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June 09, 2007



Jerome has been around for quite a while, and Shivnarine is a pretty common name. Also, quite hard to fit Garfield Sobers into this model.


The teachers aren't (or more's the point, are) controlling for other factors.

On the cricket team, if those names were unusual in the W.Indies in the early to mid 1980s, and to people with them didn't feel the need to try very hard (a theory that doesn't make much sense to me, but let's accept it) then how did they get into the national team in the first place ahead of the Johns and Daves?


I have a feeling it's mistaking correlation for causation. In the case of younger pregnancies - lower income families are statistically likely to have children who give birth younger, and are more likely to give their children unusual names - perhaps, in keeping with your logic, in an effort to make them feel more special. Middle class families assume their children can feel special by earning more etc, and so give them more conventional names. At the same time they are likely to have babies at a later stage of their lives. Upper class people, with their bizarre names, distort this, but there aren't enough of them to skew it back to equilibrium.


I was in the West Indies in March - not to see the World Cup, but it was on at the time. Talking to some of the locals, they blamed the decline on the need for the selectors to show 'balance' between the islands/nations. It was pointed out to me that during the 1980's there were 5 Antiguans in the team but that couldn't happen today, no matter the skills of the individuals. I'm no cricket expert but it seems to me to be a better explanation than names.


For your next trick, the decline of rugby and football in Scotland and England? Too many Davids and Franks and Stevies and Michaels and....


Curtly Ambrose. Courtney Walsh!

chris y

The team that started the WI domination in the early sixties was, at full strength: Conrad, Joey, Rohan, Seymour, Basil, Garfield, Frank, Derrick, Wesley, Charlie and Lancelot, which breaks down as roughly 50/50 odd and boring. I reckon a good mix is the secret.

Roger Thornhill

Chris: I have a feeling it's mistaking correlation for causation.

I agree, but is that just an opinion?


Even if true, your theory only serves to prove why these 11 individuals are not very good. Unless of course there is a recent trend in the whole of the West Indies for unusual names.

Geronimo Napoleon Jones

This is hogwash.

RJH Adams

Unusual for whom?

I see but two unusual name from the current squad as listed in your post (Runako & Fidel). All the others are true West Indian names reflecting the racial origins of the people brought to the Caribbean during colonial times.

Ramdin (Denesh), Ganga (Daren) and Chanderpaul (Shiv), for example, come from territories where the populations are half Asian in composition and whose presence in the Caribbean can be traced back to the British encouraging Asian "indentured servants" to emmigrate there as a solution to labour shortages on sugar plantations after the abolition of the slave trade and slavery itself 30 odd years later.

Fidel, brother of Pedro, is unusual in Barbados. As is Runako (middle name Shakur)in Nevis. But those are the only two a West Indian (and I am one) would see as such.

Curiously, these two have been amongst the best performers on the tour so far. Morton scored a ton against Somerset, a double ton vs the MCC and batted well in the last Test (one fifty).

And Fidel has pushed into the side (not difficult given the state of the attack) and, a reasonable observer would conclude, bowled far better than his returns suggest.

Nice device (truly) but in this example the reasons the West Indies are so weak lies elsewhere!


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