Daily Archives: April 25, 2014

When only a white could Captain the West Indies Cricket Team

“I am of the firm belief that whatever is for you in this world, it will come to you. Nobody can stop it; they might be able to delay it somewhat, but they do not have the power to prevent it coming to you.”

Earle Clarke

Sir Frank Worrell

Sir Frank Worrell

When John Goddard resigned after skippering the West Indies team during the 1950 tour to England (video), some hoped that a black would finally be selected to lead – based on talent and leadership abilities, not skin colour. But it was not to be.

Don’t forget: this was an era when only white reporters were allowed to cover events in the Courts of Barbados, and when a person of colour could not eat at the yacht club let alone become a member.

It was another ten years before Frank Worrell (above) became Captain during the 1960-61 “Down Under” tour.

Earle Clarke remembers that it wasn’t all about cricket…

Leadership

by Earle Clarke

Some years ago, I wrote an article containing information which I will use today. In that article, I was trying to show the discrimination in the West Indies Cricket Team against Black captains from the inception of West Indies Cricket on the world stage, but, in today’s column, I will point out the qualities that make good leaders, using the same West Indies Cricket Team as an example. In the 1950’s when I was able to understand the game of cricket, it dawned on me that, although there was a goodly number of black players on the team, it had to be captained by a white man, especially cricket teams which hailed from the sister island of Barbados.

I could well remember listening to a cricket series, England vs West Indies in England in 1950 when I attended the Basseterre Boys’ School at Victoria Road, where all of us from the New Town area would end up receiving lashes from the Head Master for late coming, because we stopped by Pappy, a Taxi Service place right in front of Lime’s office on Cayon Street to listen to the game.

In those days, poor people like us could only listen to radios in the rum shops or by Mr. Pappy on our way to and from school. I remember that the West Indies was skippered by a white Barbadian named, John Goddard. John Goddard resigned after the tour in 1950 to England and Dennis Atkinson another white Barbadian was selected as captain. Continue reading

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