to the Board. A good Board will change the tone and the success of West Indies cricket”. Obviously a raw nerve had been touched by my comments. Then to my defence, there was this response: “Basil, I think this writer missed your point entirely. As I understand it, you were not apportioning blame but analyzing the situation from a corporate employer/employee perspective. If blame was to be deduced from your article, it was more to the WICB. Hence my comment to you ( i.e. Basil, couldn’t help but think why the WICB can’t enlist your help. Obviously the Board is CONTROLLED by persons visionless). Of course, your short ending comment on the players was justified…I can’t imagine someone working for me, say domestic help, whose work is barely acceptable and knows it, that I continue to employ because I need the help and can’t get someone else, asking me for an increase in pay. I would consider that insanity, especially as I would be putting ‘bread’ in her mouth and keeping her off the ‘breadline’. People need to start looking at this whole issue in a broader sense. We may remain, with a few others, as the lone rangers. People don’t want to rock the boat while WI cricket quietly dies around us, even at the 20 twenty level that is being pushed to replace test cricket. Keep the faith.”