Tony Becca | Land of my birth, I pledge to thee

first_img The good players always came back, however, and they came back through players like Michael Holding, Jeffrey Dujon, Courtney Walsh, Patrick Patterson, James Adams, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Fidel Edwards, Carl Hooper, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Brian Lara, Ian Bishop, Richie Richardson and Curtley Ambrose, and many more before them. The West Indian islands have always produced good players, and the players always, or most times, won titles. When Jamaica take to the field in March in their bid for the regional title, they will do so without some of their top players, without Gayle, Samuels, and Russell, and they will do so definitely without Nkrumah Bonner and Sheldon Cottrell. Win or lose, it will not be the same to me. I am a West Indian, and I love West Indies cricket. But I am a Jamaican-West Indian. Jamaica is the land of my birth. As Chris Gayle said recently, however, and apparently quite easily and with a smile on his face, “This is franchise cricket,” the four words that cover up everything else, some quite understandable (family), some understandable (money), and some not so understandable (money, and more money). In today’s world, in the mad rush for money, and more money, the four words, “this is franchise cricket”, trump loyalty, and sacrifice (even for those who would not any longer have to make the sacrifice). The cricketers go wherever they want to go, so, too, do the nurses, the teachers, and whoever wants to do so, and thank God, they are free so to do. To Carlos Brathwaite, however, for his commitment to Barbados and West Indies cricket, for leaving the Sydney Thunder and the Australian Big Bash and for deciding to play, after his brilliant last-minute blast of four consecutive sixes, carried the West Indies to victory in last year’s ICC World T20 Championship and pushed him to the top of the world’s “most wanted” list, for Barbados and the West Indies in the region’s Super50 tournament, well done and good luck. That’s a good example, a perfect example, and one that brings new hope for West Indies cricket. Some may say that sport today is business, and that it is just a part of modern-day business. That may be so. In the West Indies, however, in West Indies cricket, the franchise system must be different, and it must be different if only for reason. The franchise is used for club-to-club transactions and not for country-to-country transactions. In other words, it is used at the level below international representation, thus making it a good system for countries like England, Australia, India, and South Africa, for countries like the USA, Jamaica, and Barbados, and places like that. The West Indies, however, and West Indies cricket, therefore, are unique. The West Indies is made up of 12 sovereign countries, 12 independent countries, and of countries with their own governments, their own constitutions, their own money, their own national anthems, and their own flags, etcetera. And not one of these governments, at least not to my knowledge, has given anyone the authority to fiddle with the constitution of their country by making a citizen of another country a citizen of their country for the purposes of cricket. Neither have they given them the authority to sell off one of their players to another country, and only for cricket at that. Once upon a time, when the West Indies were the best in the world at cricket, their cricketers all played for their respective countries, and they played well. The competition was good, and those countries which were not so good tried to develop themselves until they themselves became good. Those days, the players were good, and the countries won and lost matches and tournaments. When they won tournaments, the countries celebrated, and when they lost, the countries looked around, built again, and tried to come again. Those who proposed and passed the franchise system, West Indian-style, probably have never heard the song, “Land of my birth, I pledge to thee, loyal and faithful, strong and free”. If they had, they probably would not have suggested it, much less forced it on the people of the West Indies. As good as the franchise system sometimes can be, it is not good for the West Indies, and especially not for those Jamaicans who are touched by the words, “This is my Jamaica, my Jamaica”, or for those, even though they are West Indians also, who are influenced by the words of another song, “I vow to thee my country”. The franchise system is a system used in sports, along with the name of a club or a community, to make money, and as much money as possible. It is hardly ever used to lift the standard of sport. Its main intention is not to improve sport by switching players around, from club to club, or from community to community, but rather to haul in money through the sale of players in an effort to win trophies, or simply to field a good, competitive team for the satisfaction of winning and to make more money. It is a simple matter. If I cannot produce a good player, I can go and buy one, and if I am not satisfied, I can go out and buy another. It is much easier than attempting to produce a good player. It is easier, and much cheaper, to find a good scout, or a not so good scout, to find a player. The franchise system is a money system, even though it has left many a club, even the biggest of them, deep in debt and living close to the bank despite the appearance of affluence. The clubs, particularly the European football clubs, are becoming more and more, and day by day, properties of American, Chinese, and Russian billionaires. GOOD PLAYERS COME BACK MODERN-DAY BUSINESSlast_img read more

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini breaks silence on Twitter team news leaks

first_img Pellegrini not fazed by ‘leaked’ team news rumours 2 2 The social media account has 50,600 followers, who are often told the starting line-up well in advance of it being officially published on the club’s channels. And the man behind the account came on talkSPORT and told Jim White he finds the accusations ‘ludicrous’.In the report, Pellegrini was said to be ‘increasingly frustrated’ at the continual leaks. But, in actual fact, the Chilean could not care less.Asked if he is angry about the repeated leaks, Pellegrini replied: “No. First of all the news is not true, because I’m not angry about that.“Normally in every team that I have managed, the day before the game, I work with set-pieces, so all the players know the day before who will play and who will not play. huge blow West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini insists he is not angry about the apparent ‘leaks’ which have been widely reported on Friday.Twitter account @ExWHUemployee was named in a report by The Times after successfully ‘predicting’ team line-ups before they were officially announced by the club. Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury “So, many players can talk with other players. I’m not keeping the starting XI until three or four hours before the game.“There are a lot of ways or reasons why some people can know the team before it is released.”Pellegrini believes West Ham‘s opponents can gain little or no advantage from knowing his starting XI early, especially in the Premier League.Asked if he knows the source of the leaks, Pellegrini said: “I don’t have any idea, I’m not worried about that.“I’m worried about trying to win the points.” Four defeats from their opening four games sees the Hammers rooted to the foot of the table Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures silverware Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won REVEALED Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? REVEALED Latest Premier lEAGUE NEWS possible standings Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade no dice smart causal England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won shining And when quizzed on whether opponents stand to gain from the early information, Pellegrini continued: “I don’t think that is the most important thing.“Maybe if you’re going to play against Chelsea, Watford, against Liverpool, you are sure that it will be the starting XI from the last game and they’ll play exactly the same way.“So I don’t hide too much about the starting XI.”last_img read more

Women’s Tennis Set for ITA Regionals

first_img IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Drake University women’s tennis team is set to play at the ITA Central Regional Championships in Iowa City, Iowa Friday, Oct. 12 through Monday, Oct. 15, hosted by the University of Iowa. Story Links Doubles action will get underway at 9 a.m. on Friday followed by singles play. The final day of matches is scheduled for Monday. Five Drake players will play in the ITA event, junior Sophia Haleas, freshman Kelsey Neville, sophomore Carmen Palumbo, sophomore Liza Petushkova and freshman Daria Walczak. The Bulldogs are coming off the annual MVC Individuals, which was held this fall in Springfield, Mo. Neville paired with sophomore Megan Webb and won the MVC Doubles Flight 3 championship. This will be final tournament of the fall season for the Bulldogs. Check back later to www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com for the team’s 2019 schedule. Print Friendly Version ITA Informational Page last_img read more