Barbados got just deserts
AS HOST COUNTRY, Barbados has suffered a major disappointment as a result of its failure to reach the semi-finals of the Regional Super50 One-Day cricket competition.
But make no mistake about it, neither Barbados nor the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), who sneaked into the semis by virtue of having beaten Barbados when the teams met, should be vying for the title.
This is not meant in any way to be disrespectful to CCC as they didn’t draft the rules. Perhaps the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), under whose auspices this tournament is played, should seriously look at a semi-final qualification that is similar to what was in place for this year’s Caribbean Twenty20.
Had that been done, Trinidad and Tobago, having played unbeaten to top the standings with 25 points, would have automatically qualified for the final.
The one-off semi would be between second-placed Jamaica on 23 points, who had a solitary loss against Trinidad and Tobago, and the Windward Islands, who came third with 12 points from three wins and three losses.
Now Trinidad will oppose the CCC?in one-semi-final and while there are favourites, there is a saying in sporting contests that each team is due a bad game.
The question must definitely be asked: Should a team like CCC?or Barbados, which lost as many as four matches and only managed two victories in a seven-team round-robin competition, be in the semi-finals? Ideally, only the two top teams should really be vying for the title, which could be decided by a best-of-three series.
It is my belief that semi-finals should be reserved for the teams which have excelled throughout the competition and not those which have lost more matches than they have won. Anything else makes a mockery of any competition. But then again, this competition is already a farce without the leading West Indian cricketers, who are playing in the Indian Premier?League (IPL).
My suggestion to new WICB?president Dave Cameron is to return this tournament to the month of October or November as a stand-alone event or find a window of opportunity to play it when there are no lucrative Twenty20 tournaments or major international competitions.
It’s no wonder it has not attracted a sponsor, as it is lost alongside the Regional 4-Day Tournament, which can hardly raise a crowd of more than 500 spectators on any given day in most of the territories.
Here in Barbados, there have been larger crowds at the Christ Church Foundation Joel Garner T20, The St Philip Alive and Sunrise Tapeball competitions, and the recent G4S Masters, Inspire Sports Under-13 and St Thomas finals.
What has surprised me, though, is that a number of people in authority were unclear about the rules of the Regional Super50.
Rule 21.9.1 of the tournament regulations clearly states: “In the event of teams finishing on equal points, the right to play in the next round will be determined as follows:
• The team with the most number of wins.
• If still equal, the team with the most number of wins over the other team(s) who are equal on points and have the same number of wins.
• If still equal, the team with the highest number of bonus points.
• If still equal, the team with the highest net run rate.”
Thus, Barbados should have been aware, after giving the Leeward Islands their only victory of the tournament when the batting line-up was wrecked by some run-of-the-mill medium pace swing bowling by Tonito Willett, who had taken just one wicket before that game, that a loss to Trinidad and Tobago was good night, nurse.
But that should not overshadow another dismal display by the Barbados team following on the heels of the inglorious display in the Caribbean T20 when Barbados lost their last four matches after winning the first two.
The batting performances by Barbados, apart from the game against the Windward Islands, left a lot to be desired (see accompanying averages). But no one can blame Ryan Hinds, as the man who has been the most productive all-rounder on the regional circuit in the last decade was unceremoniously ignored for the entire season while a number of unproven players paraded in the ultramarine and gold. It is total disrespect!
Until our national selectors start choosing the best performing Barbadian cricketers, our cricket will never reach the lofty standards of the past and we will continue to be embarrassed by batsmen whose scores resemble bingo and lotto numbers.