July 23, 2010
Findlay outlines professional Cricket status

Featured Speaker at the Ashburton Sports and Cultural Organisation (ASCO) Softball Cricket Competition Prize Giving Ceremony, Michael. T. Findlay, has advised young cricketers on how they should achieve the goal of becoming a professional cricketer.{{more}}

Findlay, a former St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Windwards, Combined Islands and West Indies wicket keeper/batsman, whose first class career spanned from 1964 to 1978, spoke last Saturday at the prize giving ceremony held at the Dauphine Community Centre.

He told those present: “The professional must fully appreciate that he has a great responsibility to his or her employer, and the most critical element of that responsibility is the clear understanding that people are employed to be productive in their chosen field of endeavour.”

However, Findlay, who has been head of the selection panel of the West Indies Cricket Board, and Manager of the regional side, seems to think the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) does not share his view on professionalism.

“It would appear that most members of the current West Indies cricket team are the exceptions to this rule, as I believe that the West Indies Cricket Board is the only cricket authority in the World that would accept such mediocre performances from its players without firing them,” Findlay quipped.

Known in cricket circles as the “Pope” for his honesty on the field of play, Findlay further outlined the qualities he sees as vital in a professional cricketer.

“Professional cricketers must attain a very high standard of Cricket through adherence to a strong code of discipline, a high level of physical fitness and mental strength, outstanding work ethics, the ability to make sacrifice in the interest of his profession, and a code of conduct that is second to none,” he advised.

“He or she must be a student of cricket and must be prepared to always study the game for new developments in technique, in strategy and in training methods and must have the ability to carefully assess the state of a cricket match and the risks involved in a particular course of action on the field,” Findlay continued.

Findlay, who also represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a goalkeeper in football, as well as in volleyball, stated forcefully, “There are no short cuts to professionalism. It’s about the rounded development of a human being – a person who can hold his own in any company anywhere in the world, a person who can walk with Kings and not lose the common touch”.

He made mention of the impact of the Kerry Packer era of the late 1970’s which he thought helped to transform the West Indies team then into an unbeaten unit for more than a decade.

Findlay detailed the financial benefits of being a professional cricketer.

“In the West Indies, contracted players are paid a basic monthly salary ranging from US$1,200 (EC$3,225) to US$3,000 (EC$8,064)”, Findlay said.

“The contracted players do not necessarily have to have represented West Indies, and those who go on tour will be paid tour fees, appearance fees to appear in promotional events, daily meal allowances, and will equally share whatever prize monies are won on tour and may win individual endorsement deals to promote one product or the other,” Findlay explained.

He concluded by saying the glamour and rewards come through hard work and reminded them of H. W Longfellow’s poem: “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” (RT)