THE EDITOR: The standing of the West Indies in the current Cricket World Cup is but a reflection of what it has been over the past several years.
This tells us that the euphoria which was evident from our teamâs performance in its first game of the tournament, ie, by getting the best of Pakistan, did not signal a turnaround, which it was hoped had, at last, been experienced by the putting in place a new CWC board as well as a new selection panel etc.
It is clear there can be no quick fixes for the indubitable deep-seated malaise which has enveloped within the premier sporting activity in our region.
I have been an ardent supporter of West Indies cricket for my whole life and hardly missed a dayâs play when the West Indies was playing, be it at our Queenâs Park Oval or the Oval and Lords in England.
I therefore cannot being amazed at the lack of ordinary commonsense which was evident among several of our players in the present World Cup tournament, especially given the state of play, so aptly described by Fazeer Mohammed as being characterised by “poor tactics, mindless bowling, thoughtless batting and poor out-cricket.”
In addition, Mohammed lists the presence in the team of “injured players, immobile players,” and “players more interested in putting on a show than putting up match- winning performances.”
Even allowing for misfortunes of the weather and faulty umpiring (which seem to have affected the West Indies team adversely more than others), from the above it is now clear that many of the players who were selected ought not to have been in our World Cup squad and that a new paradigm is required in the selection and training process, with paramountcy being given to commitment and a sense of regional pride being uppermost.
In addition to putting in place new policy objectives, the CWC ought to consider the following, inter alia:
1. As Michael Holding has been at pains to repeat, “T-20 is not cricket” and therefore this format ought to be expunged from serious consideration in the CWC scheme of things.
This writer had previously suggested that it be relegated to “Sunday evening outings” with the main purpose being the fostering of community development within our societies.
I am of the view that, given our sparse resources, trying to emulate such outfits as the IPL ought not to be within the priority listing of the CWC and its selection process.
2. A cadre of promising players, perhaps between the ages of 16-21 and numbering not more than 25, ought to be identified immediately for training by a school with our past “greats” being able to give the benefit of their expertise.
3. A new coaching cadre must be put in place.
4. Display of intelligence, patience and ability to perform, given the state of the game, must be a criteria for selection.
5. Needless to say, adequate funding must at all times be available, including funding to meet adequately the needs of the players in training.
6. Finally, physical fitness must be paramount. Indeed, it is clear that compared with other teams in the tournament, the West Indies squad is lethargic and the least fit in this regard.
ERROL OC CUPID, Tacarigua
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