More musical chairs in West Indies cricket

by Colin Croft
Stabroek News
March 5, 2000

Its carnival time. The bands are playing on, very loudly. Somewhere, sometime, the cricket too has to be played. Normally, never the twain will meet, except now, maybe. Brian Lara, selected to a training camp in Jamaica which started on Friday last, not only abdicated from the possibility of the captaincy, but even removed himself fully from playing against the Zimbabweans at least, and may even miss the Pakistan series altogether. Only Brian Lara knows when he will return as a cricketer.

What he will not miss is his grand carnival party at his palatial home this evening. The tickets are TT$300 each (about 30 pounds sterling or 50 United States dollars - expensive by carnival fete price) and those tickets are as difficult to get as it is to find the man on the moon. Most of the main carnival acts, like Alison Hinds and Square One (from Barbados) are to be highlighted.

The tickets have been reputed to have been sold everywhere internationally and the fete has been heavily advertised in local and international media.

Everyone obviously wants a piece of Brian Lara, in any form, especially since he will have his side-kick, Dwight Yorke, in as co-producer and all round party guy. They should have a ball, or at least two; cricket and soccer!!

They have even reputed to have started a new company, LAY (for Lara and Yorke, what else!!) Productions. With the funds and fun these two normally have, it should not be long before the entire endeavor is floated on someone's stock market.

Lara needed a break from cricket badly, but I am not sure this is the way to take it. The timing, from many a perspective, is just too opportune.

Is cricket beating carnival here, or vice versa? Does anyone even care anymore? To confuse things even more, Brian is supposed to be a section leader in "Poison", one of the largest, and most skimpily dressed, especially the nubile young females, bands in the carnival. Many may indeed have invested in "LAY Productions" already. Quite ironic, this!!

While all this is going on, Jimmy Adams has been elected captain for the two test series featuring the West Indies and Zimbabwe, and for the three test series featuring Pakistan. One of the first people to congratulate him was his Prime Minister, Percival J. Patterson.

"Congratulations must go to Jimmy Adams for being elected as the captain of the West Indies cricket team for the 2000 home tours. This is the culmination of, and a fitting reward for, his many years of dedicated service and total commitment to West Indies cricket. I am sure that all Jamaicans and Caribbean people will join with me in wishing James Clive Adams all of our best wishes for success, starting now."

At least, Adams had a good captaining year. Only last week, he was the captain of Jamaica as they won the Caribbean's first class competition, the Busta Cup. Chris Gayle with over 650 runs and Franklyn Rose with 22 wickets played significant parts in their romp to supremacy. In the meantime, Adams himself made his first half century in over six games in that final.

The final word came from Jamaica. Heard at Sabina Park when Jamaica were crowned champions.

"Now for the West Indies captaincy. To be captain of the West Indies, not only batting skills are required, but heavy diplomatic skills. Our previous captain had none of the latter at all. Jimmy Adams had to help him out a lot, cool him down. Now Jimmy will have to do it for himself."