An indisputable value proposition. One name, one man
immediately comes to mind as an exemplar of the
important critical mass of our distintictive features -
our excellence. Frank Worrell. Period.
[Ron/eCaroh - February 2007]
A Worrell World Cup
Published on: 2/12/07 Barbados Nation
BY VANEISA BAKSH
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON , a gift from heaven is handed on a plate (to
paraphrase C.L. R James). Despite the blistering organisational
headaches they must be having, the West Indies Cricket Board and its
subsidiary, CWC WI 2007 Inc., have been handed such a gift.
The first match of the ICC World Cup on March 13 takes place
in Jamaica between the West Indies and Pakistan. That day marks the
40th anniversary of the death in 1967 of Sir Frank Worrell ? icon of
West Indies cricket and hero of the global game.
The coincidence of the dates was fortuitous, but had not escaped the
attention of a small group in Trinidad and Tobago, who saw the
potential for remembrance, salutation and reaffirmation contained on
Among the proposals to mark the occasion was a splendid one that the
entire World Cup should be dedicated to the memory of Sir
Frank. Under the bewitching light of this blue moon, the idea was
handed to the WICB and its subsidiary, and the hope is that in their
combined sagacity and respect for the West Indies, they will take it
and run like crazy.
The benefits to be derived from naming the World Cup in
honour of this man who represented the highest ideals sought in
cricket and leadership are myriad and present an enchanting and
idyllic way to lift the World Cup above the morass of
negativity currently surrounding it.
Hosting the World Cup should never be reduced to merely
fulfilling a contractual obligation to the ICC. The primary concern
of those who have undertaken it on our behalf, must be to extract
maximum benefits for the region.
The World Cup has never been dedicated to anyone before, and
this could be one of the striking innovations introduced by our
people. Sir Frank Worrell is beyond reproach as a pioneering figure
in this regard. His record as leader, gentleman, cricketer and
champion of equality of treatment stands impeccably in the annals of
our history: a truly lustrous example of the noblest of our
That he was West Indian before being Barbadian was evident in the
way he stood for all across the board. Indeed, he did more than any
of his predecessors to reduce parochial, insular and ethnic
tensions. With him, a West Indies team that was one powerful unit
came to be.
His legacy has been frittered away and much that he built has been
eroded by the reinforcement of small-minded self-interests. To our
Can we deny that our region faces a crisis of genocidal proportions
as we lose alarming numbers of our young people to various social
and physical maladies? The list is so long that every one of us has
had contact with it by now. A horrendous wave has washed over us
leaving us anaemic as we haemorrhage our lifeblood away under the
currents of educational underachievement, crime and AIDS , to name a
few of the undertows.
At one with this is a loss of esteem, of self-knowledge, and mostly,
of hope. To celebrate the qualities of Sir Frank would provide an
inspirational centre that could go a long way towards reconnecting
ourselves with the fierce West Indian pride that propelled
generations to rise to the challenge of making something of the
bleakness that was a West Indian reality.
If this region does not find a way to reconstruct itself, it is
going to implode sooner than this planet. As it is, we are
struggling; struggling to motivate our cricketers, our young people
as a whole, and we need to be alert to every possibility, even as we
seek to create them ourselves.
Sir Frank Worrell's life was cut tragically short by illness, but we
can still mark the moment of his death by remembering what he stood
for and in commemorating his life and his uplifting qualities on a
grand scale we may find rebirth.