I refer to an article/letter in a section of the media on December 27, 2021, entitled “Rohan Kanhai, ‘the peerless genius’, is 86 not out” by a Mr Albert Baldeo.
Mr Baldeo recalled seeing Rohan Kanhai’s last Test innings, which was at Bourda in which Rohan made 44 runs.
Mr Baldeo seemed resigned to the impression that Rohan was most likely playing his last Test innings as he put it: “He (Rohan) was 39 years old then, totally grey, which only enhanced his aura”.
While that may have been his last Test innings, Rohan still had a lot of big cricket still left in him when the West Indies unceremoniously dropped him, grey or not.
In the 1975 World Cup Finals, he made a steady 55 to hold together the early part of the innings versus Australia. Rohan also represented Warwickshire until 1977.
Coming back to the jist of this letter, many believed that Forbes Burnham had a hand in the unceremonious dumping of Rohan as a player and captain because the West Indies were going to tour India and it would have been a great honour for a descendant of indentured labourers (coolies) to lead the team in the land of his ancestors.
Burnham robbed Rohan of that honour, just as he cheated Cheddi and the majority of Guyanese out of their true destiny by rigging the elections and depleting the nation’s wealth and resources.
After the West Indies won the inaugural 1975 World Cup, Burnham ignored the valuable contribution of Rohan Kanhai. Burnham invited the victorious team to Guyana for a celebration. While the motorcade was moving from the Timehri Airport to Georgetown, Rohan Kanhai was noticeably not there. As questions started to swirl about the absence of Rohan, it was realised that Rohan was not invited.
Imagine, Rohan starred in World Cup, the winning team was invited to the land of his birth, but he was “persona non grata”.
What an insult.
However, Burnham is not the only one to be blamed. There were others in collusion. Where were the Sports Minister, other senior Government officials, Cricket Board officials, etc?
Why was the captain not “big” enough to say to the Kabaka that if one of his players was uninvited, he (the captain) was not coming?
Rohan, as captain, always stood up for his players, but that World Cup captain not only let himself down, and let Rohan down, but let his country down as well. More importantly, by not standing up for a player, he may have emboldened a dictator.
Always tell someone how you feel because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regret can last a lifetime. cricketwindies.com/forum/