Saturday, 25 April 2009

Brian Lara should have left that ball alone! (UPDATED: I publicly apologize to him!)

On April 21st 2009, the following was written:
Dear Editor/Head of News,

The Toss:
More than thirty-six hours after it happened, the Trinbago media delivers the news that the great cricketer, the Prince of Port of Spain, Brian Charles Lara, was accorded a one-on-one audience with His Excellency Barack Obama --actually, two-on-one, for his charming daughter, Sydney was with him-- at the Trinidad Hilton on Sunday April 19th 2009, during which the Prince presented the POTUS with an autographed cricket bat, then showed him how to use it in defence and attack. The Trinidad Newsday sums it up like this:
"...Trinidad Hilton general manager Ali Khan revealed yesterday that Obama was pleasantly surprised to be face-to-face with Lara and joked about cricket. Lara’s daughter Sydney was also present as well to meet the first African-American US President.
Khan noted Lara was exhilarated to meet the US President personally.
'It was beautiful. You could see the expression on his face and his daughter’s. He was truly emotional and touched as were all of us,' he said..." (http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,98808.html)

Brian Lara shows POTUS Obama a thing or two about cricket.
Trinidad Hilton
Sunday April 19, 2009 - after The Summit of The Americas had ended.
White House Photo by Pete Souza

The Torrid Opening Over:
Somebody needs to put the Prince to sit and talk some sense into him, before he reawakens the ire of Cyril Lionel Robert James (CLR), for, obviously he didn't know how to play that over:
  1. The very day that he met with Obama was the twentieth anniversary, less one month, of CLR's demise! But, then, what do they know of cricket, who only cricket know? Dot ball.
  2. If CLR were alive, he would have roundly excoriated the Prince for agreeing to meet with the POTUS under the prevailing circumstances! But, then, what do they know of cricket, who only cricket know? Dot ball.
  3. CLR it was who predicted that West Indian national consciousness would not be shaped until they had become masters at cricket. But, then, what do they know of cricket, who only cricket know? Dot ball.
  4. As a master at cricket, he's therefore expected to be conscious of and in sync with the national mood! But, then, what do they know of cricket, who only cricket know? Dot ball.
  5. The mood of the citizens at the time --and still-- was that they were being treated as dogs, because, unlike him, the Prime Minister Manning, point-blank refused them permission to interact with, even to see, POTUS Obama, the first black POTUS ever as he visited the first black country during his term of office! But, then, what do they know of cricket, who only cricket know? Dot ball.
  6. Under the circumstances, those who were given privileged opportunities to one-on-one with POTUS Obama are regarded as "not-of-us" by the masses! But, then, what do they know of cricket, who only cricket know? No ball. But, my heavens! He's out! Stumped by alert wicketkeeper for stepping out his crease!
The Bigger Field:
Oh, Brian! When shall he learn that there is a field much bigger than the Oval on which Trinbagonians are longing for him dazzingly as well to play? And that, on that much bigger field, every shot he would make would resonate even more than the fiercest and best while at bat he executed?

Perhaps these words that Shakespeare made Malvolio utter --during the Twelfth Night-- would make him understand the drift?
"If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em. Thy Fates open their hands; let thy blood and spirit embrace them; and, to inure thyself to what thou art like to be, cast thy humble slough and appear fresh..."

Or these: of Shakespeare's Brutus, in Julius Caesar?
"Under your pardon. You must note beside, that we have tried the utmost of our friends, our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe: the enemy increaseth every day; we, at the height, are ready to decline.
There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat; and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures."

Oh, Brian! Had he understood those selections of beyond-the-boundary import as well as he did what shot to choose from his wide selection when at bat, he would have called a press conference and publicly declined the invite for this private audience, making it plain in the process, that, despite his fame and fortune, he remains one of the people, thus, if the people can't get to see Obama, it would be selfish of him so to do. The press would have lapped it up, for it would have been Brian's finest innings...yet.

The next series awaits:
It is time, then, that Brian again dons battle-gear, bthis time to stride out into that bigger arena: his people needs him! Indeed, the plausibility of such a post-cricketing careermany former Test cricketers have successfully demonstrated and none more so than a man of whom all Arouca is proud: Lord Learie Nicholas Constantine!

Elsewhere, mention was made of some of Lord Constantine's post-cricketing exploits:
In 1963 he intervened in an incident where West Indians were denied jobs as bus conductors in Bristol. His public utterances on the issue were deemed by some to be undiplomatic. ...Prime Minister Eric Williams objected, partly because the West Indians in Bristol were Jamaicans and, so, not Constantine's responsibility. Williams felt Constantine had exceeded his brief and attempted to do what he did so well: put Constantine in the doghouse. Constantine promptly resigned.
(At the age of 63, after his resignation), early in 1964, Constantine embarked on legal practice in London...and got involved in a wide array of public causes, usually blazing a trail for blacks in Britain.
  • He was a member of Britain's Race Relations Board from its inception and made important contributions to it.
  • In 1967, he was appointed the first black Rector of St. Andrews University (where his daughter went).
  • In 1968, the first black Governor of the BBC. (He continued to do free-lance broadcasting for the BBC, which he had started in the 1930s).
  • And in 1969 he became the first peer of African descent, as Baron Constantine of Nelson and Maraval; his introduction to the House of Lords was a great occasion. (http://www.nalis.gov.tt/Biography/LearieConstantinebyBridgetBrereton.htm)
If he'd known more about cricket than just cricket, Brian would've known of such precedents and would not have accepted the invite. Now that he knows, what's stopping Brian Charles Lara from going on to greater purpose?

He has never been one to shrink from a challenge, therefore, let Lara henceforth no longer CLR cause in his grave to toss and turn: over Lara's inability to demonstrate more knowledge of cricket than what of the game he did so brilliantly show, when the boundary ropes futilely tried to constrain him .

Richard Wm. Thomas,
Five Rivers,
Arouca,
Trinidad and Tobago.


Today, yours truly wishes, publicly, hereby, to apologize to Brian, for the above approbation was thoroughly unwarranted: it's now patently obvious that he's not one of us. How come? Well, let the Trinidad Newsday do the talking:
Day at the Races for Brian Lara’s 40th

Thursday, April 23 2009

"WEST INDIES and Trinidad and Tobago batting legend Brian Lara will celebrate his 40th birthday on May 2 with A Day at the Races.

And to do so he will put on several spectacular activities at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.

A passionate racing enthusiast, Lara will sponsor what will be called a “May Racing Carnival.” Several racing enthusiasts, top corporate citizens and socialites will be specially invited to attend this Brian Lara Birthday party.

Turfites will be escorted to the infield of the race track in a carbon copy of the pomp and glamour of Royal Ascot.

Satchmo’s and Veni Mange and top sports bar Trotters will be featured, and there will also be fashion and entertainment..." (http://www.newsday.co.tt/sport/0,98952.html)

Sad, isn't it? What? That he is what he is become.