Sriram Veera’s latest dispatch from the West Indies makes for some compelling reading. It describes a heated meeting between Chris Gayle’s representatives and the West Indies Cricket Board, two parties that have been caught in a toxic brew of ego, incompetence and conflicting visions for the past month or two.
This is the best moment in Veera’s piece:
After the meeting on Wednesday, in which tempers are said to have flared, allegations from both camps flew thick and fast. A WICB source alleged that Dinanath Ramnarine, the president of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), had lifted his chair and threatened to assault the board CEO Ernest Hilaire. WIPA denied the incident but conceded that there had been verbal disagreements and that Ramnarine had got out from his chair at one point, but had neither lifted the chair nor tried to hit Hilaire.
Obviously, I like the detail about the chair, but I think Veera deserves extra credit for eliciting a reaction from the WICB that clarifies someone did get out from a chair, but said piece of furniture was never lifted. Such distinctions are the stuff of master spin.
And what is all the fuss about? Apparently, the board wants Gayle to apologize for some remarks he made. That is it. Why boards don’t follow Australia’s example, which just received a severe tongue-lashing from Simon Katich, is simply beyond me. No, instead, we cannot have players talking to the media freely, and if they do, they need to be sanctioned, and if they don’t apologize, they need to be punished. Words can’t hurt you, don’t you know.