St. John’s Antigua- Principal of Island Academy, Dr Ronan Matthew, is of the opinion that West Indies cricketers need to know the history of regional cricket and what it means to the Caribbean people.
Presenting the feature address at the awards ceremony for the 2011 Antigua Commercial Bank, Parish League Cricket Competition at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds last week, Dr Matthew said that West Indies cricket should not be in the state in which we find ourselves today since we have some of the greatest players to have ever played the game.
He said Sir Vivian Richards is the greatest batsman ever to have played at the top level, and also hailed one of the finest hookers of the game, Richie Richardson.
He noted that West Indies has produced the most feared fast bowlers of all time – Andy Roberts, Curtly Ambrose, Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh, Malcolm Marshall, and others, and yet our team is lagging near the bottom of the standings.
Dr Matthew said our cricket had taken a nosedive caused by many factors, but when our cricket was on top there were nothing put in place for continued development and that we had taken everything for granted.
He added that with the advent of technology, the youth are gravitating to other things, but our young cricketers needed to know the achievement of Sir Frank Worrell and the image he portrayed.
“Our youth need to know about Sir Vivian Richards and the role he played in ending the Apartheid system in South Africa,” Dr Matthews said.
“There must be a change of how we do things if our cricket is to turn around.”
He stressed that cricket for the West Indian people is like blood running through our veins and we feel the pains of our demise.
Dr Matthew is calling on everyone to work hard in getting the game back to where it belongs and for us to redeem the pride and joy of the glory days.
ACB Director Mavis George, who spoke on the bank’s commitment to Parish League Cricket, said that Parish League has its part to play in Windies cricket, and called for a rebranding of the sport. She said that it cannot be business as usual.
Owen Graham secured the most individual prizes at the ceremony.