It’s a head thing with Tino Best.
That’s the opinion of West Indies fast-bowling legend and mentor of the St Lucia Zouks franchise Sir Andy Roberts and West Indies Twenty20 captain Darren Sammy, following the latest controversy involving the Barbadian and St Lucia Zouks fast bowler.
Best was involved in a verbal altercation with Pakistani and Barbados Tridents’ batsman Shoaib Malik last Wednesday at Kensington Oval. Best pleaded guilty to disciplinary charges and was subsequently fined, along with Malik. Best was then involved the same night in another verbal altercation with Tridents captain Kieron Pollard at Hilton Barbados which reportedly escalated into a situation where he armed himself with a piece of wood and was then allegedly thumped by Pollard.
The Caribbean Premier League later confirmed it was investigating the incident at the hotel but stated that no one was injured.
But Sir Andy has suggested that Best needs to steer clear of indiscipline and noted that such behaviour generally by players could erode the region’s talent pool.
“Not for a lack of trying, I’ve spoken to Tino,” he said. “Many people have, over and over again. Cricket is also a mental game, not just about talent. After the hotel incident, I spoke to Pollard about it and he was apologetic,” Sir Andy said.
The Antiguan cricketing great added: “This sort of thing could hurt Tino’s career on a regional and international level. It’s been happening for years now and he needs to learn. Back when I played, we didn’t do much talking. We just did our jobs with the ball and had a glare. You need to be mentally strong and disciplined. You can’t be taught that. Either you have it or you don’t.”
Sammy said he believed that Best still had a part to play in the St Lucia Zouks’ 2014 CPL campaign despite his disciplinary problems. Sammy maintained that Best had a lot to offer the regional game, but needed to live up to his seniority as a West Indian international.
“Tino is a special character. The more I’ve played with him, the more I grew to understand him and the person he is,” Sammy said. “In any cricket game, you want to play in the true spirit of the game. I hope it gets better because he’s not a young man. But he’s still integral to our team.”
Sammy, who is the Zouks’ captain, said that while Best’s reputation preceded him, he could still be reined in and utilised to the franchise’s advantage.
“Once we control him and use his head a bit more wisely, he’s a good asset for us. The cricket is being played on the field. We’ve spoken to Tino and I see all of you [the media] all pointing towards Tino Best, but there were two guys involved in the incident. It was not just one person.
“Everybody keeps jumping on Tino, Tino, Tino. It takes two hands to clap. We’ve dealt with it the best way possible and we’re moving on now,” Sammy said, while confirming that the team’s management opted for Best not to travel to Trinidad for the weekend game against Red Steel.
Yesterday in an interview with Barbados TODAY, while not going into details of the incident, Best expressed disappointment with the attitudes of Barbadians towards him, especially those who considered him arrogant. He said he was not an arrogant individual, just a very confident person.
“I am a very confident person and I will never change. I will always be confident. I will always stand up to anybody that is bashing me and I am not a person who will suck up to people. If in life people say I have a bad attitude, I’m a bad person, let them get to know me. People that know me love me and are the majority, those who don’t like me are in the minority. Once you are in the public’s eye, believe in yourself and
are always confident, people are not going to like you because we as Barbadians find it easier to criticize,” he said.
Best added: “My pot don’t stir at nobody, it does stir at me. I don’t care what people think about me, I don’t care what they say about me, I don’t lose any sleep over them. I know the truth, my family know the truth and I done with that. They don’t faze me . . . .”