On Target
August 22, 2014
Making a stronger case for women

The executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association must make the move, as soon as yesterday, to strengthen the women’s game here.

The signs have been written some time ago, and at the recent West Indies Cricket Board Super50 tournament in Dominica, the script was more or less the same.{{more}}

Again, St Vincent and the Grenadines, once a powerhouse and a previous winner of titles on the regional scene, placed fifth in the eight-team standing.

St Vincent and the Grenadines placed behind Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, in that order.

It is telling that the Vincentians were victorious in three matches – against fellow Windward Islanders – St Lucia, Dominica and Grenada.

Conversely, the Vincentians suffered heavy losses to Jamaica and Guyana, who both eventually contested the final.

The Jamaicans posted one of the competition’s highest totals, 289 for 6, from their 50 overs against the Vincentians.

Meanwhile, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ best totals were 156 for 9, having batted their maximum 50 overs against last placed Dominica and 143 versus Jamaica.

Salient in all this was St Vincent and the Grenadines being routed for 34 against Guyana in just 19.1 overs. This, after Guyana had posted 192.

Hence, the Vincentians joined in on Dominica, who registered scores of 39, 52, 83, 84; Grenada – 36, 73, and 98 and St Lucia – 39, 58, 72 and 99.

This is notwithstanding that Jamaica recorded scores of 81 ad 95; Guyana – 90 and 91 and Barbados – 88.

But to put things into proper perspective, there is a distinct disparity between the top four outfits and the second tier.

Whilst St Vincent and the Grenadines heads up the bottom half, that cannot be any acclaim to gloat over, in light of the fact that there are hints that the West Indies Cricket Board plans to merge the four Windward Islands into a unit.

Do the St Vincent and the Grenadines cricket authorities have the gumption and the will to stall the process in its tracks?

Should this approach be taken by the wider Windward Islands Cricket Board level, or are they in subtle approval of the planned move by the WICB?

In the event that nothing is done within the next two years, the onus would be on the St Vincent and the Grenadines authorities to strengthen the local game in the shortest possible time-frame.

St Vincent and the Grenadines’ position in the 2014 is true to form, as the records will show that has been similar for the past few years, since last trumping the title back in 2007.

However, this time around, it was done with some new faces, a step which was clamoured for prior to the advent of the new executive headed by Kishore Shallow.

This is just one step in the positive direction in making the women’s side of cricket here get back at least near the point of St Vincent and the Grenadines being a power- house at the regional level.

There must also be a consistent move to get young females involved.

And, the platter has been set for this to happen, as there are the Kiddy Cricket and the Grassroots programmes, which net a number of female players.

Also, the decision makers must show to the women that they have their interests at heart, as they do with the men’s side of the sport.

Surely this would act as a fillip for those already in female cricket, as well as those looking in and wanting to be part of the set-up.

Whatever decision the WICB makes from the following options: allow the status quo to remain, merge the Windward Islands as a single unit or make provisions for free movement of players across the current participating territories, St Vincent and the Grenadines must solidify its position to maximise any eventuality.

As local calypsonian Johnny P said in song proffered some years ago, “Do something, before something do you.”