There is a tremendous old saying that “we do the best with what we have and the future is revealed”, most times positively. But what if we fail to make the most of the opportunities we are presented with in life?
This is the most important question now facing West Indies cricket as we are confronted by the ghost of West Indies’ cricket future, Brian Charles Lara, standing ominously in the path to our return to greatness under the guidance of astute manager Phil Simmons, in a manner that would make Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol proud.
The sad situation in which “The Prince of Port of Spain” left West Indies cricket is still a sinister spectre that haunts the Caribbean village today. This is because there is a code of honour in sport and in life that says that you rise or fall based upon someone that you chose to honour or dishonour respectively, and it is a public secret that West Indies cricket dishonoured Lara.
I became a fan of Lara while we were both schoolboys, with me failing miserably at cricket at St Stephen’s College while watching in awestruck wonder as he soared at Fatima College. I could not hold a place on my team while he was already obviously destined to be a great one. But I could write a bit, so I devoted my energies to being a sports writer, honouring legends like Lara, Sir Clive Lloyd, Sir Vivian Richards, Andy Roberts and Michael Holding, among others, as I played my beloved cricket on a keyboard after leaving school.
However, it is still a bone of regional contention that West Indies has not truly treated our cricketing legends well. There are others beside Lara today who have a sour taste in their mouths from real or imagined slights by the regional cricket administrators while West Indies watch Australia, India and now even New Zealand build champion teams by completely copying our cricketing icons and the teams of Lloyd and Richards.
It is an important law of metaphysics that says when you love and properly honour a great one of humanity, you gain access to their energy for the rest of your life, yet to this day, there is no properly celebrated, official cricketing hall of fame structure for West Indies cricketing icons.
In the meantime, other cricketing nations continue to enjoy periods of greatness similar to theirs while our cricketers cannot access the greatness of yesteryear, and until West Indies develops a proper code of honour in West Indies cricket, Lara would remain the ghost of West Indies’ cricket future, blocking our path to renewed greatness along with his fellow legends.