Foul Stench in T&T Cricket
Wed, Feb 16, '05
Something is rotten in the state of T&T's cricket. And the current administration will not or can not cure the condition. It may even be that the administration is in some way responsible for the state of the nation's game.
How lovely it would be to be able to sit down and write of the splendid performance of the absolutely hopeless T&T team going to Barbados and winning the President's Cup, when nobody gave the team the chance of a snowball in hell.
Or to carry on about the splendid performance of the West Indies in the ICC Champion's Trophy.
Everybody who followed the T&T team in Barbados was more than enthusiastic about the performance of the manager, who motivated the 'no hopers' to play above themselves, who impressed on them each day and each session that they had the pride of T&T and themselves in their hands.
Even on that team, there was at least one instance of either indiscipline, or a difference of opinion that was not well handled and resulted in a botched disciplinary matter.
The Carib Cup has seen T&T with a new manager, a former good and reliable cricketer but, one now wonders, comparatively short on management skills when compared to the recent manager.
He took a team that was expected to do well and found it disintegrating in his hands.
T&T lost a match that had been won everywhere but at the death. A match in which a good first innings lead and an apparent domination of the Windwards, was thrown away on the last day, when the opposition was allowed to come back from what seemed certain defeat to win by one wicket.
The lack of motivation, pride and fighting spirit was apparent.
Little did T&T realise that the disintegration was to be further evidenced in the Jamaican leg, when three players were dropped from the team for disciplinary reasons.
Much of the reason for the action taken by the TTCB's selection committee is still confidential and there are conflicting stories from persons in positions of authority.
The fact is that three successful players, two of whom had been in this position before, have been dropped for disciplinary reasons. That does not augur well for T&T's cricket.
While this is taking place, the West Indies team returned from Australia and the Jamaican contingent played for Jamaica. Barbadian and Guyanese representatives played for their countries.
Dwayne Bravo is playing for T&T, but three of our players are unfit, so unfit that they can not make the effort to play for the team that is under pressure with the sacking of three of the original squad.
Would they have been unfit for another ODI, or if a Test match had been in the offing, one wonders, while noting that they were not too unfit to play mas.
There has been an ongoing battle to have players under contract. At times like this it is more obvious that contracts, proper professional contracts, which entail acceptable pay schedules for players, would benefit both the player and the game.
A professional cricketer would need to do everything in his power to be fit to honour his contract and nothing that could in anyway be seen to go against his responsibility.
Why is it necessary, though, to have to coax, or urge, or goad a professional cricketer to play cricket, or to do all in his power to be able to represent his country and show himself to the best of his ability?
We wonder why the standard of cricket in the West Indies has fallen. The simple answer is that the players have neither the love for the game, the pride in themselves, or the love of their country that is needed if one wants to compete at the highest level.
Australia and England and the other strong teams have a pride in their country that West Indies has lost. When an Aussie, or an Englishman scores a century he kisses the badge on his helmet. West Indies batsmen just flash their bats as though they are beating bobolees.
One can not but remember the respect which the foreigners have for their Allan Border, or Kapil Dev, or Beefy Botham. Contrast that with the lack of respect with which so many of our players have treated great players like Rohan Kanhai, or Andy Roberts, or the late Malcolm Marshall.
The problem is not an easy one to solve in a region that knows so little of its own history and cares less.
The responsibility though, is for the management and administration to seek to interest its players, long before they get to national or Test teams, in the story of West Indies cricket, what it has done and is doing for the region and for the sons of the Caribbean.
Surely, most of the players know that because they are West Indies cricketers. They are better paid that 90 percent of wage earners in the region, they are better known and live better lives than their brothers.
If this was made known to all the hopefuls, the pride in wearing the colours would mean more and the hopefuls would be more truly professional in their attitudes.
* This article appears by special arrangement with the Trinidad Guardian.