Common sense still neededSWITCH HIT: Windwards left-hander Liam Sebastien hit Barbados spinner Sulieman Benn for consecutive fours with the switch shot. ((Picture courtesy WICB Media/Randy Brooks) )
By MIKE WORRELL | Wed, January 30, 2013 - 12:05 AM
THERE IS A saying that “in blind man country a one-eye man is king”. I could not help thinking this as I looked at the fortunes of the Barbados and the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) cricket teams in the Caribbean Twenty20 competition.
Let me first state that I do not like this version of the game. However, since a number of individuals kept asking me for an opinion on the tournament, I decided to watch the games and suffered through what I saw from the above-mentioned teams.
I really find it difficult to get excited about T20 cricket because it boggles my mind when a player who can consistently hit boundaries through conventional shots, would attempt a reverse sweep with the risks involved in making the shot; or why a player would attempt an attacking stroke and get out when the team has lost five wickets with only half the overs gone and fewer than 50 runs on the board. Cricket is cricket and in the end, common sense should prevail.
When the last cricket competition in this country concluded, Sagicor UWI won all tournaments hands down. They dominated domestic cricket and were constantly questioned on their tactics as it related to the recruitment of players, their facilities and the fact that it was difficult for the other clubs to match them in what they offered the players.
I can remember a time, when clubs such as Empire and Spartan were the clubs of choice for the cream of talented players as they left the schools’ programme.
This was simply because it was felt by the players that a sure way to make the Barbados team was to join one of these two clubs. During that time, there was no public outcry.
It should be noted that at the regional level the core members of the CCC are selected from those representing UWI.
Based on what I have observed, the CCC provides an opportunity for young talented players whose chances of being selected in their regional teams are minimal.
My issue with the Sagicor UWI and CCC setup is that their mandate appeared to have changed and it seems that their intention is no longer towards the development of the cricketers but simply to win tournaments.
In the just ended Caribbean T20 competition, the CCC beat Barbados and even though I thought that they lost the game against Guyana due to an umpire’s error, they failed to win another game. Why?
As I listened to the reason for Barbados’ poor showing after winning their first two encounters, this being attributed to not being “mentally tough”, I wondered if this aspect of the game was not a part of the preparation as well.
It appeared to me as though both teams were unprepared both mentally and technically for the competition despite the amount of T20 cricket being played.
The selectors must also know what is required when selecting players for competitions.
It really relates to what is happening in Barbados, weekend after weekend, during the cricket season. Are the measures in place for improving our cricketers really working? The results of the T20 competition have shown that they are not and that they need to be revisited.
As an association with a vision, the Barbados Cricket Association must review its constant rotation of coaches and the manner in which they continually recycle players who are well past their shelf life.
For sure, with the wealth of talent that is evidently here, all is not well with cricket.
• Mike Worrell is a former Barbados and West Indies “B” Team cricketer.
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