On captains and captaincy -Pt 2 By Pryor Jonas
Stabroek News
September 15, 2001

Here is my penultimate piece for the year on this most controversial of cricket topics. For I see that our WICB members, both past and present, continue their gyrations as gymnasts do over the bar and I wish to reply to them.

They are fooling others, not me and I do feel more than a pang of sorrow for incumbent president, the very Rev. Wes Hall. He knows the verse ... "if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray ..." and he must, therefore, be aware of the warning that's implicit therein. But he must also know that prayer wouldn't help us now. We have to do the right thing for prayer to be effectual. The right thing is to do some cleaning up first. Both within and without. You don't have to read between the lines to see, for instance, that ex-president Rousseau would have much preferred Adams to Hooper - certainly having Lara was completely out of the question (what with that volte-face prior to the South African tour) - for captaincy of the West Indies. Jamaica's Jackie Hendriks and Michael Holding of `Whispering Death' fame, would lend their full support, of course. Please don't mention the word `insularity' or its stronger condemnation `endemnicity'. Mark you, I would agree with the former president and his allies, were it not for this one cathartic fly in their ointment of intrigue: Adams doesn't merit his place in the West Indies side. He's no slouch in the field, certainly. But equally, he's no Test trundler either. With the bat he certainly can occupy the crease. For he doesn't give his wicket away. But the Indians have long ago correctly named him `Padams'. And with his flawed technique he is patently vulnerable against real pace. It seems however that Singulara's own country, fated man of destiny that he is, doesn't accept him for what he also is: a genius! Today Philo Wallace is just a name. But I believe he should have been given the job in the first place. However, Wallace wasn't one of the boys. Nor was Rohan Kanhai before him. Because of sheer seniority and circuitous circumstance, the captaincy was given to Rohan Bholalal, as it now is to Carl Llewellyn. Almost by default you would say. The WICB hoped that Kanhai would fail. But he didn't. He passed - I agree not with distinction but with credit. In 13 Tests as captain he won three and lost three. Compare this with his predecessor's 39-9-10 and you will be driven to silence even if you were Sobers's mentor, as Frank Worrell was. Kanhai did not fail but he was passed over for Clive Hubert who, granted, did prove himself a worthy skipper, second in my book (and I wouldn't debate it overmuch) only to the great Sir Frank. As I said, I wouldn't debate this first assessment except with old-timers like myself who have seen them both in action. But what I will argue is this: Rohan Kanhai should have been given his break earlier. As should Carl Hooper. My counsel therefore to the Rev Wes Hall is that before he starts to pray he must clean up his act, as well as that of his management team. We need a new WICB at the very core if we're going to recapture our former glory.