We’ve had it…The owner of a Romanian footee club has thrown in the towel. Dinel Staicu, sick and tired of being the butt of jokes stemming from his hapless Universitatea Craiova, handed the team’s pink slip to the local council gratis.
"May you have more luck with it than I have, I am fed up with the whole business…It has got so bad that I have now handed everything to do with Universitatea Craiova , including the players, to the local council for nothing."
Normally I’d be chuckling along with the rest of the heartless bastards out there; it does fill the ‘funny’ quotient; except the saga does not end there. Apparently the town council wanted no part of the team either and turned him down.
The thing is I’m feeling poor Diny’s (Can I call you Diny, dawg?) pain. No one likes being stuck with a perennial loser. Which brings us to the matter of Windies Cricket and the question; when you can’t give a team away, what do you do? I usually rail against the selectors, the board, the sponsors, even the players’ association on occasion; but this week our fine boys in maroon (and who the hell chose maroon as the team colour, I mean really) get it right between the eyes.
Ezra Stuart called their play gutless. I concur. Holding said they’re undisciplined. I concur. Sir Viv said he wanted to smack ‘em around. Well, no, he didn’t but I’m sure he’s thought about it.
Lara hanging head in despair
World Cup 2003
Now, it's one thing if we castigate our boys, that's par for the course. This is the Caribbean we only torture the ones we love. It's quite another thing however, when the mové lang (read tongue lashing) starts to come from foreign parts. For heaven' sake we've got Indian sports writers feeling sorry for us and using us as an object lesson on how not to run a cricket team.
Just look at how West Indies cricket refuses to lift itself from mediocrity. A badly handled sponsorship row shook an already shaken team and left coach Bennett King with the stiff task of presenting a competitive side against South Africa. Fans around the world feel terrible that West Indies cricket has been meandering for a while now.
Damn... Did you notice how no one's said our boys were bereft of talent? And they are, 'our boys'. We're not happy with them, but even if we had the option of pulling a 'Diny' the poor sod who suggested it would be publicly stoned. Windies Cricket has never been just about cricket. Rather, it was about recognition; a testimony to our grace and fortitude in the face of socio-economic and yes, political inequality. It was a touchstone for unity in an oft fractured region.
And here I am, betrayed by tense. Those were the things that West Indies Cricket used to stand for. The days of calypso cricket and Tanti Merle seem long past. So perhaps I'll rephrase the question, "When you're stuck with a heart break team that you just can't give away; what do, you do?"