Finally, one must note the limited nature of the local revolution. Cricket needs further democratization in the West Indies. Players (and spectators) might feel more fully identified with what happens on the field, but the game off the field is still largely dominated by the old narrow oligarchies. If West Indian cricket is to realize its full potential the administration of the game must be reformed so as to ensure that the wisest cricket heads share in the administration o.£ the game and that all sectors of the community receive the material and psychological encouragement to put their fullest into the game. Our administration has never served West Indian cricket well. The errors committed in selection of teams and captains have been compounded by a refusal to ensure the provision of the best possible facilities for the development of the game in rural areas and in the smaller cricketing territories. The administration has shown an embarrassing tendency to put accumulation of cash before general improvement of the game. Most recently, the West Indian Cricket Board of Control’s criminal short-sightedness nearly jeopardised the chances of our team’s success against Australia. No provision was made for a series of team practice matches before the arrival of the Australians even though the members of the West Indian team had not played together for eighteen months; It is clear, therefore, that until the power of the oligarchical group in the administration of West Indian cricket is completely broken, the revolution cannot be regarded as complete. The enemy might have been driven from the field, but vigilance must still be exercised by social commentators and by the cricketers themselves to ensure that he does not merely retreat, in fairly good order, into the fastnesses of the committee rooms and exclusive clubs.
For this reason, Sobers and the other young cricketers now rising to the fore of West Indian cricket have a special responsibility in the game and in the community. The enemy is wily; he might choke off the opposition in an elitist embrace by granting some of its leaders limited access to higher ranks and exclusive clubs. This will amount to subversion. The manoeuvre can only be countered by a thorough-going public discussion of the social issues involved in the game and mainly by a consistent refusal by our leading players from the underprivileged sector of the community to accept the pressing invitations to join and play for Queen’s Park or Kingston Cricket Club. It must be admitted that some sacrifice of the social amenities in the first class game might have to be endured with such a refusal; but it would appear that such a sacrifice ls not too great a one to make in order to deny the tottering oligarchic structure the new props it needs to prevent it from falling. Frank Worrell’s decision to play for Boys’ Town on his return from England was apparently made in this spirit; and all those other cricketers who have enjoyed social and material success as a result of their outstanding merit as cricketers should recognise the absolute necessity for taking and abiding by similar tough decisions.