As I write this column, enough has been said about the situation concerning the behaviour of T&T’s captain and West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin, pertaining to his message sent to Sir Vivian Richards after scoring his second Test century in the final Test at Edgbaston, last week. I have given all commentators on the game, enough time to reveal all sides of the story and I am not satisfied that all angles have been covered. Let me state categorically that I am not in support of the exhibition from Ramdin but I think there are some thoughts to put on paper, so fans out there can think about. Sometimes, we are quick to criticise and when we are taken to task for it, we hide under the disguise of ‘constructive criticism’. Ramdin said he was hurt by comments made by Richards as a BBC analyst during the series about him. This was his way of hitting back. If it was me, I would have wanted to hit back as well, after scoring a century however I would have written on that now very controversial piece of paper, “Thank You Viv!” This would not have drawn a lash to Ramdin’s pocket in the form of about TT$12,000. And I think it would have sent the message to the man it emanated from. Sarcasm or not, I would have gotten my message relayed to the great man in a very subtle way.
However, Denesh preferred the caustic: “Yea talk nah Viv” and this has brought tremendous criticism from most quarters, even the West Indies Players Association (WIPA). President of WIPA, Wavell Hinds said he was upset with the comments made and one wonders if Hinds has too much time on his hands and that’s why he is sending out remarks like this, rather than battle in the board room. I would like to draw your minds back to an incident involving the said Sir Viv and a reporter, who infuriated him. Writing about Sir Viv Richards, as James Lawton, The Independent chief sports writer, will testify, can be a precarious business. Richards, irritated by something that Lawton had written during a Test match in 1990, famously missed the start of a session in order to make a detour to the press box to give Lawton a piece of his mind. Sometimes one cannot understand when the ball is in the other hand but such is life. I note that Ramdin has not been performing as well as he should with the bat but it would have served him better had Viv a man who he said he has a lot of respect for, called him aside and have a good talk with him.
I have noticed in my office that you get a better response when you call a worker in privately and speak to him or her about their shortfalls rather than shout at them for others to feel you are important. If we are serious about assisting people to deliver their best, then we must have their interest at heart and not ours. I am sickened with the fact that people point out the deficiencies in others to promote themselves. Sir Viv could not understand the comments that came his way from Lawton, while he was a player but all of a sudden he can understand when he is now part of the media practising his trade. I can remember very clearly a former Test cricketer right here in Trinidad who never had anything good to say about the media. Lo and behold, he is now a part of the media and is now complaining about the current players’ attitude. This life sweet yes! Cricketers must remember that they have life after cricket and those who like to bash the media must realise that a natural progression of work can be right there for them. Having said that, I sincerely wish that Ramdin’s hundred can ignite a more successful era in his checkered career. I agree with Sir Viv that he has not really lived up to the lofty expectations but he still has time on his side and one hopes that he has turned the proverbial corner and is ready to be among the better wicketkeeper/batsmen in the world.