Dropped but far from daunted!
That was the situation with former Barbados cricket captain Kirk Edwards today as he responded to being expelled from the national squad in Trinidad and Tobago by turning up in the nets at Kensington Oval and practising for more than two hours. Edwards was kicked off the squad by the team management after reportedly refusing to sign for uniforms which he considered of sub-standard quality.
In an exclusive interview with Barbados TODAY yesterday morning Edwards spoke of his current troubles as well as the personality he possesses that apparently has rubbed some in officialdom the wrong way. This personality has been described by some as “too strong” but Edwards was of the opinion that a strong personality did not equate to indiscipline.
Defending himself, the 29-year-old described the present contention with the Barbados Cricket Association board as “nonsense” and stated that his strong personality did not reflect poor captaincy skills or indisciplined behaviour.
“I was never made aware that I have any behavioural problems. I just had a good report from the ‘A’ team, specifically the West Indies Cricket Board President and they all get good feedback on me and nobody ever said to me: ‘Well Kirk, we have a problem with your behaviour or whats not’. So it came over to me like a shock at first. But I’ve been through many things like this . . . so I said to myself things do happen, so get over it and move on,” he stated.
The tall, well-built St Peter resident said that any individual who exudes mental strength or strong leadership qualities should not be viewed negatively. He added that possessing such a personality should not be the precursor to unwarranted confrontation or condemnation.
“I think that is every man’s aim. Even if they are not strong enough at the moment, they would look to get stronger whether they go to read some books or see a psychologist. The mind controls the body. I am an athlete and the way I see it if I don’t strengthen my mind then I would carry a weak body. I would never be able to come out here and represent [the public] in the way that you think you should be represented. I never had a bad report yet . . . I never hear that word indiscipline associated with me yet . . .hence the reason why I became a leader. If I was indisciplined they would never let me lead,” Edwards stressed.
The talented right-arm batsman said that over the past few years he had noticed the unofficial requisite of having strong mental capacity – the type that served greats like Sir Frank Worrell, Clive Lloyd and Sir Viv Richards well in their years – suddenly being replaced by almost slavish subservience.
“Things that I grow up hearing were the right things to do, suddenly become the wrong things now and the wrong things become the right things, so I am confused. I am old school in terms of discipline and. . .how things should function. There is always going to be a right and a wrong way for things to function but cricket doesn’t change much – it is the same cricket . . . . like me recognizing that, a lot of people should recognize that as well. A strong leader in that time and a strong leader now (is the same) strong leader which is required in [the future].
“That is how I see it, it is all about strong leadership. The reason for leading is that you have to have the ability to stand up to [and for] your players, to help them on the right path and to go down a line that is successful for everybody. If you aren’t, then you can’t make that happen, that is why then you won’t be a good leader. So I am proud of how I go about my business,” he stated.
Reaffirming his commitment to Barbados’ cricket, Edwards said he did not feel defeated by his expulsion. Rather everyday he still planned to go out, train hard and be prepared for the time when he is again called upon, to represent his country with 150 per cent effort.
The former West Indies vice-captain said: “Every day, trust me, whatever dream I had at 11 or 12 it is just a bigger dream now. Everyday, whatever I could do to add towards me getting closer to that dream, that is what I’m about, that is how I go about my business. I want to be better at what I do, I’m never going to relax and say I am good enough – no I am not, I got to get better all the time. That is the reason for me coming out and putting in my work.
“This is my job . . . this is one of the things I look forward to yearly – to represent Barbados. I don’t think that the ignorance on the guys part will stop me from doing what I have to do. I have to keep preparing. I am a professional, so I have to prepare for anything that could possibly be around the corner. That isn’t going to stop me.
“A champion is never defeated. I consider myself a champion and if something happens today, you got to get back on your bike and ride again. It is not about sitting down and feeling sorry for yourself or bingeing over things that you can’t really take back. You have to think about the next thing all the time – that is how I see it. I’m very grateful for the support I have been getting from the people . . . and I’m very excited to get back out there and represent them properly,” he vowed.