Our Readers' Opinions
May 20, 2005
Women’s cricket in poor state

Editor: I am an ardent follower of Women’s Cricket in this country and as a result, I feel rather obligated to lament on the poor state of our National Women’s Cricket.

This sport was revived here about six years ago. There were approximately 12 teams. During those times, organizers such as Stanley ‘Gunny’ Hinds and Irvin Robertson were very instrumental in the revival and management of Women’s Cricket.{{more}}

Of recent times, Hinds and Robertson were ostracized and a new management team headed by Cinda Bobb was elected to run the affairs of this Sporting Body – the exclusion of Hinds and Robertson was a grave mistake and as a result, women’s cricket is suffering. Since the exit of the two mentioned gentlemen from the management of the local body, the number of teams have drastically reduced to seven.

I thought that one of the aims of the executive was to broaden the game throughout the entire country. This would result in the introduction of the sport in the areas where it is non-existent.

The further development of the game in the areas where it now exists, and the co-ordination with the Ministry of Education to introduce it in the schools so that the sport can be nurtured, harnessed and subsequently fully developed.

What we have instead seen, is the deliberate and retrograde move by the president and her executive to reduce the number of teams by luring other players from some areas and other teams to play for her team – ‘Tigress’, with the hope of them being selected to the National Team.

Is this not backwardness and underdevelopment? We need people with vision to effectively run the affairs of our Women’s Cricket Federation. The executive has failed to develop the sport and by not so doing, it ought to resign and allow perspicacious sport-loving people to manage the Women’s Cricket affairs.

There is also the lack of transparency within the executive. In the year 2001, the West Indies Senior Women’s Cricket Tournament was held here. Monies were given to the local Federation from Government, West Indies Women Cricket Federation (WIWCF) and local business houses. We are yet to see a Statement of Accounts for that tournament.

In 2004, the West Indies Women Under-23 tournament was also held here. Monies were again donated by West Indies Women Cricket Federation (WIWCF), government and business houses. We are still awaiting the Statement of Accounts for that tournament.

A local firm donated two (2) cases of Lucozade to the Vincentian Under-23 Team during the tournament last year and would you believe that they were not given to the players. What a shame and low-down act!

It is my belief, however, that government should institute a committee to frequently inspect the accounts of all national sporting bodies so that the executive or persons within the executive cannot enrich themselves from these institutions. I am very suspicious of the local Women’s Cricket Federation. We need watch dogs for all these sporting bodies.

My final point is one where the executive members seem to be all involved in nepotism and chauvinism.

In 2003, when the West Indies Women Cricket Federation (WIWCF) tournament was held in Grenada, a Vincentian player brandished a knife at one of her teammates. That player was not disciplined.

Last year, during the Under-23 Tournament and while on camp, a player from ‘Tigress”, who was a member of the Under-23 team was drunk and subsequently used obscenities to the management and players of the Vincentian team and then left the camp. She was not made to apologize. She played in the just-concluded local Women’s Tournament and is currently in training for obvious selection to the local Senior Team.

Just recently, during the Windwards vs Barbados Men’s Cricket Tournament at Arnos Vale, an executive member through her ignorance, arrogance, lack of foresight, love and appreciation for the game insulted the intelligence of Melisia Billingy, who is arguably the best medium pacer if not the best bowler in the West Indies, by making some foolish utterances. The player rebutted, not rudely, but firmly in her defence.

Now, we all know that Melisia has to write an apology or face expulsion from the National Team. What has she to write an apology for? Who is the executive or that executive member to be challenged when foolish utterances are made?

They are simply no demi-gods. It is a case where the blind is leading the blind.

How can an executive who is captain, cook and bottle-washer select the entire team from ‘Tigress’ to training for possible selection to our National Team when there are other players who were worthy of selection but were omitted? It really has to be a case of nepotism, chauvinism and myopia.

Our local Women Cricket Federation needs a suitable leader and good followers. Those qualities are lacking in the present executive and as a consequence, they should resign and allow people like ‘Gunny’ Hinds to inject new ideas onto our cricket for the development of Women’s Cricket in this country.

Carl Williams