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One From Ten Leaves None


The title is taken from Dr. Eric WilliamsDr. Eric Williams' (in)famous statement regarding Jamaica's then threatened withdrawal from the ambitious West Indies Federation circa 1961. The federation folded in 1962 with various corresponding islands obtaining independence from the crown in subsequent years.
Understanding the history of things is essential before any topic can be discussed and a thorough dissection of the Federation's implosion all those years ago is critical to understand (i) the miracle that was a 'West Indian' cricket team and (ii) the now apparent dismantling of the existing administrative structure with Trinidad and Tobago's refusal to attend the Board's next annual general meeting.
TT's move has long been on the cards and just as WIPA's principle driver is a former player-wronged Dinanath Ramnarine, the Trinidad board is lead by another, Deryk Murray. Mr. Murray is far more diplomatic than his compatriot and has only indicated that the intent of the act is to send the signal that 'business as usual' shall not be entertained any further and the long required 'sit down' tacitly ignored by successive boards since the rise of truly 'professional' cricket in the late 1970s must now commence.
Mr. Murray's move is to be applauded as CLEARLY what afflicts West Indies cricket is holistic and a ventilation at the 'head' can only bode well for our rapidly deteriorating future.
The unspoken elephant in the room is the twin-island's obvious financial significance to cricket administration in the region (TT, the wealthiest Caribbean state, is the greatest financial contributor to the Board and has historically recorded the most lucrative tour attendances for all formats). Rather than throw its weight around, the Trinidad board (supplemented by its national Governement) has long adopted a benevolent approach to the game's administration waiving dibs on WC 2007 scheduling (to great local outcry) and next year's 20/20 world championship (wait 'til the locals find out about that one). It appears that its patience has now run out.
This writer has written previously about the islands' variable cultural and skill-set differences (and the probable role one plays with the other) and while this latest development is viewed as inevitable it is hoped that the obvious changes to come shall lead to a final clarity on the way forward for all stakeholders (administrators, players and fans).
With the ICC apparently ready to ramp up a two tier Test system that shall place the West Indies into its second division, the time to fix is now.

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