On Target
February 1, 2013

Not a comfort zone

The show of support given to the principal officers of the executives of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Squash Association and the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association at both annual general meetings must not be seen as a stamp of approval for their excellence achieved throughout their tenures.{{more}}

In the case of the re-appointment of Dr Sherian Slater to head the squash set-up, it was that no one else was willing to take the top position, as it was the second year in succession that she had reluctantly accepted the post.

Then, the answer is clear: the fact is, St Vincent and the Grenadines, sadly, is in custody, accused of the effects of a crisis in leadership, and sports too, has found itself on remand.

Certainly, these happenings of officers being voted in to their posts without any challengers have been repeating themselves far too often and must now be causes for concern.

No one is brave enough and holds the philosophical view as that of the late Larry Bascombe, who some years ago, challenged then president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation St Clair Leacock.

Bascombe, aware he could not have succeeded against the incumbent, did so to let Leacock know that the post was not a God-given right, but that he had to work for it.

Therefore, to Julian Jack, Elson Crick, Samuel Holder and Rawle Caine, although you were re-elected unopposed, this does not mean that your performance as key officers of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association was such that the affiliates had been overwhelmingly satisfied with a job well done. But where are the alternatives, one may readily ask.

Unfortunately, in sporting administration, most affiliates are hyped when it is time to elect a new executive. Thereafter, the officers are more or less on autopilot, until the time comes around again to cast their ballots.

But with cricket being a mass sport, the effects of any administrative lapse are felt more, as more are in line to be affected.

The last two years have not been times for anyone to write home about, as a myriad of problems surfaced in local cricket circles.

Last year, for instance, must be documented as a year of the unforgettable.

It was the first time in the history of local cricket that a match had to be called off because of a fight between two players, while one team had to forfeit its match, because one player, after starting the match, was deemed unfit to continue, as he was presumably intoxicated.

In addition, one of the lowest scores was recorded in the premier division, when Radcliffe dismissed ASCO for a mere 14 runs.

The case was even worse in the first division, as Sion Hill could only make 14 runs against Victors Two.

There were matches where, among other drawbacks that are best not remembered, only one scorer was in operation.

Added to that, there was no spunk in the competitions, except that the winners in the respective divisions were decided.

The hosting of the three One Day Internationals between West Indies and Australia and the eventual exciting results, did wonders for profiling the sport on the local front.

But, charity begins at home and more must be done.

Holistically, the new executive of the SVGCA — which is basically a repeat of most who have been there, experienced that — has to lift the ante in their next two-year tenure.

Over the years, the said personnel have operated via a template that gets rubber stamped by the affiliates every two years, but one in which, on careful scrutiny, little is happening in relation to a structured developmental process of players.

It was the same Julian Jack, who some years ago, during his embryonic period as president, fashioned a strategic plan for cricket.

This was touted as the manifesto to take the sport to a level that was to have ensured all-round success.

What is the status of the plan?

This meandering of cricket without a clear path has been the norm for too long.

The onus is on all who cast their ballots last Saturday, to make the new executive realize that they are not residing in a comfort zone, but must work in the interest of developing cricket.