Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados Today.
by Walter Edey
The sobriety of cricket as class is now public discourse. This happenstance and conversation entered the public arena through a back entrance – with a free pass. Imagine this: a paw wee mango ripens and falls.
Its seed and roots produce a beautiful tree that is bearing fruits. But there is a problem.
The referenced seed fell from an overhanging branch, unto another person’s property. Now the owner of the original tree disparages the mangoes on the wrong side of the wall.
Like a mango tree, cricket rewards effort. It despises prejudice.
On the other hand, successful cricketers of acclaim regenerate the sport. It is a duality of purpose; the reason why the future rewrites history.
That said, Worrell, Weeks and Walcott were all knighted but followed different pathways.
The cricket skills of the late Sir Everton Weekes gave him a limited pass to the club next door, to where he was born, but no membership.
He prepared the wicket. On Saturdays, he substituted as a fielder. His attachment of the Barbados Regiment allowed him to play first division cricket.
The space that rejected him was no longer out of bounds. For Sir Clyde and sir Frank, secondary school, in part, mobilized their rise.
Besides poverty, other class dividers existed. For some, the Spartan Club was off limits. To get in a Harrison College school Blazer was mandatory.
This led a Herman Griffith group to form the Empire Cricket Club. Secondly, the Barbados Cricket League cricketers – the working class teams, exclusively, played on plantation “rab” land.
Yet, during the transition years of Barbados cricket, despite its accomplishments, the league died, without a statute or fanfare.
Truth be told, the working class also occurred in England, where cricket originated. It reportedly survived a Puritan religious use of Sabbath day challenge.
In the end, the working class, who only played cricket on Sundays, was a beneficiary. But over time, it became “the gentleman’s game” – a white male dominated sport. Records show that the British army brought cricket to Barbados.
Now that the old cricket tree bears fruit in a different space, what really should be the content of public dialogue?
Steve Logan, author of the best seller: “The Three Laws of Performance”, writes in part: “A declared future is not a dream or a hope, but a future to which you commit yourself.” Logan dares everyone to rethink the past.
First, unearth buried unknown conversations. Second, invest in self by taking risks. Third, declare the future using language as though the future has happened.
Rewriting the current public dialogue, the proverbial fly on the wall would, in part, write: Governance, businesses and the community are reclaiming the abandoned playing fields.
Professionals rub shoulders with non-professionals in community cricket clubs. Crime is running underground for shelter.
That’s not a dream or wonton boast. It is self-led community spirit in practice. An anecdote for classism and prejudice.