Should I Obtain A Masters In Cricket Studies or Basket Weaving? Decisions, Decisions!

The Editor,
Barbados Free Press

Dear Sir/madam,

I recently came across a brochure, put out by the University of the West Indies (U.W.I.), offering a Master of Science program in Cricket Studies. The number of faculty or facilitators for this program, according to the brochure is twelve. I consider this to be a waste of resources, which could be better spent, as I will show below.

Barbados is a developing country. It therefore suffers from most of the ailments associated with developing societies. These ailments are briefly, lack of trained professionals in the sciences and the ancillary equipment and instrumentation needed to implement any meaningful developmental thrust in these area. An in depth examination of all countries, which are developed or are on the verge of being called developed, will reveal, that science and technology, form the backbone of their developmental thrust (eg. Singapore).

There is a need to develop a cheap source of rations for animal husbandry in the region. Processed products from our agricultural commodities, as well as from the fishing industry are needed. There is also a need, to develop new products for export if this island and the region are to survive.

The morass in a country like Barbados is further compounded by the proliferation of non-productive or virtual reality occupations (e.g. law, public sector reform, political science, public administration, accountancy and  management – the latter two are really forms of legalized thievery- etc.). U.W.I. seems very adept at graduating lots of persons in these disciplines. If there is one thing that, the credit crunch has demonstrated, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), it is the fact that, agriculture and engineering form what are called the real economy. The service sector and investment banking among others, the virtual reality economy. Without the former the latter cannot exist.

Like most developing countries, Barbados suffers from a lack of resources. I used to play cricket for U.W.I., St. Augustine and my two sons played cricket. I have a problem, at this juncture in Barbados’ development, with money being spent on this cricket venture. I wonder, if this program, which is being implemented by U.W.I., is a one-man venture or the collective will of a number of persons. If the latter is the case, it would seem that , we are a society, in which individuals lack independency of thought as well as vision.


Robert D. Lucas, Ph.D.
Food biotechnologist.



Filed under Barbados, Cricket

18 responses to “Should I Obtain A Masters In Cricket Studies or Basket Weaving? Decisions, Decisions!

  1. Yellow Bird

    Whilst I support any call for attention to be paid to agricultural diversity and food security, I think there is some short-sightedness to envision that science and technology are the only pathways to development in Barbados. I do agree that we need more scientists, but do we not require investment for our scientist to fund their projects and innovations? Our banks are quite comfortable funding mortgages, are they prepared to take the risks to fund advances in solar or other technologies that will put us on par with e.g Singapore?
    I may not agree that a MSC in Cricket would help to stimulate the “real economy”. However, at this juncture of our island’s development, I think we need to be cognisant that everybody can not do science and furthermore sports e.g cricket is a business!!

  2. Anonymous

    I find Dr. Lucas’ comments quite funny coming in the context of a country that has achieved the top tier of developed countries status with an economy driven by toursim and offshore financial services.

    There is a place for science and engineering however to dismiss the critical areas of training for this economy as “really forms of legalized thievery” is at best misinformed, at worst deliberately misleading.

  3. Hants

    International cricket is a billion dollar industry.


  4. passin thru

    It sure is and I think that as funny as it sounds, a Masters in Cricket would probably look at the business, culture, management, staging and social impact of cricket etc etc etc.

    Then again, the “billion dollars” probably came from taxes anyway. 🙂

  5. reluctant nonbeliever

    “I wonder, if this program, which is being implemented by U.W.I., is a one-man venture or the collective will of a number of persons. ”

    One man: The Cave Hill Principal, Prof. Sir Hilary Beckles.

    Thought everybody knew that…

  6. ComeOn

    Maybe they could offer a Masters Of How to Get The Windies of Their A**e** and Win Some Matches.

    That would be useful…

  7. "*Adviser to the President*"

    I am at one with the comment that no one should if no one could and to propose is not to oppose but to actualise.

    Therefore my advise would be to invest in the billion dollar cricket industry that is an established industry. Market the skills of the individuals and the assets of the country to the extent that the trickle down effect of the billion dollar industry would be very significant to little BARBADOS.

    Whats wrong with that ?

  8. Anonymous

    I generally agree with Dr Lucus. We need more scientists and technologists. With cricket and the entertainment industry in general, too many of us are suffering from the gamblers mentality. We feel like there is another Rihanna around the corner. African- American are afflicted with the same disease. They put out very little effort in school work but feel that they are going to be stars at football, singing, etc. For everyone that makes it as a star,there are hundreds of thousands that turn out to be utter failures

    It is better to pursue efforts, at the national and individual levels, that will lead to the production of real goods like computers and agricultural produce. The basis for such production is science and technology.

    I would not leave out things like cricket, but certainly, I would not promote them as the solution to our development challenges.

  9. Facts

    I think Dr. Lucas is on target with this one; even if we have problems with some of the things he has said in the past.

    An Msc. in cricket studies is a waste of tax payers’ money.
    Cricket in NOT a world sport. The money the players make is miniscule when compared to the major sports such as soccer, basket ball and tennis.

    What is a graduate in cricket going to produce? Will he work with the WICB? Will he be a consultant?

    Dr. Beckles means well, but he has erred this time.
    The engines of growth are technology and business.

  10. Sargeant

    Rather than an Msc. in cricket maybe they should be looking at Msc. in Sports Administration as is common in North America. There are many sporting bodies (including cricket) that are sorely lacking in the requisite management skills.

  11. Bajeabroad

    I am 100% in agreement with the author….one of Barbados’ biggest problems is the overcrowding of the political system with LAWYERS….who by practise seek out historical precedence as opposed to innovative and new ideas and DOCTORS who largely do the same in referring to known techniques. Their training teaches them to be good followers of text and tradition….funny how both of them still wear robes out of pure tradition….as opposed to creative thinkers. Imagine a country looking at first world status with ONE engineer in the political mix……We are indeed a country of paper pushing administrators, which yes UWI seems content on pushing out. Absolutely no innovative and creative thinkers…how so very sad indeed!

  12. "*Adviser to the President*"

    Music and singing is natural: Manufacturing a computer is not natural. Who really needs a computer ???-what is all the technology good for anyhow ?-pornography ?

    My advise: exploit the talents of our people regardless and make something of their talents even if the you think cricket pays much smaller than other sports.

  13. 143

    “*Adviser to the President*”

    I’m surprised you bother communicating with people from all over the globe here at this website. I thought you would be happier humming to yourself at home or beating on your drum to communicate.

  14. Facts

    “Adviser to the President”,
    “Exploiting the talents of our people…” comes with a monetary cost.
    If we are going to expend scarce resources, we must plan wisely and not spend money at random.

  15. Bajeabroad

    “Adviser to the President”
    Who is going to lead this exploitation of talent…..the local business sector who can’t get beyond import, markup and sell!!!…..look at the backpage of the Sun Advocate, Auto Industry in trouble…..what auto industry!!!… we make anything!!….they mean buy and sell industry!!!!…..and look at our scholarship winners….more than half of them every year go and do what… guessed it LAW or MEDICINE..LAW does not create industries, MEDICINE creates very little……..tell me…where is this creative, innovative class that Barbados desperately needs going to come from…..ha ha….maybe Guyana!!…..that has been our real problem over the years….investing in paper pushing service industries

  16. Facts


    Interesting comments above.

  17. Facts


    Just a note. The “auto industry” (buy and sell) just got a further 5% reduction on their import levy tax, via the last budget.

    Would you believe that rather than trying to come up with innovative ideas to sell their automobiles – they are still crying?

    I wonder what they are going to ask for next?

  18. Paul Barnes

    It’s the brainchild of that top intellectual fraud, Hillary Beckles, no doubt…