On Target
January 24, 2014
Cricket gets another dagger

The withering sport of cricket on the local scene has had another dagger thrown at its throat.

The scant response to the long standing United Insurance Secondary Schools’ Cricket Competition is that spear that has smeared and hemorrhaged the outlet which has produced many St Vincent and the Grenadines, Windwards, West Indies Under-19 and even senior West Indies players.{{more}}

But when the fixtures were released recently, several of the nation’s secondary schools did not appear on it.

Among those which have opted out are the St Clair Dacon Secondary, the Emmanuel High School, Central Leeward, Adelphi Secondary, North Union Secondary, Mountain View Academy, the Intermediate High, the Buccament Bay Secondary, along with the Union Island Secondary and the Bequia Seventh Day Adventist Secondary.

Whilst there are some overarching issues, it is a more than sad outcome, since some of the schools have provided good competition in the past.

Undoubtedly, the clutter- clog of this the second term of the school’s academic year, would have had some impact on the decisions by some institutions to opt out.

Others too, have some internal hurdles of personnel as well as the juggling of time with the academics.

Whilst one can accept such explanations, their non- participation is a mirror image of the current state of cricket in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

And, first up, the “not me,” “is them,” are the likely responses for those who have the navigational instruments of the sport in their hands.

Of course, neither the Ministry of Education nor the executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association will want to accept that they have erred in their journeys for the poor response from the schools.

But the latter should put their hands up and take responsibility and eventual blame.

Their failure of the last ten years to re-energise the sport, with its lack of interest and plan.

In turn, cricket has been left to survive as an orphan, as the parents, whilst alive, are brain dead.

For years, those who hold the offices on successive executives have failed to implement any programmes and policies to ensure that the sport survives in the ocean of social piranhas.

So, we are now reaping what was sown, which was nothing.

Whatever happens at the schools’ level impacts on the national landscape, as it will be those same youngsters who will graduate to the senior St Vincent and the Grenadines stage.

But the current happenings should not surprise anyone who has paid close attention to the administration of cricket.

Run on auto pilot, cricket’s fortunes are left to chance and to the ones who exert the most application in getting to that upward ladder of progress.

Therefore, the fleeting attention paid to the zonal Under-15 competition is just one case in point.

Too, the prolonged failure of the Grassroots programme to fulfill its mandate to make that nexus from talent identification to potential players, has received a thumbs up for its ineffectiveness.

Additionally, the talk- talk about the revival of primary schools’ cricket is watery and has become mere rhetoric.

At the other end, the grand charges and grandiose plans have not gone further from their expressions.

So, what has become of the bowling machine which was acquired during the Allen Stanford windfall of 2006 and 2008? Is it still functional and if so where is it?

The simple conclusion is that the hierarchy of cricket in St Vincent and the Grenadines is leg weary and needs a new set of persons to stop the rot and change the course of things.

They are satisfied with having their annual competitions, hosting a few regional and international matches, then having an awards and recognition ceremony at the end of the year.

But no longer can anyone be drunk with wine, liquor and other alcoholic beverages and be bloated with some finger foods, and listen to someone from the region with a cricket background give a speech , and say cricket is in good hands.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating and as far as this is the case, there is no pudding available on the local cricket scene.

However, at the end of the day, change can only be attained if action is allowed to speak louder than words.