Over the last few months the regions’ biggest sports of cricket and football hit an all time low, albeit, off the playing field. Firstly, we had the WICB, WIPA and their players’ abandoned tour of India, and secondly, the FIFA scandal that shook the football world and Concacaf like an earthquake of epic magnitude.
Interestingly, WICB, WIPA and FIFA all held elections during their rocky periods. And lo and behold the incumbent presidents Dave Cameron, Wavell Hinds and Joseph Sepp Blatter were all re-elected for another term in office. The system of voting has to be looked at as these entities are accountable to no one.
These stories are expertly covered by Alvin Corneal, Sheldon Waithe and Renaldo Matadeen in this issue.
The 2015 Cricket World Cup saw hosts Australia and New Zealand playing exciting cricket. Deservingly, both made it all the way to finals where the Aussies were too experienced and skilled to be beaten on the day, successfully regaining the ICC World Cup Trophy that they had surrendered to India 4 years before.
In my opinion the CWC tournament should be no more than one month. The games only got interesting in the second round.
Before the games, Clive Lloyd, WICB Chairman of selectors, omitted Dwayne Bravo and Keiron Pollard for their roles played on the Indian tour; he said, “This team can surprise many people”. The cricketing world did not share his view, with three wins out of seven (2 of which were over Zimbabwe and UAE) and our first defeat to the Irish. Today, West Indies faces being eliminated from the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy for the first time in its history.
The selectors were at it again on the test scene where they omitted long standing stalwart Shivnarine Chanderpaul from what many thought should have been his farewell series against Australia. Lloyd commented, “Over a period of time we’ve noticed a decline in his form, for the last 11 innings he’s averaging 16. We thought that the time had come to look towards the younger players. That’s why he was omitted”.
Chanderpaul finished near the top of the averages in the WICB 2015 season. The 11 innings in which he has under performed were preceded by 3 unbeaten innings of 50-plus, averaging 45 in his last 14 innings. He actually increased his average in the last 5 years while between ages 35 and 40.
Shiv should have earned the right to have, at least, one farewell test match on the ground where his average is 96. Brian Lara whose West Indian record was just a mere 86 runs away, came out in support of Shiv being retained for the series, while Michael Holding supported the selectors’ point of view.
So much has been said and written over the last few weeks on FIFA and its corruption scandal. These facts/allegations have for some time been tarnishing the image of the game. Too much is vested in the world’s biggest sport and all in control must endeavour to bring these matters to a swift end where justice must be served.
Meanwhile, CONCACAF Executive Committee recently appointed a three-man special committee consisting of the presidents of the U.S. Soccer Federation, Canadian Soccer Association and Mexico Football Federation to reform aspects of the organization.
Among the newly proposed structure they will employ a chief compliance officer and a chief legal officer to implement and monitor bidding processes, code of ethics, a system for credit and background checks on vendors, and a whistleblower hotline. Budgets and members’ compensation will be made public and available on their website.
Our current issue has some great articles and fantastic photos that will make interesting reading to our valued subscribers and readers.
As I close we have some exciting sports around the corner including The CONCACAF Gold Cup, FIFA World Cup qualifiers, The Pan Am Games and The World Championships to name a few.
I encourage you to send us your thoughts on this publication, and hope you read it cover to cover. One Love. Be Good. Be Safe. Be Happy. Praise God. Peace.