His regular readers would know their Eyewitness is a cricket nut. In the beginning – fifteen years ago – T-20 didn’t grab him the way Test cricket had for so many years. But just like how he ate boiled rice but had come to love it in all its variations – pilaf, fried, puffed, Spanish, etc, etc…- T-20 rose in his estimation as he realised it had its own dynamics and charm. It was his home-grown Amazon Warriors that did the trick, when the Caribbean Premier League was formed.
As he went to every one of their games since 2013 at Providence Stadium, he realised that the phrase “more than just a game” wasn’t simply a merchandising cliché, but a reality for what unfolded at those events. A half a century before, CLR James had written “Beyond a Boundary” to explain what cricket had meant to us as a colonial people in the Caribbean — as we struggled to earn some respect in a world where the decks were stacked against us.
More recently, in 2007 – the year Providence Stadium was opened for the One-day World Cup cricket tournament — there was the semi-documentary, “More than a game”, about the football “League” formed by the Apartheid prisoners at Robben Island Prison, using the organisation of their games to retain their agency and some dignity. And it was this wider role to address a contradiction in our social relations that T-20 was playing here.
As your Eyewitness sat in the stands, he saw everyone around him shedding those narrow walls they erected when “outside”, and which kept them from appreciating their essential commonality as “Guyanese”. At the Warriors’ “home” games, every man-jack (and woman-jackie!) were rooting for their “boys” out in the field. With every boundary hit, high-fives were spontaneously exchanged; with every wicket falling, groans were also spontaneously expelled.
And so, when his Warriors took on the table-topping TKR — which had beaten them before — and then whupped them on both occasions to be the first to qualify for the finals, your Eyewitness wasn’t surprised when complete “strangers” hugged each other. But in truth, they weren’t really strangers – they were Guyanese who were already bonded by their love for the team. And that their opponents were “The Trinis” made their bonding even more intense. Who among them hadn’t been dissed by a Trini at one point or another??
But the Warriors have one more mountain to climb to get to the summit of victory — one that has eluded them up to now — to win it all. Your Eyewitness believes they’ll be facing the Trinis once again for that.
And they’ll fulfil their destiny this time!!
With Exxon announcing new oil strikes with such regularity, most of us have forgotten there are a lot of other players prospecting for oil under our Atlantic waters. And now Total and its partner Eco have just announced — on the same day the Warriors clawed their way to the Finals – that they’ve struck a formation that contains the equivalent of 3 billion barrels of oil!! It’s too bad all this action’s underwater; your Eyewitness always wanted to yell when the black gold gushed – as he saw in those movies of oil roustabouts – “Thar she blows!!”
Anyhow, this has to be good news for Guyana, and your Eyewitness hopes the Government has learnt from its experience (or its LACK thereof) with the Exxon negotiations, and will negotiate a better deal for Guyana. And that therefore we won’t be catapulted into another acrimonious round of debate and “cuss down” on “bonuses”, “local content”, and tax holidays.
Isn’t it time, perhaps, the Government invite the opposition to be on the Guyanese Oil Team??
…not on wind power
With all this oil to be pumped, why does the Government not at least TRY to make its ‘green’ claims credible by encouraging “green power” generation? Why are its officials foiling that Berbice wind venture?