Mon | Sep 25, 2017

The Wright View | Adams: A welcome addition to Windies cricket

Published:Tuesday | December 20, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The appointment of James (Jimmy) Adams as the new West Indies director of cricket has been welcomed by every West Indian cricket enthusiast. I have looked and listened for a dissenting voice, but there has been none. James Adams is committed and qualified - simply the best man for the job. From his days as a student at Jamaica College, the story making the rounds at that time was that at a career day session at school, young Jimmy told the supervisor of the session that after leaving school, he wanted to be a cricketer. And that he did.

He represented his country with distinction and was selected to be a part of the West Indies cricket team. There his skills, knowledge of the game and his leadership nous soon resulted in his elevation to captain of the West Indies cricket team, the ultimate prize, the zenith of achievement of a young Jamaican with a boyhood dream. He left West Indies cricket, not on his terms, but left secure in the knowledge that he gave his all to West Indies cricket. He did his best.

His name surfaced again in coaching, in different countries - South Africa and England, finally settling as the coach of Kent in England, where it seemed (at last) that he was content. He was doing a good job, and the people of Kent loved him. Back home here in Jamaica, his father left this world for a higher calling, and it wasn't long before rumours started to circulate that Jimmy might be coming home. The announcement that he had given up his job at Kent cemented the idea of a return to the West Indies, in the minds of his many admirers and fans. So, the appointment as the new director of cricket did not come as a surprise. However, every West Indian cricket fan who longs for the day when our regional representatives (with obvious natural talent) will WANT to play for US and not themselves, cannot wait for the start of his contract period.

But his job will not be easy. He has signed on to work with a board who eschews independent thought and who mercilessly discards anyone who does not bow and scrape before the president and his appointees. The present West Indies Cricket Board has recognised that there ARE problems in West Indies cricket that have to be addressed and corrected, and has requested help from past cricket greats, lawyers, past prime ministers, and jurists of international standing to examine the structure of West Indies cricket and to recommend the necessary changes "to make us great again". They all studied the present scenario, and to a man, ALL recommended the disbandment of the board itself, as it was universally recognised that the problem started at the top, and any corrective measure taken could not hope to succeed with the present structure in place.

Notwithstanding these reports, written and presented, ALL were pooh-poohed and relegated to file 13, where gathering dust was the only action the board would permit to come from the many recommendations included in the treatise. As a direct result of this 'inaction' by the board to the many recommendations, West Indies cricket has continued a woeful slide down the rankings of countries that play the game, to the position where we are excluded from lucrative international competitions. Noted sports psychologist and former employee of West Indies cricket, Dr Rudi Webster, after welcoming the appointment of Jimmy Adams, has pointed out that he is coming to work for an organisation led by a president (and a board) who has done irreparable harm to the sport, and who refuse to step down and allow change that in no way could be worse than what now obtains. Jimmy Adams has joined a group of men, who apparently 'carry feelings' if they are not praised by players day in day out, no matter what the circumstance. He has joined forces with a group of men who will accept no 'back-chat' and who expect those that they appoint to 'toe the line', and obey the dictates of their friends and appointees.

But, knowing James Adams, I am very optimistic. I do believe that his methods, honed in years of experience locally and internationally, will make a difference and may even lead to the change at the top, which is so vital to our success. Go Jimmy, go.