Cricket West Indies (CWI) has over the years been sharply criticized by players and fans alike for its management of West Indies cricket. The current board, under the leadership of Dave Cameron, has probably received the most scathing criticism in the history of West Indies cricket and the main reason for this is the rise of social media as a platform for people to express themselves.
Cricket West Indies, on the other hand, has not utilized this platform in a meaningful way to highlight its agenda. I will examine the backlash that Cricket West Indies has been getting on social media in recent times and suggest ways in which the organization can use the platform to promote West Indies cricket positively.
Cricket West Indies has been negatively highlighted on social media in recent times. One notable incident was when the CWI President was called a “big idiot” on Twitter by Darren Bravo. Bravo’s tweet was in response to comments made by Dave Cameron about the reason why Bravo was given a C-grade contract.
In my opinion, Darren Bravo was wrong to react in such a public and disrespectful manner, but he was responding to a public comment by Dave Cameron stating that his poor form was the reason why a C-grade contract was issued.
This approach by Cameron was also disrespectful to the player and unbecoming of a CWI President. Incidentally, this was not the first time that Cameron had disrespected his players on social media. Cameron also retweeted a fan comment about batsman Chris Gayle lack of runs and that he should be given a retirement package which he later removed and apologized for. This negative use of social media by the CWI President has done nothing to help the image of West Indies Cricket worldwide and has permanently damaged relationships and trust among players and fans.
There are ways that CWI can use social media to promote the game in the region positively and gradually change its image in the eyes of the cricketing public. One method that can be used is to highlight all the positive things that are happening in Caribbean cricket in a coordinated way. Things such as the Professionalization of the Four-day tournament in the region and programs implemented to improve youth cricket should be consistently highlighted on social media.
This type of action will show the cricketing public that the regional game is alive and well and they will be more inclined to support CWI and the West Indian team. Also, CWI can use this platform to congratulate players and teams for outstanding achievements in the regional and International game. For example, a player making a century or taking a five-wicket haul in a regional match or an exceptional performance in a T20 league by a Caribbean player should be highlighted on social media for the player to feel that their cricketing board is supportive of their achievements. This will go a far way in helping the agenda of CWI to promote the game in the region positively.
CWI can also use social media to target youngsters and to lure them into playing cricket by speaking to the many opportunities that exist in the game today at the International level. There is a proliferation of T20 Leagues across the world, and regional cricketers are paid reasonably decently. A good young cricketer today can become a millionaire in a few years, making cricket the sport that is most likely to create financial freedom for talented Caribbean youth. These facts can be highlighted on social media by CWI to generate interest in the game among the young population and will inevitably result in more young people playing the game!
Finally, social media in today’s world is a sure shot way of either positively or negatively highlighting your agenda. CWI should wake up to this fact and get on the social media bandwagon to promote and grow the game in the region!
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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