On Target
August 27, 2010
Good in the circumstances

In my opinion, this country’s female cricketers put on a creditable performance in the West Indies Tournament which ended here last week Wednesday.

Creditable, because for sometime now, the ladies have not performed to best of their abilities. So, to lose in the final to Trinidad and Tobago, a well drilled team, could be considered acceptable.{{more}}

And, to beat another powerhouse Jamaica in the semi final gave some hope of a revival in Women’s Cricket here.

For some it was a flash in the pan, while others may have expected better.

Many Vincentians were obviously disappointed that their team did not go all the way. And as usual, winners are hugged and losers are hogged.

Some were unsympathetic to the ladies’ efforts, but that sometimes can be the harsh pay back in sports.

In defeat, though, the Vincentian team was gracious enough to acknowledge those who supported them at Arnos Vale. Not often do we see such a gesture.

In reviewing the team’s efforts, let us not forget that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has carved out a name for itself in Women’s Cricket in the region. This country has won the competition before, and has consistently put players on the regional side.

Of note, too, how often does a St. Vincent and the Grenadines sporting outfit rank among the top three in a regional competition?

Since the constant decline in the standards and corresponding results in Netball, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has not held a place near the top for some time.

Likewise, our Football, which in the 1980’s and 90’s was at a standard that was only rivaled by the likes of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba, allowed us to hold our heads high and be counted.

To take a critical look at our Women’s Cricket team, it was one of the most experienced teams on show, as the players have been around for some time. In addition, the Vincentians’ average age among the eight competing teams was the highest.

This is directly related to the structure of Women’s Cricket and the sport in general here.

As I wrote earlier, only three teams participated in the local competition held during the first half of this year. So, there were very few players to choose from, as only about 45 players were in the mix.

What we ended with, then, were players who can be considered sure picks, as they were good enough at their level, as there weren’t others to challenge their abilities.

Hence, a feeling of complacency must have stepped in, as there will be no team without these players, thus, they were given the task to represent the nation.

But with the aforementioned drawbacks, where is that “self” that should always guide us in our endeavours, wherein as national representatives we should not wait until training sessions or when a competition is nearing to get fit and fine tune our skills.

This could explain the reason why most of our players are on the bulky side, and movement on the field and alertness during different situations were missing commodities.

In comparison, most of the other teams sported younger, very trim players, with obvious greater athleticism.

Therefore, the time has come for the Cricket authorities to look to get younger players involved in the sport.

It will be a tough task, as the thought of the hard ball is a fear factor and the stigmatization of not being truly feminine often repel some young ladies.

However, replacements must be identified soon, otherwise we may not be able to field a team in a few years time.

Getting into the secondary schools may be the best bet, with organized fun Cricket activities as a starter. Then build zonal teams to identify the best talents, who will go on to specialist training.

This is if the local association has such interest.

No interest is there in keeping that Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field.