Seeing Australia get bulldozed by the super underdogs, West Indies, and in particular, by Chris Gayle’s massive hitting, made my weekend. Australia, batting first, was bowled out by The Windies for a respectable 169 for 7. But Gayle and Fletcher blasted the Australian bowling with the first wicket, Fletcher, going when the Windies score was on 133 in the 11th over. Gayle was dismissed for 88 in the 14th over and made his 88 in 50 balls with 6 -fours and 6- sixes. By the time Gayle was dismissed Australia was already worrying about being beaten by Sri Lanka.
Knowing the variable ability of the West Indies, it is possible to never again see this level of performance by them in 20Twenty, or any form of cricket, for years. But fans hope, and some pray, the team will go with the momentum. It is not very often West Indies beat Australia much less pulverize them so today we celebrate as if it is the last time we will ever win anything.
The Stanford Financial Group’s business activities are being investigated by the US authorities. The financial group is owned by Sir Allen Stanford, a Texas Billionaire and an Antiguan Knight. Over the last few years Sir Allen Stanford’s name became a household word to all West Indians and the cricketing world because of the huge prizes he offered to mainly West Indian Cricketers. Now his financial empire is under scrutiny for offering rates of returns to investors that seemed too good to be true just as Sir Allen’s cricket prizes were.
I have a hunch that this may be the end of the lucrative side of the Stanford 20Twenty Tournament in the West Indies and there is much speculation about the cancellation of the US$20 million dollar England/West Indies 20/20 for 20 Tournament. The West Indies cricket team easily won the first match of the 20/20 for 20 Tournament with each West Indian player pocketing one million dollars US while the wife of an English cricketer won the privilege to sit on the billionaire’s lap. Many people said this prize (money) was too good to be true and it was poisoning cricket but nobody died. Sir Allen also added several novelties to the game such as interviews with players on the field and the Super Over Tie -Breaker. The one missing attraction to the Stanford 20/20 matches was cheerleaders, Indian Premier League style. Some cricket traditionalists were upset that Stanford, an American, threatened to take the game away from its non-American roots but now they may not have to worry.
Both West Indian and English Cricketers are concerned they may not have another shot at the multimillion dollar prize again but world financial conditions and the FBI might determine what happens next. Cricket needs a shot in the arm again and if Sir Allen Stanford cannot do it then maybe a consortium of business men can. Stanford showed the world what was possible with cricket but he may not be able to do it if he is shackled for his past.
UPDATE – 17-02-2009 :
Washington, D.C., Feb. 17, 2009 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Robert Allen Stanford and three of his companies for orchestrating a fraudulent, multi-billion dollar investment scheme centering on an $8 billion CD program.
Stanford’s companies include Antiguan-based Stanford International Bank (SIB), Houston-based broker-dealer and investment adviser Stanford Group Company (SGC), and investment adviser Stanford Capital Management. The SEC also charged SIB chief financial officer James Davis as well as Laura Pendergest-Holt, chief investment officer of Stanford Financial Group (SFG), in the enforcement action. ~ The Wall Street Journal
The Trinidad Guardian today carried a summary of current Travel Advisories for Trinidad and Tobago. These Advisories truthfully warn visitors that Trinidad and Tobago is a haven for crime where visitors’ bodies and their possessions are at great risk. These Travel advisories paint Trinidad and Tobago as a place where criminals and their guns are safe and where no crime is solved.
In an apparent retaliation for these advisories from five countries that have already attained 2020 status, the Government is planning to unleash, once again, The Minister of Works or a similar dodo head onto the population. It is also expected that either the Commissioner of Police or The Minister of National Security will go on TV and state this will be the safest Carnival ever but nothing about after. The population will jump up and down on hearing these words of reassurance and feel safe once again. The Minister of Works will call these travel advisories mischievous and foolish and put the blame on the Opposition while The Prime Minister will continue looking through newly acquired files for more evidence against The Leader of The Opposition and upload a new profile picture on Facebook. The Minister of Finance will continue Googling and Wikipediaing Financial terms and concepts. While all this Ministerial activity is going on three hundred serious crimes including three UDECOTT tender awards would have occurred.
Government’s Vision is clear and that is what is so frightening.
I was looking at the Indian Premier League 20/20 Cricket Tournament on TV today and nearly fell of my chair when I saw the Cheerleaders of the League were now sans skin. Rumor has it that some fully wrapped old woman, who was sure that God would strike anyone who showed, looked at, or even had skin, complained about the Cheerleaders to the local hypocrites. The hypocrites then shouted at the promoters, who then asked the Cheerleaders, some of whom were imported from the NFL by the Indian Premier League at great expense, to please show less skin since this was India and Indians don’t have skin. The promoters told the Cheerleaders though millions of viewers and locals were happy with the short skirts, slim bodies, shaved legs and cheerleading moves, and though porn on the Internet was easily available and used by the average adult male and female who looked at the matches, and though they -the Cheerleaders- where helping the League rake in millions, the League must adopt the pretentious stand in order to please the fear-driven hypocrites in society since that was the norm from the time when dinosaurs wore skirts. The promoters also said you can’t reason with the obsessed. The cheerleaders complied and now the attraction of the Indian Premier League is half of what it should be. It appears that anybody who looks too good to be true will eventually have to cover up.