Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Paul Wright | Windies and local horse racing facing uncertain future

Published:Tuesday | July 31, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Windies captain Jason Holder.

A nation needs good news. That is a well-worn statement, especially when a nation is facing activities that consistently inspire emotions that lead its citizens to seriously consider migrating. International and local news of climate disasters, criminals on the rampage, defiant of the law and stories of corruption in Government and the private sector make daily life depressing.

Our flag-bearers in Colombia, at the Central American and Caribbean Games, are trying to give us that lift (good news) that is so very necessary at this time. Already, three gold medals, a silver and four bronze medals, all gained before our track and field stalwarts bow into action, suggest a feel-good week ahead.

The silver medal earned by Caitlyn Chang in female fencing deserves special mention not only because of its unusual result in a sport that had locals representing us in the Commonwealth Games held here in the 1966. This resurgence of interest in this sport will result in more of our local athletes getting a chance to represent us and make a name for themselves on the international scene.

The series loss to Bangladesh in the 50-over one-day Competition hurts. After losing the first game to Bangladesh our captain, Jason Holder, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the second match.

With Bangladesh needing seven runs to win the match in the last over, he conceded just four runs to complete a memorable victory and gave us hope, predicting good news for the final match in the three-match series.

 

NOT GOOD ENOUGH

 

Unfortunately, the West Indies cricketers continued its nauseating run of inconsistency, folding quite dramatically to defeat in the final match and losing the series 2-1. We are just not good enough to compete against cricketers who are not in any way more talented than us.

The consistency demonstrated by our opponents is driven by thought, and patience, and an ability to assess the state of a game in progress and adjust one's tactics accordingly. Our adult representatives in cricket just do not have this ability, and whereas spectacular results are achieved from time to time, consistency will always be our downfall. It is now mandatory that we invest in the youth, those that show the potential and cricket common sense that is so vital in the quest to be the best.

Now is the time to say a proper goodbye and thanks to those who have served us well in the past, and move on. Let us identify, encourage and develop the numerous talented youngsters that crop up from time to time, but because of 'bad mind' and insularity are not given a chance to be as good as they can be. The region has too many good talented young cricketers for us to suffer the ignominy of defeat by less-gifted and less-talented cricketers who use their brains to outfox and defeat us.

Finally, in the glorious sport of horse racing, word at the track is that one of our most successful and prolific owners is seriously considering leaving the sport. This is not news that should be taken lightly.

The present atmosphere in the sport, with its controversies, innovations that defy logic, and poor treatment of the lifeblood of the sport, THE PUNTER, is causing more and more of these stakeholders to find other avenues for their cash and time.

I am suggesting that a meeting of the promoters, the regulators, the stakeholders and the punters be scheduled before the year comes to an end. The leasing of the track to private interests is not living up to the promise given to the stakeholders and punters more than a year ago.

We cannot afford this venture to fail!

- Dr Paul Wright is a noted sports medicine specialist and media personality.