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Coach calls for cell ban

Justin Marville

Coach calls  for cell ban

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IT’S SAFE to say a BlackBerry isn’t high on Adrian Donovan’s Christmas list.
Barbados’ long-serving manager of the Under-13 cricket squad is calling for local sporting associations to formulate rules banning the trendy cellphone and other “distracting” electronic devices from dressing rooms and the field of play as early as 2011.
In an interview with NATION SPORT, Donovan reasoned the move was necessary to keep young athletes focused.
After recently returning from the junior team’s Malcolm Marshall-Inshan Ali Tour of  Trinidad and Tobago, Donovan said “they have become a major distraction,” referring to BlackBerries and the handheld gaming systems, PlayStation Portable (PSP).
“On the last two tours, we had to confiscate them the night before every game because we found that although they were obeying the curfew and going to bed, some of them were getting up very drowsy in the morning.
“On further investigation, we discovered they were playing games well into the morning.
“This is also causing us a headache where security is concerned because they are a favourite piece of equipment of young people,” he added.
Cricket’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), took a similar stance with the forbidding of cellphones in the dressing room at the turn of the new millennium.
But their move came as part of a new Anti-Corruption policy focused on stamping out the plague of international match-fixing, following the allegations that surrounded Hansie Cronje and former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin.
However, Donovan’s stance has come from a more radical point of view, as the National Sports Council administrator sees the development of sports being threatened by the kids’ diverted interest.
“The time has come that we have to look at the many distractions that have crept into the minds of our young sports people,” emphasised Donovan.
“Just as the ICC has banned all cellphones from the dressing room we as the administrators have to sit down in the new year and take a serious look at doing the same for PSPs on tours even.
“[But] I am advising the young sports people not to wait until it becomes a rule, do the right thing and concentrate on the game.”
Barbados retained the Malcolm Marshall Trophy after winning all the contested limited-overs games but surrendered the Inshan Ali Cup when the hosts took first innings points in the drawn “Test” match.