“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come…” Revelation 14:6-7
As we review our personal lives, as we review our business lives, as we review the governance of our countries or as we review how best to bring the top-tier West Indies cricket players in from the wilderness, we must invoke our “Free Will” to make sensible decisions. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy contends that “Free Will” is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. In order to do this optimally, we must adhere to the Revelation to Fear God and give Glory to Him as if this is the hour of judgment. To do otherwise, may result in a revolving, spiraling decline in your fortunes and decay in the quality of life. This has been demonstrated recently in the context of actions that have led to the top-tier West Indies cricket players being relegated to the wilderness. The result has been a continuation of the revolving and spiraling decline in the fortunes of the WI cricket team and some decay in the quality of life for WI cricket fans. Definitions of the word “Revolution” include: (Type 1) Return to a point before occupied, or to a point relatively the same; and (Type 2) A total or radical change; as, a revolution in one’s circumstances or way of living; and (Type 3) A fundamental change in political organisation, or in a government or constitution; the overthrow or renouncement of one government, and substituting another. For some time now we have experienced WI cricket revolutions in the sense of going around and around and not being able to break out into orbit and soar to greater heights. We have not been able to effect total or radical change as recommended by the report on the governance of West Indies cricket, commissioned by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) itself and prepared by a committee headed by PJ Patterson, the former Jamaican Prime Minister. We in the Caribbean do not make it a habit of overthrowing or renouncing a government, and substituting of another. The latest action by the WICB is the appointment of Sir Shridath Ramphal, as facilitator in the most recent dispute between the (WICB) and the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), to settle the issue amicably. I fear that this action is akin to “a plaster to cover a sore” without removing the root cause which led to the sore in the first place. If this action is apparently successful, it will be at best ephemeral. According to the Trinidad Express of Friday, August 7th 2009 “Astute diplomat that he is, Sir Shridath Ramphal must know that he is doing more than brokering a deal in the dispute between the WICB and the WIPA which has crippled the regional team and left their top-tier players in the wilderness”. Sir Shridath must revisit the Patterson governance report on West Indies cricket, commissioned by the WICB itself. But of course a radical approach must be proposed because, let us face it; the WICB is not going to take action to destroy itself. The WICB must be dismantled by an external force. By the way, in my opinion the WICB must be congratulated on taking the stance to appoint a second team for the Bangladesh series and for the ICC Trophy. At least they did not capitulate to the demands of the WIPA on this occasion. But these congratulations do not mean that there is no root cause. It is still there. I wrote a column recently which was inspired by the dispute and to which I received significant and varied response. A second column shared some of the feedback from the first column. But, many questions were left unanswered. I now attempt to rectify this by proposing an integrated solution to the problem. In my opinion, the following revolutionary steps have to be taken: (1) Play the second team until you “break” WIPA which is fighting for rights apparently without a word on performance, productivity and deliverables. This may mean cancelling the November 2009 WI tour of Australia because the Australians may not want to entertain a second team. WIPA treats WI cricket as a game of chance where everything is fine as long as the players call the shots. The tail wagging the dog is not an optimal management strategy; (2) Strengthen the team with former WIPA players, who are hungry enough come back in the fold; (3) Governments of the region, on behalf of the cricket fans of the region and in the Diaspora, must engage the sponsors in dialogue and close down (in consultation with ICC) the business of WI cricket until a new Governance structure is put in place; (4) seek the appropriate management, corporate structuring and financial advice to build the new governance and operational stricture for WI cricket; and (5) Encourage the development of a new WIPA which will induce harmony between the new WICB and WIPA’s members in the interest of greater performance, productivity and deliverables for fair compensation.