By now it would be the most infamous piece of foolscap—if not foolery—in the world of cricket: Denesh Ramdin's scribbled note to former West Indies great, Viv Richards. The missive, a throwback in this era of Twitter tweets and Facebook posts: four words that screamed of a player's hurt pride and put an exclamation mark on a classic knock. Four words that, though hollow, should not be ignored for the deeper implications behind them. What has Viv had to say, really? Since he last donned the purple cap, what has Viv said that could have turned this losing tradition around for his former team?
Truth be told, not much. It is now 12 years since West Indies last won a Test in England, at Edgbaston in June 2000, and they have not won a series in that country since Viv led his side to a 4–0 victory in 1988. For Viv—a legend of the game, not just here in the Caribbean but worldwide—to single out Ramdin for his displeasure, seems odd. Why him? Why just the wicket-keeper? Why not someone else? Hell, why not everyone else, for that matter? Surely, this crop of West Indies players are not short of targets for derision? The reason goes back years, to before the fall; to when Ramdin was an unknown quantity and Viv picked him for a future skipper of the motley crew of cricketers who had the unenviable task of following the footsteps of giants.
To spurn the anointment by this holy hand that steered so many a bad ball over the boundary was tantamount to spitting in the face of the gods. How dare he not fill the shoes of the Master Blaster! Well, sorry Viv, he didn't. For whatever the reason (and there are many, as rumours will have it) Ramdin never rose to the occasion sufficient to Viv's predictions. (And, sorry to say, eh homie, but one century ain't saying much either.) Talk nah, Viv. Say something positive. Say something like: I'm going to channel my influence and show this generation of batsmen how to vup like a boss. Say something like: Yeah Ramdin, look how to hush up England bowlers like I used to. So yeah Viv, talk nah?