Follow The Trace: Winning supersedes all, writes Oral Tracey
There is a very simple personal philosophy that guides my perspective on all sports: 'winning supersedes all'. After all, sports in general and especially professional and international sports is a results business. The basic principle of all sporting activity is built on teams and individuals competing against each other with the singular objective of winning. There have been lots of reasons to be critical of West Indies cricket in recent years. The administrators and the players have deservedly felt the wrath of despondent Caribbean cricket fans, but things have taken a dramatic twist in a matter of a few weeks. The West Indies have become Under-19 world champions, World T20 men's champions, World T20 women's champions. In remaining consistent, we have to now give credit to the same administration and, by and large, the same players, for bringing glory to the region. It would be downright hypocritical to blame the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the players when things go wrong and refuse to heap praises on the same board and the same players when things go right. The fact of the matter is that West Indies cricket has not enjoyed this kind of widespread and consistent success for the past two decades. The interest, enthusiasm, and passion ignited by the recent success of our now three world champion teams have provided a sobering reminder of what West Indies cricket means to the people of the region. This dramatic and sudden change of mood and attitude is down to one thing only success on the on field of play. The feel-good emotions spreading across the region has little to do with likeness for the WICB president, Mr Dave Cameron, or the deficiencies in the governance structure of our cricket. Winning these three titles is what it's all about. It is much more important that West Indies cricket regain its relevance and its respect, than having a likable and affable board president. If Mr Cameron's seemingly obnoxious and arrogant style of leadership serves as motivation to the players in helping them focus and perform and win like they have done, maybe we should consider making Mr Cameron president for life. The board president has been the target harsh criticism from many quarters ever since the ill-fated tour of India back in 2013. The US$40 million-plus debt owed to the BCCI as a result of that fiasco is as much about the West Indies players walking off the tour as it was about Mr Cameron's handling of the incident. In all fairness to Mr Cameron's, his critics, including some of the very senior players in the team, must now also recognise that it is the same person who is presiding over the affairs of the region's cricket while we are having all of this international success. Let us not conveniently ignore the fact that the West Indies are on top of the world in the most rapidly growing format of the game. Our weakness in Test cricket is as a result of the natural evolution of the game, which is rendering the longer versions of the game redundant. Neither Mr Cameron nor the International Cricket Council (ICC) can reverse this process of evolution. Indeed, the administration deserves credit for not being left behind, but instead, embracing the new craze as the region continues to churn out the most talented individual players in this format of the game, while boasting the world champions for both men and women, another index of T20 cricket saving our cricket rather than it destroying our cricket. But for the rapid emergence of this format, West Indies cricket would by now be further condemned to the doldrums of irrelevance. I suggest we put on hold this grand 'get rid of Dave Cameron campaign', assuming we are all about performance and winning and getting West Indies cricket back on top, which is exactly where it is right now. Again, the West Indies are winners, and after all, WINNING SUPERSEDES ALL.