Save West Indies cricket
Cricket is the one thing left that still unites the Caribbean peoples. The embarrassing abandonment of the Indian cricket series has proven that the deep-seated problems that have been plaguing the West Indies cricket fraternity have not been dealt with.
All efforts are now needed to bring reconciliation and restitution to the West Indies cricket team. There is a need for all parties - players and management - to bury the proverbial hatchet and allow for healing. It's going to be harder on the management because they have failed to deal with long-standing problems surrounding West Indies cricket.
One of the problems is the issue of trust. The players no longer trust the management because of its poor decision-making. Each time there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, something else happens. So, now, the players feel that the management is not looking out for their interests. Hence, the kind of focus that should be placed on this great sport by the players is simply lacking.
Most of the managers don't have the right motives concerning cricket and it has played out in the current status of the sport and fraternity.
When players fail to perform in a match, many times they are openly chastised through the media, which brings a sense of job insecurity.
Have managers ever taken the time to find out why the performance of the players are not at the level they expect? It could be family or personal problems that would affect anybody's performance. Where there is failure, there should be a greater effort to motivate them, not discard them.
Many decisions that have been made by the entire West Indies cricket fraternity - managers, coaches, directors, board members, and so on - have caused a lot of young, potentially great cricketers to be destroyed and their hopes dashed, and they have become bitter.
When players begin to put club cricket before playing for the regional side, then you know we have a problem.
It is time for the management team of West Indies cricket to possess more than a love for the game or cricketing skills. They need to be excellent motivators and wise counsel. They need to care about the well-being and welfare of the cricketers and be willing to help develop the cricketers.
Likewise, selecting a captain for the team must go beyond performance with the bat and ball. We need to look at maturity and the ability/capacity to mentor and motivate the players.
When decisions are being made concerning what to do with players, they need to do so with respect and with a consideration of the contribution that individual has made. There is too much underlying animosity that has built up over the years; and politics, also, has done its share of damage.
Persons such as Pat Rousseau, Gus Logie, Jeffrey Dujon, Jimmy Adams and Curtly Ambrose are some of those who can offer great guidance and leadership within the West Indies cricket fraternity. Get them involved.
There needs to be the implementation of a reconciliatory committee to bring healing - even with some of the past cricketers that have been mistreated. They are not to be treated in an inhumane way. They need to call in those past cricketers and resolve the issues.
A system must be in place to give families of the cricketers strong support - even when they are on tour.
More recreation is needed to blend and unite the players.
Before a player is put on the West Indies cricket team, there must be a period of training, not only the actual activity, but also on the goals, objectives, expectations, vision, protocol and conflict resolution.
The team does not only have the need for psychologists, but also a chaplain to deal with the emotional and mental problems they go through. The chaplain will also need to liaise with both the players and the administration.
There must be unity within the administration before they are in the capacity to address anyone. There needs to be frequent in-house meetings and seminars to get the opinions from the players that will enhance the team; because the team needs to be heard.
More talented players need to be drafted and trained frequently for the West Indies team.
They must begin to show each player that he is valuable to the entire team.
Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.