The Royal Gazette, published from Bermuda, is running a story which is perhaps the most realistically defined statement on the controversial mid-way pull-out by West Indian players from India. Philip Hackett, the Caribbean sports journalist and commentator, has expressed his anger over the way the West Indies opted to walk out to resolve the issue of payment with WICB.
He said, “This has scarred West Indies cricket. And it will take a long time to remove that scar even if the matter is resolved amicably.”
“Those players who came from India, to a degree, are selfish, immature and lack professionalism,” he said.
“I can understand that any individual would want to get the best terms for themselves in terms of contracts. But I do not agree, on any level, of pulling out of the tour.
“I don’t think that there’s anything that can happen within West Indies cricket or the WIPA that should cause you to pull out of a tour of India or anywhere else. The only reasonable excuse for that would have been if there was an issue that threatened their safety or something the host country had done that is not in their best interest. The argument was not with the host country, but they are punishing them as well and there’s no excuse for that as far as I am concerned.”
“What has made West Indies cricket held up and ridiculed in front of the whole world is withdrawing from the tour and as far as that is concerned I think the 15 players on that tour are the ones who have to take the blame for that. It’s purely a financial thing now and all about ‘I’ve done a job, let me get as much I can from it’ — that’s the mentality. Most of the players are just about making money for themselves.
Pointing out the difference of approach compared to other professionals, he added, “If you look at an Australian and the baggy green, wearing that cap means something to them. Singing the national song, those things mean something to them but I’m sure that in the West Indies we would be able to instil that type of passion in most of our cricketers. Somewhere along the line the message didn’t get through, the understanding of where West Indies cricket has come from just hasn’t impacted on this generation of players.”