Four faculties of the Rajarata university have been temporarily closed, officials said today.The four faculties have been closed following the spread of a viral flu.
Fellow Gleaner columnist and radio talk show host Orville Higgins has been strident and consistent in articulating the theory that the loss of the passion for Test cricket across the Caribbean is the main reason for the demise of the once powerful and all-conquering team. Higgins opines that both the players and the people across the region no longer love the game of cricket the way they did back in the glory days, thus the players don’t do enough hard work to improve the level of their performances, and so the team itself continues to struggle to be competitive and consistent. This lack of passion, it is argued, has trickled down to the fans who are not given enough incentive to go out and watch cricket the way they used to, with the net effect being the steady and disastrous decline of West Indies cricket. While agreeing that the passion is gone, my question is: Where is the personal pride and professionalism of the players? One does not have to be passionate to have personal pride and professionalism, and as these players continue to be part of a team that slumps to spineless and record-setting defeat after record-setting defeat, where is the Caribbean pride and the hurt that would typically embarrass a West Indian to the point where that inner quest for respect and adulation would kick him into the pursuance of the necessary actions needed to lift one out of this shameful quagmire? WIMPY AND UNPROFESSIONAL Passion or no passion, the current crop of players are shameless. If it is that they really do lack passion, they are then wimpy and unprofessional. Look at their latest surrender in the first Test mauling by Australia. There were several moments during the game when players looked disconnected and distant as if they wished they were somewhere else. The timidity with which they rolled over in less than three days suggests that they had very little regard for personal or team excellence. There was one poignant incident when captain Jason Holder was batting in the first innings, with the Windies on the ropes at five down for just over 100 runs and still in arrears of over 400 runs. Holder, as the leader at the crease and with only the bowlers to come, was hit high on the pad. The umpire gave him out lbw. Holder had a little glance at non-striker Darren Bravo and then walked off. The television replays showed that the ball was heading high over the stumps by about six inches, yet the captain chose not to use his available review. That is the kind of ‘competitive softness’ that permeates the mentality of the current crop of players. Long gone are the ruthless competitors, who placed premium value on personal performances. That has nothing to do with passion. None of those champions of the golden era would ‘give themselves out’ in the heat of battle if there was the option back then of the Decision Review System. If it were just a matter of a loss of passion, then it would be much more understandable why the players and the results continue to be as disastrous as they are. But the way the players and the team continue to fold, especially in Test cricket, the embarrassing and gutless performances point to the crucial absence of personal and collective pride and shows that they have no respect for the people of the region that they represent. That is why many West Indians, me included, have absolutely no sympathy or respect for this shameless and gutless bunch. Passion or no passion, MAN MUST HAVE PRIDE.Read More
Fifteen-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta saddled his 1,950th career winner in 3-5 favourite DYSFUNCTIONAL at Caymanas Park yesterday, to equal the all-time record of 14-champion Philip Feanny, both of whom have been training since the mid ’70s.DaCosta’s attempt to be sole owner of the record fell short in the eighth race over the round-five course in which his highly fancied runner, LITTLE BIG HORN, suffered grave interference in the early stages of what was a very eventful race, so much so that both the winner, GARY GLITTER (8-1), and the third horse, POISON GAS, were both disqualified after two horses lost their riders in the backstretch.DaCosta said he was happy to equal Feanny’s long-standing record.”Records are made to be broken in any sport, but when this is achieved, it’s a great feeling and I’m looking forward to becoming the sole holder. Feanny, however, is still very active, having saddled Campesino to victory on Wednesday in the open allowance sprint, and even if I go ahead of him, there is the possibility that he can regain the lead even for a short time,” said the 60-year-old trainer, himself a Hall of Fame inductee and, like Feanny, holds the national honour, the Order of Distinction for his contribution to racing.EARLYLEADRidden by four-time champion Omar Walker, DYSFUNCTIONAL was early in the lead in the maiden condition race over 1500 metres for native bred three-year-olds. The lightly raced colt turned for home with a commanding lead and cruised home by 51/2 lengths from 6-1 chance AIR COMMANDER in a field of 13.Significantly, DaCosta surpassed Feanny last season as the leading all-time champion trainer, with 15 titles.The man, who is popularly called ‘Pardie’, started out as Feanny’s assistant some 40 years ago and was also an owner in the stable as well. But he soon went on his own, saddling his first winner, ADORABLE (ridden by Winston Griffiths, groomed by Patrick Fong), months later and has never looked back, winning his first title in 1984 due to the exploits of the brilliant three-year-old filly, THORNBIRD.Meanwhile, three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson rode two winners on the nine-race programme, including 3-5 favourite DWAYNE STAR, who led home old rival ACTION MAN by 31/2 lengths in the overnight allowance feature over the straight.Nelson will leave the island on Thursday, April 21, to ride for an extended period in Canada for the second consecutive year. He is the leading rider so far this season with 26 winners.Read More