THE EDITOR: Three Australian cricketers including the captain of their national team have been banned (by their own country) from international games for ball tampering.
One of them will not be considered for leadership positions in the future while the other two will have to wait two years before they are even considered for such roles. Each player must also complete 100 hours of community service before being considered for future selection.
What an ordeal these talented cricketers have found themselves in. Since then, however, they have openly expressed remorse for their actions with one of them even breaking down in tears.
It’s almost impossible, though, for one not to think that those banned Australians must be secretly wishing that, as far as the administration of cricket (disciplinary regulations included) is concerned, Cricket Australia could be as insensitive and lackadaisical as Cricket West Indies (CWI) and/or WI selectors.
Imagine for a moment Vivian Richards, a former West Indies captain and one of the greatest players the world has ever seen, who went on to be knighted for his performances par excellence on the cricket field, after cautioning/advising a then Johnny-come-lately West Indian player (in the interest of the state of West Indies cricket), this same Johnny-come-lately summoned up all his concentration and after successfully scoring a century, rather than thanking the “master-blaster” for what clearly turned out to be motivation, before facing another delivery, Johnny immediately dipped into his pocket and, for all the world to see, pulled out a scrap of paper with the words “Take that Viv” written on it.
And to add insult to injury, Johnny was handed the captaincy of West Indies cricket on a platter sometime after this sordid episode, and since then continues to be selected with his run-of-the-mill performances.
To this day, however, people keep asking, after being regimented by the great player (again, in the interest of West Indies cricket), exactly how many times did Johnny, unknowing to teammates, selectors, sport commentators and hundreds of spectators, walk out to the crease with that offensive piece of paper in his pocket and had to walk back with it before he actually scored that century?
I feel pretty sure that had a relatively new player from England, India, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa or Sri Lanka expressed similar sentiments in such a disrespectful manner to one of their respected former players, more so in front of the entire world, it would have definitely been the last we would have seen or heard of that new player.
My best advice to Australians Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft is that they were not banned by the International Cricket Council, therefore they are still free to play at the highest level should another Test-playing country consider their services.
And given their top-class talent and the CWI’s low administrative standards, they just might be welcome here while we are still trying to decipher how the once mighty West Indies cricket team descended into the state its presently in.
LLOYD RAGOO, Chaguanas