Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chris Gayle in a Teacup

In all the worldwide mediastorm over Chris Gayle's hissy fit about T-20 vs Test Cricket, it is illustrative of the all pervading political correctness that not one person has come out and pointed to the real 600 pound Gorilla in the room - that Chris Gayle is just plain lazy, and that moreover his laziness is simply representative of the lazy entitlement fuelled attitude that characterizes the entire Caribbean today and is directly responsible for the rot in West Indies Cricket. It is not the loss of athletes to basketball or football - name one NBA or NFL star from Jamaica/Trinidad/Guyana. It is not the much maligned WICB, although they really are bunch of shitheads. It is certainly not the lack of facilities - that's laughable considering they produced a galaxy of prodigies with no facilities in the 50s, 60s, all the way through the 90s. No, it is the defeatist, angry psyche that takes its thought leadership not from local West Indian examples anymore, but from the bling/rhyme/drug/gang fuelled hip-hop culture of America, which never tires of telling men of color that they are victims and are entitled to an easy ride. Viv Richards practiced hours every day and wore his black pride on his sleeve and backed it with performance. Today its all about talk and attitude with no substance, because boys do not want to put in the hard yards necessary for success. It is this generational change that has damaged the Caribbean and Chris Gayle is but a product. If he sees easy money in T20, he will forget all his pride, think nothing of disrespecting the legacy built up by the pantheon of great cricketers before him, and simply piss all over the game that has produced him. Does Gayle really think people take him seriously as a cricketer because he can hit the ball far? No, it is because he comes from a dynasty before him that stretches all the way back to Frank Worrell and George Headley, who were all formidable Test cricketers. Test Cricket is what makes all other forms of Cricket possible. I think if ever a time comes when Cricket subsribes to the Stanfordian doctrine, it will stop being Cricket. If Gayle prefers that, its fine, but at least he could be honest and say that he is in it for the easy money. Laziness and a sense of entitlement are the defining attributes of the modern West Indian, as I have seen first hand from playing Cricket with people from the Caribbean in my years in Miami - the older generation loves the game and are proud of their regional history; the younger generation are only quick to express anger at anything and everything, wearing their pants low on their hips to show their underwear, and have no respect for the game or even for themselves. It needs to be said. So, lets not pay Gayle too much attention, since the reality is that while everyone remembers the era of Lloyd and Richards fondly, if WI cricket were to die out, not many in the Cricket world would shed a tear over it. Its a sad parody as it is. Better for it to pass and let us remember the glory days.


Fark said...

Wow! A hard-core, thought-provoking article there!

So far, the demise of WI cricket definitely has been attributed to reasons socio-economic in nature.

A hypothetical question; if you were made the president of the WICB, what would you do (short and long term) to reverse this, or it it even possible (considering that it could be more of a political/civil aspect that might be touched)?

Well written article nevertheless!

Yenjie said...

I guess I was too emotional in saying the Caribbean problem is purely one of mindset. The socio-political environment of the region shapes this mindset, and its hard for Cricketers to be immune to it. The problem is as much systemic as socio-political. The previous generation of WI cricketers were shaped as much by the years spent in England playing county cricket, as by the black pride movement of the 60s and 70s. Back then, a county paycheck was a significant component of a player's earnings, unlike now. The professional work ethic of English county cricket was also responsible for the discipline and rigor with which these players approached their game. Players from all over the world considered a stint in the county system a necessary component of their natural growth and development as players. The decline in the quality and value of the county system has affected the West Indies more than most due to the lack of a well organized domestic cricket system in the Islands. They always had players with raw talent, but the honing of this talent took place in the counties, which is no longer the case. The WICB is a poor board, lacking the wherewithall as well as the organizational talent to create a professional domestic league. The attitude of the stars towards such domestic tournaments as exist currently is also well documented. This undervalues and demoralizes the lesser cricketers who toil in the domestic matches. The problem is further compounded by the lack of a uniform support structure for professional cricket - how can the Islands afford to pay domestic cricketers enough money to play unfettered, when regular people are barely able to make sustenance wages. The best young talent from the Islands is driving trucks or working other menial jobs in Miami and New York. That is why the Stanford thing was so important to WI cricket, and its demise so painful. The ICC and its richer members need to evolve a sustainable model for WI cricket, or watch a nursery of phenomenal talent die out a slow death.

Tom Redfern said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Redfern said...

Your views are abhorrent and offensive. Your arguments are based on lazy generalizations and are frankly racist.

You exhibit all the fears of a type of Indian; a Wahindi type fear of the black man; the asian in the USA who has been overwhelmed by his encounters with modern black youth.

Your thesis is so objectionable that I don't have the time to pick it apart for it's lazy conclusions.

Chris Gayle is lazy. Lazy,they use to say the same about Indians in the field.

I'm not suprised by your views though. Harbajan called Symmonds a monkey; Indian fans have a history of shouting 'bhoot' at black players.

The decline of West Indian cricket is not terminal. Yes, they are a shadow of what they were but the players today care just as much as Richards did. They're just not as good. Your assertions on why they're not as good- lazy, careless, bling culture, hip hop- is V.S Naipaulesque rot.

By the way, those West Indies seniors you played with in Miami, rest assure, they despise your poisonous rants.

I will be writing about this post to shame you- six months after you penned it.