Fri | Dec 2, 2016

WI cricket in need of CPR

Published:Wednesday | February 18, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

It's irrelevant whether Dave Cameron or Joel Garner wins the upcoming March 7 election for president of the West Indies Cricket Board if neither has a plan to revamp the cricket programmes and policies we've pursued over the last three decades. They have brought our cricket to a phenomenal decline, poignantly emphasised by recent cricket tour outcomes.

The recovery challenge is Herculean amid the resource constraints in time, talent and funding. The politics and insularity of the territorial affiliates and players are even more intriguing. They have led to mistrust of leadership; calls for boardroom resignations; to player dissatisfaction, and perhaps even to sabotage on the field of play. The undergirding of racial pride that fed the all-conquering team spirit during the 1970s is now disassembled.

Too little commitment to the game, too much greed, indiscipline and costly confrontational posturing! They have compromised our instinct to win.The quest for world cricket supremacy is subordinated to that of the almighty dollar. So our players prefer calypso cricket (T20). It is less work for quicker, bigger money; it avoids the humdrum of Test cricket and one-day internationals.

SEEKING A MIRACLE

Metaphorically speaking, our cricket needs CPR. Without it, we will be out of the ICC rankings soon. Coaches, scientists (social and physical), nutritionists, engineers and millionaires have to be cajoled into subscribing to a Marshall Plan to get the miracle. Bright, well-intentioned young men with a flair for cricket must be scouted and carefully managed to avoid contamination.

Also, our strategists have to counter well: (i) the loss of the invaluable exposure once available to us in English county league cricket; (ii) the awkward tour and match fixtures; and (iii) the expensive broadcast rights that have killed the joy that was in 'cricket, lovely cricket'.

BARRIE WALKER

vba@cwjamaica.com