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Colin Murray

Although there’s very little live sport to watch on TV during this unprecedented period of this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, every sports enthusiast is waiting with bated breath for the commencement of some live major sporting event on the calendar. I certainly don’t need to let you know that I am looking forward to the resumption of the English Premier League, whenever that may be and it appears the clubs want the season to finish thankfully.

Let’s hope it does resume sometime at the end of May or early June even behind closed doors.

But off the field, there is always something going on with an end to the bacchanal seemingly far from the finish line. First, FIFA and its normalisation committee and the ex(?) TTFA executive. Poor First Citizens Bank has been drawn into the quagmire and decided to recognise neither the ex-TTFA nor the normalisation committee.

Perhaps, it is difficult with face masks on. It must be an awkward situation for the bank as if they are going by the TTFA constitution, how do you just suddenly recognise another party? I suppose if in doubt, do nothing.

Admittedly, in the last week, many readers have reached out to me asking questions that I truly can’t answer but wish I could have. Questions such as how was the normalisation committee appointed? Who recommended them? Which football clubs do they represent? Where did they come from? Is it true that FIFA was talking to them since January? Unfortunately, I cannot provide the answers.

Maybe one day FIFA will make a release and clear up all this uncertainty.

Meanwhile, the movie goes on and we will continue to see football in the country suffer because FIFA, the big bad wolf, wants control without giving a new democratically-elected administration any reasonable chance of climbing out from the well-documented holes of former administrations.

Another bacchanal surfaced a few days ago – Christopher Henry Gayle has blasted Jamaica Tallawahs CEO Jeff Miller and his former teammate since Under 19 level, Ramnaresh Sarwan. Gayle called Sarwan, “worse than the coronavirus”- a statement I find incredibly insensitive and appalling considering that COVID-19 is responsible for over 200,000 deaths around the world. You see my friends when these athletes have nothing to do but train, their emotions start to run high and all the pent up energy can’t be put to use on the field so they let it out in video clips and Facebook rants.

Gayle may very well be speaking the truth, but I genuinely don’t feel that a player still playing the game at the international level should be washing his dirty linen in public. Gayle is not the first player to be given a raw deal and be shown total disrespect. He definitely won’t be the last but surely his rant could have waited until he retired. He is undoubtedly hurting as he wanted to retire with his beloved Jamaica Tallawahs, but his attack on Sarwan is untimely. He wanted to explain to the Jamaican diehards why he was discarded by the Tallawahs and a simple quote from him that certain people in the staff wanted him out would have sufficed for now.

Let’s face it, he doesn’t have long in the game again and even a quiet, private word in the right ears would have got the message through.

Chris Gayle does not simply do things; he speaks like he bats, without any inhibitions, but the threats in the video were, in my mind, dangerous. When Gayle looks back to his Under-19 days and being a roommate with Sarwan, he has now developed a high level of animosity towards him and it is such a pity as they have both given cricket fans so much joy over the years.

Will Miller and Sarwan reply and dispute what Gayle is saying? Will they be able to offer a reasonable explanation to Gayle’s claims? What about the owner of theTallawahs, Kris Persaud? Although he escaped Gayle’s wrath by him saying he is a good man, what was his role in this? Surely, if he wanted Gayle, he would have insisted that the ‘Universe Boss’ be playing with the Tallawahs. But was his dropping politically motivated by his visit to Guyana?

There are always three sides to a story so I suppose we will wait to see what plays out with this latest bacchanal.

On another note, I am losing count of the number of old video clips I am getting with action from the past; both in cricket and football are unbelievable. All of Brian Lara’s great innings and the stumping, or was it the non-stumping? of him by Aussie wicketkeeper Ian Healy back in 1999 at the Queen’s Park Oval.

What a disgrace that was! Forward to the pleasant innings of Lara and the inevitable question of what I thought was his best innings. Without a doubt, his 277 at Sydney back in 1993. Here was a young, 23-year-old man getting his first test century and just batting and batting and batting, never for a moment looking as if he was going to get out. In addition to that, fans were talking at the time about him breaking Sir Garfield Sobers’ record of 365 with his first test century in this particular innings until he was unfortunately run out. I have been able to look back at all of his great knocks but that 277 still stands out for me because of his age, where it was achieved, against the particular opposition, and being his first.

Then, the greatest all-rounder the world has ever seen, Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers and his magnificent 254 when playing for the Rest of the World vs Australia. What a great knock. No helmet, hooking, cutting, pulling, driving or flicking – what a cricketer! By now, you would realise that in my view, he is the greatest batsmen that I have ever seen.

Keep safe my friends and stay indoors!

Editor’s note:

The views expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and do not reflect the views of any organisation of which he is a stakeholder.