Navigating Black Stalin’s Footsteps out of his Russian Namesake’s Cruel Prisons as Pooran Ferociously Defends his people on and off the field of Play

The news about Black Stalin’s passing hit each citizen of Trinidad and Tobago in a special kind of way, both at home and in the diaspora.

A story on the avalanche of tributes by Edison Boodoosingh in the Trinidad Guardian amply demonstrated the kind of reverence with which the Caribbean man was held.

Describing him as “a master” whose “rich legacy of poetic calypso lyrics will live on”, T+T Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley stated:

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“It was the Mighty Duke who very aptly said that “By calypso our stories are told”. Very few bards told our stories more effectively than the Black Stalin. He was a master”. 

Rowley added: ”His passing leaves us poorer but his rich legacy of poetic calypso lyrics and haunting musical lines will all live on for our guidance and in his enduring memory. May we always remember his contribution.

As Dr Hollis Hollis Chalkdust Liverpool sees it:

“The day Black Stalin stop singing this blessed art-form will be suffering” 

During an interview with Guardian Media the Calypso veteran recalled, “He taught calypsonians a lot, he used to attend all auditions and he will pull you aside and say change that line, remove that line add this word. He never missed a calypso show he attended and he would pull you aside and say: Son, you good but that third verse out of the flow.

Calypso icon David Rudder said he had not yet processed the news of Stalin’s passing. “Whenever I’m in Trinidad we would spend time together reminiscing about our times, we had some great battles in the calypso world. 

He was a man who kept his ear to the ground, he was a part of the calypso life and that is why the people loved him so because he voiced their feelings, he was a fighter and a warrior he was a man with lots of love for the people of Trinidad and Tobago”.

Among others making comments about Stain included Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Ronnie McIntosh. Super Blue, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds  and Agriculture Minister Kazim Hosein.

As we cherish this generous, beloved national icon whose namesake rode like a cruel tyrant over Russia in his time, we find ourselves easily persuaded to draw an analogy with Nichols Pooran, 34 who, on Saturday

December 24, 2022

West Indies' Nicholas Pooran plays a shot through the leg side during his innings of 46 against the United Arab Emirates in their ICC T20 World Cup warm-up match at Junction Oval, Melbourne, Australia on October 10. PHOTO COURTESY CRICKET WEST INDIES -  

who became the most expensive wicketkeeper, and West Indian, in IPL (Indian Premier League) auction history when he was bought by Lucknow SuperGiants for a record US$1.93 million on Friday.

In this connection, the comments made by veteran West Indies cricket commentator  Joseph ”Reds” Perreira will shed some light on Pooran’s unfortunate situation.

As Perreira stated in a letter to  the Trinidad Guardian:

From the very moment Nicholas Pooran was appointed CWI white ball captain, the general feeling was; too much too soon.

“The panel that made that decision had no logic or sense of history regarding West Indies captaincy, but it was felt by the officials that it would have been a popular choice among Caribbean cricket lovers”.

A daily reminder that Nicholas Pooran is from : Trinidad & Tobago - Siaran  | Facebook

Unfortunately young Pooran who was probably delighted with the appointment, saw the glory of being the West Indies white ball captain. However, he may have been well advised to consult senior ex-players who may have advised him differently. In short he was thrown in at the deep end. 

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“The weight of the job affected his confidence, his batting deteriorated and not leading the T&T franchise in the Caribbean Premier League did not help”.Subtitle

As we cherish this generous, beloved national icon whose namesake rode like a cruel tyrant over Russia in his time, we find ourselves easily persuaded to draw an analogy with Nichols Pooran, 34

Concomitant with this outstanding achievement, Pooran was seen by veteran West Indies cricket commentator “Reds” Perreira as simultaneously overburdening himself with a responsibility which no sane young cricketer would take on in his right  mind at this crucial time in his career. 

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“From the very moment Nicholas Pooran was appointed CWI white ball captain, the general feeling was; too much too soon”, Perreira stated in a letter to the Trinidad Guardian.

The panel that made that decision had no logic or sense of history regarding West Indies captaincy, but it was felt by the officials that it would have been a popular choice among Caribbean cricket lovers”.

He added: “Unfortunately, young Pooran who was probably delighted with the appointment, saw the glory of being the West Indies white ball captain. However, he may have been well advised to consult senior ex-players who may have advised him differently. In short he was thrown in at the deep end”

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In Perreira’s opinion: ”The weight of the job affected his confidence, his batting deteriorated and not leading the T&T franchise in the Caribbean Premier League did not help”.

It’s reflective of the culture where – in our thrust as a people to bring off projects at a fast clip – have been overloading our leaders (both old and young) like Stalin and Pooran, with the herculean task of transforming a situation where we ourselves have been refusing to assume the burden of working on ourselves in the first place.

In this connection, it therefore logically follows that we will never collectively succeed in establishing the vitally needed strong foundation from which we will make  our life-changing breakthroughs.

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Which is what might have understandably prompted the new West Indies white ball captain to make the following comment to Wired 868  in the wake of a sound thrashing received at the hands of New Zealand recently.

“It is difficult, and everyone is going to say that we are losing cricket games,”  Pooran was quoted as saying, “but we are playing cricket games every two days”.

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He added: “It is not that easy to just come on a cricket field, show up and win in cricket every single time—especially when you don’t have a [big] pool of players. It is just 15 players and four players are injured, so I am proud of the boys.”

PM, Rudder lead tributes to Stalin - CNC3

It would be in a similar vein therefore, that the Black Stalin, who toiled in the cultural  vineyard of hope for decades to see his country and people evolve Free and Healthy, will always be remembered as the super-positive icon who always reminded us that, as a people with a noble mission:

We can make it if we Try!

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You may email us at williamsrudolph72@gmail.com

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