Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, turned “Steve Jobs” into a verb when he started telling people that he will pull a Steve Jobs and return as Uber’s CEO post his exit. While we will have to wait to see whether that happens or not, somewhere else in the world Steve Jobs”ing” has been achieved!!!
West Indies (WI) players are rightly said to be showmen of cricket. They bring charisma to cricket in a way mastered by none other: Entertainment! They definitely possess the art of bringing life to a tournament. Biggest testimony being the recently concluded ICC Champion’s Trophy. When WI failed to qualify in that tournament, there were reasons why people started missing them even before the competition began. Some even blamed the tension between the WI board and their star players for the ouster.
Monstrous sixes of Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine’s guile, all round abilities of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo and, not to forget, their unique ways of celebration have been entertaining domestic leagues of almost every country. Every time these players are taking guard, you wish they were part of the team you are supporting as a spectator. That’s the impact of players with such persona. There is no team across globe who will not want to feature these players but their own!
While Indian Premier League (IPL), the most prolific domestic league, benefited as these players chose teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and, recently, Gujrat Lions over their national team, WI have been constantly on the downward slope since the dispute between the board and players broke out. It is as if the board decided to send WI “A” team anytime a contest is scheduled! Underwhelming performances of WI team without the star players led to low rankings which was the main reason for ouster from Champion’s Trophy!
After a humiliating series loss to India at their own turf, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) reminded me of Apple Inc. back in 1997, when the board was rueing the actions taken in 1985: Ousting of Steve Jobs! Jobs have been instrumental for growth of Apple in early years but as William Simon, co-author of “iCon: Steve Jobs, the Greatest Second Act in the History of Business” quotes “he demanded so much from the people who worked for him. That was part of his greatness. But he drove people too hard. … being gentle and polite was not part of his demeanor.” And thus, the board, back then, decided to remove Jobs from his command of Macintosh group. Later, though, when the company was facing biggest losses, they were forced to bring back the talisman in 1997. As John Sculley, the person who fired Jobs, quoted in an interview with CNN “At that point, only Steve Jobs could have revived the business.”
Recently, WICB too was in the same boat as Apple Inc. when they wanted their zealots to return and were willing to make truce with the star players. Return of Steve Jobs is considered to be the turning point in Apple’s history. West Indies have been entertaining us for decades and we hope that the return of their mavericks is a turning point in their history as well. After all, we all will love to see them play in World Cup 2019 with double intensity after pulling a “Steve Jobs”!!