The teary-eyed outburst by West Indies cricket legend, Sir Garfield Sobers, has provided one of the most touching moments in the recent troubled history of West Indies cricket. The man who is widely regarded as the greatest all-round cricketer to have ever played the game was sharp, precise, and prudent with his prognosis of what is fundamentally going wrong currently with West Indies cricket. Unlike most of the region’s countless experts and analysts, Sir Garfield never sought refuge in denying the reality. He did not seek to go the easy route of blaming the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and its succession of inept administrators for the rapid and continuous decline of West Indies cricket. Sir Garfield’s observation was much more heartfelt, honest, and on point. With the admission that the fundamental problem crippling West Indies cricket, right now, is the fact that the current players in the region are not genuinely committed to the West Indian cause, but were more interested in using the West Indies team as a stepping stone towards playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League and we assume other Twenty20 cricket leagues. In fighting back the tears, Sir Garfield made the not-so-subtle comparison between the attitude of the players when he represented the West Indies and that of the current crop of players. With his voice cracking under the emotions of the moment, Sir Garfield said: “I never made a single run for myself, I made all the runs for the West Indies.” The legend concluded that if the mindset of West Indian players doesn’t change, the regional team will continue to struggle for a long time and that many countries will surpass the West Indies. With his eyes glistening with tears, Sir Garfield said of all this: “It hurts.” Not only did it hurt Sir Garfield to utter those poignant words, I suspect it hurt many cricket fans all over the world to see the kind of pain that West Indies cricket has inflicted on this international legend and hero of the game. The passionate honesty was impressive by the man who, for many years, held the world record for the most runs scored in a Test innings (365) before it was broken by Brian Lara. He clearly was not among the emotional dreamers who continue to envisage getting back to that elusive space on the top of world cricket after eventually turning that endless corner. There was a tone of finality, a feel of painful resignation in what Sir Garfield said and how he said it. The tears suggested an acknowledgement that West Indies cricket has passed the point of no return. The 79-year-old legend provided a rational and balanced encapsulation of what is the most recent game-changer in the demise of West Indies cricket. In a context where too many people across the Caribbean maintain their emotional hold on the myth of a West Indies resurgence, based on the belief in the much-used clichÈs that if only the governance structure of the regional board should change, or the board was more transparent and administrators were more efficient, then West Indies cricket would rise again. Personally, I feel honoured to be in the same mental space as the legendary Sir Garfield Sobers as it relates to the worsening demise of our cricket. We absolutely see what has happened and is still happening to West Indies cricket and we are not afraid to face and accept it.
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TRIBAL TRENDS – TOP 5: Liverpool given van Dijk and Aubameyang price; PSG star jail sentence; Salah the first of many for Klopp;
Overall, for the past week, our Top 5 trending articles have involved Liverpool, Arsenal and PSG winger Angel di Maria and his trouble with the law.Our top story for the week comes from Spain as Angel di Maria was sentenced to a year in prison. The Paris Saint Germain winger was found guilty of two counts of fraud, according to The Sun.The charges relate to the Argentine’s image rights while he was at Real Madrid in 2012 and 2013. Hold on though, di Maria won’t actually spend anytime behind bars, because sentences under two-years are predominantly suspended in Spain, for citizens who have a clean criminal record.There has been huge news developing out of the south coast of England this week, with Southampton agreeing to negotiate with Liverpool over Virgin van Dijk. Earlier this month, the Saints reported the Merseyside club for an apparent ‘tapping up’ of the 25-year old. There is a catch though.Southampton has set a non-negotiable set price for the Dutch defender. £70m. Now it’s up for Liverpool if they want to meet the demand. Tribalfootball’s European correspondent Emanuele Giulianelli broke news this week about Fabinho’s imminent move to Manchester United.He also touches on Chelsea’s bid for Zenit defender Kosta Manolas and Arsenal’s approach for Thomas Lemar and Mario Lemina.The Mirror reports that Mohamad Salah is not the last signing Liverpool is planning to make this summer. Jurgen Klopp plans to sign THREE more players for his squad, including a centre-back, a box-to-box midfielder and a left back.And finally, Borussia Dortmund chief Hans-Joachim Watzke has told Liverpool and Arsenal what it will take to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.The Bundesliga club are demanding €70m for the Gabon international or else they will make him see out the remainder of his contract, which ends in 2020.Top 5 Tribalfootball stories – May 31–June 61. SHOCKER! PSG star Angel di Maria handed one-year prison sentence2. Southampton willing to do Van Dijk business with Liverpool – for one set price3. Giulianelli: EXCLUSIVE – Chelsea Manolas bid TODAY; Why Fabinho joins Man Utd; Wenger & Lemar, Lemina4. Salah arrives as part one of four-part 150m Liverpool transfer spend5. BVB set price and deadline for Liverpool, Arsenal target Aubameyang GoogleThe top 5 stories searched through Google over the past week are below, with three articles about Manchester United’s transfer targets, AC Milan jump into the James race and Arsenal look at Martial.1. Ronaldo quit shock splits Real squad in two camps2. Man Utd jump into battle for Real contract rebel Isco3. Real striker Morata hints at Man Utd move on social media4. AC table offer to Real for James5. Gunners boss Wenger seeks Man Utd board talks over Martial dealFacebookThe top 5 articles found through the world’s most popular social media site, Facebook, included mainly articles about Liverpool as well as Angel di Maria’s court case.1. S’Hampton willing to do Van Dijk business with Reds – for one set price2. BVB set price and deadline for Reds, Gunners target Aubameyang3. Salah arrives as part one of four-part £150M Reds transfer spend4. SHOCKER! Angel di Maria handed one-year prison sentence5. Klopp aims for 100m Reds mega clearout