On Target
November 9, 2007
Spare a thought for Cricket

Cricket, the game that distinguished the region as a world power during the latter part of the 70’s through to the early 90’s, but which has since become an ailing patient.

The region, has for sometime been praying and hoping for a speedy recovery, to no avail.{{more}}

Here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the situation is no different, except that cricket is not bed ridden, but it is still not in a good state of health.

Various forms of therapy have been administered, with little success.

It was no coincidence that over the past two weeks remedies have been prescribed by persons knowledgeable of the sport.

The current executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association has recognised the need to put the sport back on a good footing.

Its development plan, unveiled two years ago, whilst comprehensive, has been slow in being implemented – an indictment on those at the helm of the process.

Having coaching courses constitutes small areas where the assurance of equipping players with the necessary expertise is channeled.

The ease with which some players get into the senior national teams tells the tale of the state of play.

Having seen the likes of Colville Browne, Douglas Haynes, Sam Isles and Oneil Bonadie, among others, during the 70’s, I churn at the standard which the modern players offer as national material.

I am certain that some of the present national players may have found it difficult to get into a club team then.

Today, these players are seen as stars, and are feted, without stopping to think the harm being done to them.

For several years, local cricket authorities have been thumping their chests about the number of young players who are coming through, who often disappear into oblivion.

I sense that the wheel may be re-invented with this emerging crop of players, who, without a doubt, possess a lot of talent.

Are we not too quick in bestowing the superlatives on their abilities, when many of them have not proven themselves consistently at different levels?

Many are being trapped into a false sense of security with their occasional flashes of brilliance, and are often touted as “good”.

But, then, can these youngsters be faulted for their sometimes cocky demeanour?

What, then, can we do to turn around the sport?

There are several pluses that cricket enjoys. The provision of some of the best facilities is at the sport’s disposal.

But, sadly, the administration and its lack of foresight have retarded the sport.

Marginalisation, whether designed or accidental, of persons with an interest in making a contribution to the sport, adds to its stagnation.

Inputs have been confined to persons who have played the sport.

At the same time, there are those who have played the game at the highest level, but whose contribution is minimal.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has produced one of the better wicket keepers the Caribbean has seen, in the person of Mike Findlay. But I cannot recall Findlay, with all his abilities and great knowledge of the sport, helping to produce a top class wicket keeper.

The time may have come for all persons involved in coaching of cricket to sit and chart a more definitive path for cricket.

Certified coaches Ian Allen, Ortis Jack, Stanley Hinds, Irvin Warrican, among others, have to put their personality and personal differences aside and come to the assistance of cricket.

Some of these coaches have to come from behind the scenes of confinement of concentrating on assisting in their locale, and aid the national interest.

Of significance, too, is greater emphasis on players’ mental preparation, as that seems largely lacking in many of the upcoming prospects.

Professional approaches towards the preparation of pitches, instead of the hit and miss approach that currently obtains.

But spare no thought for the Longest Organising Committee (LOC), for erecting that monument of colossal ignorance, in the guise of a ‘Mound’ at the Sion Hill Playing Field. That eye sore continues to spoil the aesthetics of one of the country’s best sporting facilities.