Saturday, June 25, 2005

Choosing a Husband can be a Craps Shoot


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I meet this West Indian couple when I was doing my masters. The wife became a very good friend of mine because we were the only two West Indians reading for the diploma. Her man however barely finished high school. So I always wondered about the match, I thought it a bit odd. But I put it out of my mind because my friend is a very level headed person and she and her man got on well.


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Well they had only been married a few months before they relocated and they were living out of their environment so they were tight, of course. It was more than that really. They seemed to complement each other very well. She studied and kept their apartment in tip top shape. He worked and cooked, something he did beautifully and which she could do little of. Although she had degrees, she did not wear the pants in the relationship and because he is older she leaned on him for guidance. Real solid relationship I always thought during the time I knew them. Yet I always thought that the real test of the relationship would come on their return home. So when we went our separate ways I wished them luck and I was rooting for them.

About two years and a beautiful baby girl later, my friend finally got up the courage to tell me that she and her man had broke-up. I listened to her story and reasons for the spilt and I kept wondering if the reals problems were not to do with the fact that she was much more educated than him and that put her above him socially and financially.

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Is a woman (especially very young women) to be very mindful when choosing a mate who is far less educated and who will probably earn far less money than she will? I think the answer is yes. It is going to take some real work or a man who is not affected by societal rules to make it work. This is the main theme of Terry MCMillan's Disappearing Act.

I also know that people say women especially black educated women always complain about there being no men but that they ignore the guy who is less educated or who earns less than them. Well I believe from what I see those kinds of relationship work better if both of these people are into their second marriages and a bit older. The woman more so must be in her late 30s to middle 40s when this type of match makes a successful relationship.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

A-TEAM OBJECTIVES AND SELECTION OUT OF SYNC?

It appears that WICB’s main purpose for a West Indies A-team tour is that of player development. Development as in, helping fringe senior team players to eliminate deficiencies, giving the next set of senior team players international exposure and exposing the post U-19 players to a high quality of competitive cricket not readily available on a continuous basis in the Caribbean.

WICB also intends to use the A-Team as the pool from which replacements will be drawn for the senior team players, who will be touring Sri Lanka at the same time as the A-team.

This examination of the A-team which is carded to leave for Sri Lanka on June 17th 2005, should determine how well aligned A-team objectives and selection are. In the cases where the two are found to be out of sync, a more suitable selection will be proffered.

Some names make excellent sense. Among them are Tino Best, Carlton Baugh, Narsingh Deonarine, Xavier Marshall, Runarko Morton, Ryan Ramdass, Dwayne Smith, Dwight Washington. These are players who have been recently selected under the new coach, Bennette King, for training camps and/or for the senior test or ODI squads.

To a lesser extent so do Kerry Jeremy and Marlon Samuels since they suit the WICB’s secondary A-team objective. Both can be used to replace our often mid-series injury prone bowlers. Jeremy has been there about as far as top quality of regional bowling presents but he has never been given a fair shake. Marlon offers another spin and all-rounder option.

Of the two however, it is not clear why Marlon was not co-opted straight into the senior squad. At this stage he needs the developmental work provided by the high powered coaching staff of the senior team. More importantly Marlon’s special fitness circumstances could be managed best by King, who indicated that Samuels along with Lara needed to be handled carefully.

It appears that the theme of ‘discipline’ surrounds Marlon’s selection. That this A-team selection serves as the last leg of his punishment for previous transgressions and also as an opportunity for them to observe improvements in his self discipline. This place should go to Darren Sammy, a youngster who is at a stage in his career where this exposure would be highly beneficial. Darren Sammy would be a perfect replacement for Samuels as he gives the all-rounder option to the team as well.

Dave Mohammed should not have been selected for the A-team tour at this time, for it comes across as if he is being rewarded in spite of his discipline problems. Unlike Runako Morton Mohammed does not appear to recognise his problems nor has he been sufficiently reprimanded for his transgressions during the just concluded FC season. Another youngster, such as Omari Banks, with good performances, maybe a senior team stint and who is prepared to fall in line should be given this opportunity. Development tours should not be used as a disciplinary tool for senior players and all effort should be made to avoid distractions like those Mohammed seems to present, especially with Darren Ganga named as A-Team captain.

This brings us to Darren Ganga. Ganga from observation personifies the kind of young leader/cricketer that WICB top brass like to work with. He was the captain of the previous ill-disciplined plagued A-team tour to the UK and Canada. From the reports of that tour it would appear that Ganga operates well within team authority and rules. He also has requisite FC experience as captain for Trinidad and Tobago.

It is not clear however how he fits the two main objectives used for assembling the A-team. Ganga has proven on many occasions that he can master FC conditions but that he falls flat at the higher level. It is really conjecture that more FC exposure will help Ganga fix his problems. As such another deserving youngster should have gotten Ganga’s space; probably his kid brother Sherwin Ganga. Then like all thoughtfully composed teams a captain should be named from among the deserving players.

It can be reasoned that of those selected the player most undeserving of his pick is Jeramine Lawson. The reports of his lack of fitness should have barred him from selection in the first place, since there will be no pre-tour camp which he could use to improve his conditioning. What is the point of taking him along when he may not be able to do much bowling because he is coming back from a back injury and is in poor physical condition? He, it appears. will be the obligatory tourist on this tour. It has to be asked also if his action is good enough to chance him not being called by an umpire for pelting. To eliminate this waste of a space either Kenroy Peters or Richard Kelly should have been taken to SL.

No offence to Nikita Miller and Dave Bernard Jnr but Ryan Hinds and Donavan Pagon would be better selections. Ryan Hinds is a spinner and he was only recently on senior team and is off the team because of injury/illness. The last reason for his non-selection was illness from mumps. Isn’t he sufficiently recovered yet? He is a known entity to senior team management as opposed to Miller.

If Donovan Pagon is healthy he should be picked ahead of David Bernard Jnr for the same reason he was picked for the recently concluded South Africa tour. Pagon also gives the team a third option at the number 1 or 2 position. If he is not fit then Bernard Jnr is a good to go.

Darren Ganga - Captain (Sherwin Ganga)
Dave Bernard (Donovan Pagon)
Tino Best
Carlton Baugh
Narsingh Deonarine
Kerry Jeremy
Jermaine Lawson (Kenroy Peter or Richard Kelly)
Xavier Marshall
Nikita Miller (Ryan Hinds)
Dave Mohammed (Omari Banks)
Runarko Morton
Ryan Ramdass
Marlon Samuels (Darren Sammy)
Dwayne Smith
Dwight Washington

Finally, there is good cause for concern when so many players on the development team come from one territory and none is named from another. The only good reason for this to occur is because it is patently true that the players from that favoured territory far outstrip (in perofrmance and talent) players from others. There is no indication from the last few FC seasons that that is so. This is a crucial opportunity for player development and as such it must be spread around the whole region to deserving players, as much as is possible.