by Arley Gill

First Published in CaribUpdate Weekly

I was very impressed with the talent on display at the recent Windward Islands’ cricket tournament held in Dominica. To my mind, the Windward Volcanoes have no place in the cellar of West Indies Cricket with that abundance of talent. All four Windward Islands – Grenada, Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines – possess first class talent in batting, bowling and fielding.

It is now for the respective coaches and administrators in the Windwards to provide their cricketers with the necessary guidance; but, most importantly, it’s the responsibility of the players to commit themselves and work hard at their game – mentally and physically.

This is why, I am of the considered view that the cricket board of the Windward Islands needs to move the tournament from two days to a three-day affair, with a rest day between each game. 

I raised that suggestion with an official of the Windwards’ board and I was told that finance is creating a serious restraint. I am at pains to believe that; if there was any time in cricket that money was around, it would be now. Maybe, the budgeting and allocation of resources need to be looked at, but it is hard to digest that there is no money. 

The players of the Windward and Leeward Islands have to cross the seas for there to be an honest meeting between bat and ball, thus the cost of travel and accommodation becomes relevant. I am ignorant of the allocations to these boards from the West Indies Cricket Board; as such, I cannot speak to that. However, it appears to me that in terms of cricket development this must be an issue to address.

To prepare our cricketers for the longer form of the game, it does not take cricket pundits to point out that they need to play more cricket. In other words, we cannot believe that we can play for two long days (120 overs a day) and expect that our boys will be ready for five-day Test cricket.

Just briefly – on another issue in sports that caught my attention – is the leaving out of one of the star netballers on the Grenada national under-21 team. 

I came across a note criticizing the coach who is from Jamaica. I thought that the criticism was in poor taste. The author was not man or woman enough to put their name, but clearly they had a problem with the coach coming from Jamaica and “running tings’’. My reaction was like, ‘not in this day and age is someone being criticized and we’re bringing up their regional place of birth’.

I was so excited, when I heard that we had a Jamaican working with our netballers, that I said to myself I had to congratulate my old mate Glynis Roberts, the President of the Grenada Netball Association (GNA), for such a visionary move.

Jamaica has a great tradition in netball and to tap into their world of experience and expertise is a good move, I think. So what’s the problem? It turns out, based on reliable sources inside and outside of the GNA, that the player had disciplinary problems and was justifiable sacked. I agree whole heartedly with such decisions.

Our young sportsmen and women have to respect their coaches and persons in authority, whether they are good players or not. Their poor attitude must never be allowed to affect the rest of the squad’s players, who are doing the things they are asked to do. Lack of discipline is one of the things that ruins many sporting organizations, not least West Indies cricket.

In closing, I will like to extend condolences to the family of a former national sportswoman, Nadica McIntyre, who passed recently. She was a national netballer who also played women’s cricket for Grenada, the Windward Islands and West Indies. McIntyre was also a longtime senior public servant of Grenada.

I had the privilege to work with her a few years ago in the service of our country and I can testify that she was a wonderful human being. I will always remember her smile. May her soul Rest in Peace. 

 

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