WIPA SLAMS UWI PRO-VICE CHANCELLOR FOR COMPARING BATSMAN CHRIS GAYLE WITH PURPORTED DRUGLORD “DUDUS” COKE
The West Indies Players Association has written to the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI) condemning remarks made by West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Director and Principal of the UWI’s Cave Hill Campus, Sir Hilary Beckles, in which he unfairly compares former West Indies Captain, Christopher Gayle to Christopher “Dudus” Coke. WIPA has asked for an investigation by the UWI since Beckles holds a most senior position at that institution and is involved with several cricket-related activities within the UWI including considerable responsibility for the High-Performance Centre and the Combined Campuses and Colleges Cricket team.
WIPA specifically refers to an excerpt from a public statement made by Beckles on the subject, “Frank Worrell: The Rise and Fall of West Indies Cricket”:
“Frank Worrell is the Father of the Nation, Sobers is the King of Cricket, Clive Lloyd is the Statesman, Richards is the General of the Army, Brian Lara is the Prince, and Chris Gayle is the Don. And these are very interesting images indeed because the movement from the father to the Don 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…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…..”
In its letter to the Board of Directors of the West Indies Cricket Board WIPA called for the immediate resignation or expulsion of Dr. Beckles from the WICB and any further dealings with West Indies Cricket. This WIPA letter also indicted that the “organization and its members would find it difficult to have any confidence in a person who appears blatantly prejudiced against some of the players and who, because he is both a WICB Director and Principal of one of our regional university campuses, is in a position to make decisions that affect their livelihood and their ability to represent their countries and region. We are convinced that his remarks about Mr. Gayle could do tremendous damage to Mr. Gayle’s reputation and future relationships with members of the Jamaica and West Indies teams.”
WIPA also drew attention to the situation of Marlon Samuels who “has gone through some difficult times and has just been recalled to the West Indies squad where at least one of the Under 19 players that Dr. Beckles talks about would have to interact with Mr. Samuels. These words have gone into the public domain and as a result Mr. Samuels has been held up to ridicule.”
A third letter has been sent by WIPA to the Chairman of the Heads of Government, The Hon Tillman Thomas, and Prime Minister of Grenada. In that letter WIPA briefs the Prime Minister on the statements made by Beckles and added that: “These remarks about Gayle and Samuels by Beckles must be seen within the context of the on-going deterioration and destruction of the West Indies Cricket brand and reputation. We know that you love the game and understand that it is the glue that binds our people together, whether they are here in the region or in the diaspora. West Indies Cricket is coming unstuck and only those who represent the people of the region can put it together again and create a permanent solution to the divisions that are now painfully apparent and which will inevitably, sooner rather than later, break West Indies cricket apart.”