Barbados Vs. Jamaica II – Transcript of statements given in lecture by Sir Hilary Beckles of the WICB

<START> (56:30)

Sir Hilary: "Frank Worrell is the Father of the Nation, ah, Sobers is the King of Cricket, ah, Clive Lloyd is the Statesman, ah, Richards is the General of the army, am, Brian Lara is the Prince, and Chris Gayle is the Don."

“IN 1948 Frank Worrell refused to go to with the West Indies team to India on tour. The argument he gave in 1948 was that he wanted to be paid the salary of a professional sportsman. The argument he gave was that all of his teammates were men who owned stocks and shares in plantations and companies and they didn’t need a salary because many of them were the corporate elite of the region and they were the owners of wealth but he had a family to support and he needed the salary. And of course he was not given that salary and he did not go. But, he continued to push for cricket as an enterprise that offered not just status, but offered financial security to those persons who were celebrated as as heroes. (57:23)

So finally then, what are the images we have of West Indies cricket and our heroes? Well, the images before us are as follows, that Frank Worrell is the Father of the Nation, ah, Sobers is the King of Cricket, ah, Clive Lloyd is the Statesman, ah, Richards is the General of the army, am, Brian Lara is the Prince, and Chris Gayle is the Don. And, and these these, these are very interesting images ah, in, in, in , indeed because the the movement from the father to the Don and, and and those who follow him and his cohort in the team do relate to him as their Don, and he has brought it is said, the Don-manship into how ‘tings’ operate in the team, and what the West Indies Board is trying to do at the moment is to uproot this Don-manship out of the culture in much the same way that the Jamaican people are trying to uproot Dudus from their politics. So the comparisons are very interesting indeed. (58:48)

Now how do we put all of this finally, into context? There is no doubt that there is a younger generation of cricketers that is emerging and the younger generation is altogether unlike those who currently represent the West Indies team. It is not that the system has produced a consciousness that reproduces itself in the linear fashion. These young players are reverting, they are looking to the Greenidges and the Haynes and the Lloyds and the Holdings as their heroes. So these current younger players are bypassing their immediate predecessors and they are looking at an earlier generation and why is this? Am, I spent a fair amount of time interviewing some of the younger players, and especially those who have just won in Dubai, the West Indies Under-19 team, and this West Indies Under-19 team is some interesting collection of very smart and bright young men and there is a different quality of personality at the moment. They do not wish to be like Chris Gayle, they do not wish to be like am, ah, Marlon Samuels…” (1:00:10)

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