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EDITORIAL: Windies cricket tells its own tale


rhondathompson, [email protected]

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INJURIES, THOUGH UNPREDICTABLE, should form part of the strategic planning for the conduct of any game, so that replacements, if only in appearance, come from within the squad and thus have some awareness of the possibility of participation at short notice.For Mr Brendan Bess, as has been the case of others many times previously, he had inadequate notice. That he was called upon to literally assume a West Indies team uniform before he had hardly shed his pyjamas says a lot about the importance of, and insistence upon, mental preparation. No wonder his debut performance turned out to be more expensive than desirable in the circumstances of a first day bowl-out and for a modest, if not small, total.We wish to assume that, in this instance, costs were the overriding factor with respect to the non-selection of cover for the thin and critical departments of the game.West Indies are currently playing at home and therefore have the advantage and opportunity to draw from a large pool of players who are a short plane ride away, as opposed to being on tour with a squad of 16 players or fewer. Yet, one gets the clear impression that planning the most effective team composition has been left to chance. If this is the standard of  “ad hocism” exemplified  by team management, no wonder West Indies got bowled out on the first day of a Test match for at least the second time in a three Test series. When one considers the low level of dedication shown by the team, the absence of a fighting spirit, an almost benign acceptance that defeat is certain and a recurring inability to fashion meaningful partnerships, or for any one individual to play a long inning around which a winning score can be achieved, then we understand what accounts for our near bottom-of-the-table rating.By contrast, at least for the second time in this series, South Africa finding themselves having lost half their wickets for a modest score, literally dug in, consolidated with no further loss of wickets and proceeded to take charge of the game. Why is this so? Why is there the appearance of respect for national pride, an ingredient seemingly lacking in West Indies cricket?Coming straight out of an ICC 20/20 series for which entrance fees were positioned at attractively low prices, huge, if not sell-out, crowds were the order of the day. It is therefore disturbing to note the low-key advertising or ineffective advertising undertaken to promote the Test series, albeit involving the No. 2 rated team in the Test cricket world. As though not enough, the daily admission costs were at least double those for the 20/20 series. The result: abysmally small crowds.The recent launching of the High Performance Centre is indeed heartening, but there is a need for an exhaustive restructuring of the West Indies cricket administration to bring about a corporate culture which is result oriented based on transparency and accountability at every level.

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