On Target
January 25, 2013
The compounded irony of the CT-20

For the past two weeks, the region, and indeed other parts of the world, had an opportunity to see cricket’s form of Russian roulette, in the form of the Caribbean T-20 competition.{{more}}

It was an occasion for many to relax in the comfort of their homes or a sports bar or a rum shop and be engaged in the viewing of the cricket.

Surely, many welcomed the entertainment, as they sought refuge via the live broadcast and found an occasion to stave off the chilly weather we have been experiencing over the past month — clothing themselves with the glare of the television.

But after being served up cricket’s fast food diet, the region is still left starved of a substantive intake of a structured approach towards the shortest form of the sport.

In the main, it was an exposé of brainless cricket on the offing by the Caribbean premier cricketers. Instead, we were taught how not to play T-20 cricket, hence, the tagline of the competition, the “Battle of the Best”, turned out to be a misfit.

Unfortunately, many young and aspiring cricketers have viewed the matches and could have been the victims of bad lessons of the T-20 from some inept instructors.

Save and except Trinidad and Tobago, who has the hang of things in that format, the stock of the other six territories are at their wits’ end as to how to go about getting the maximum out of the 20 overs when batting, or even when fielding.

It is not surprising that the Trinidadians are sought after in the international sphere and are readily picked up for the many lucrative contracts available in the various T-20 tournaments across the globe.

Most of the players were at their wits’ end at using angles to thread the field placements; neither did they use common sense and, of course, their knowledge of angles, in attacking the balls, hence, the numbers of misfields.

Our cricketers are mirroring the times we are in, as they are prepared metaphorically to live fast and die young, as they try to hit the ball out of the park, more often than not.

This showed up in the number of dot balls tallied, as rotation of the strike was an alienated option.

And, after two weeks, few players caught the eye, with the bat or ball, to term them as emerging players.

Fast bowler Ronsford Beaton of Guyana was one who made persons want to see him again.

It was only the tried and tested, all of whom had West Indies senior team credentials in one form or the other, got scores above 50: Chris Gayle of Jamaica scored 122 not out, Chadwick Walton of the Combined Campuses and Colleges hit 99 not out, while Trinidad and Tobago’s Darren Bravo had innings of 82 not out, 65 not out and 52 not out. His brother Dwayne Bravo struck 62 not out and fellow T & T player, Lendl Simmons, crashed 62 and 52 not out, with the Guyanese trio of Christopher Barnwell- 88 and 61 not out; Narsighn Deonarine — 57 and Shivnarine Chanderpaul — 53.

To make matters worse, the under-achievers, like copy cats, were more adept in sledging and “hard talk”, whilst their teams were being dismantled by the opponents.

With all the low points, the irony though, is that at present the West Indies champed the ICC T-20 tournament in Sri Lanka last October.

Also ironic is that many of the players dropped the ball and did themselves a disservice for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which will replace the Caribbean T-20 competition.

The CPL will comprise each franchise team made up of players from the region, complemented by a few international high-calibre star players.

The entertainment value provided for the past two weeks, the sights, the attendance at venues, the music, the three last ball finishes and the high scoring Jamaica versus Guyana encounter, make the highlights reel.

But all of these drawbacks must be meaningless, as the competition came to an end — Trinidad and Tobago copped the title for the third successive time and heads to the Airtel Champions League again, as the worthy representatives from the Caribbean .