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Friday, April 25, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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There must always be hope for the future of our cricket
If you survived oil spills, deadly weather, road rage and gun-happy situations, Happy New Year 2014! What we can do is to not simply hope or pray for the best, but put things, and right people, into proper places and positions, to effect that special change that our cricket absolutely needs. Despite limited success, West Indies cricket cannot continue with business as usual! 2013 was a strange year, regionally, for our cricket, the most positive highlight being staging of inaugural Caribbean Premier League. Joy, excitement and entertainment were to be had! 2013 opened with West Indies playing Australia, in OZ, in ODI and T-20 series. West Indies lost the ODI’s 5-0, but, not surprisingly, won T-20 series. Having won ODI #1 vs New Zealand to date, at least WI will not close 2013 as it started, but that series vs NZ is not yet finished. Saturday night’s (Caribbean time) 2nd game will continue that story!
West Indies confirmed, as previously predicted here, after winning ICC World T-20, in October 2012, that our team is much more comfortable for shorter forms of the game than in Tests. How they will breach that massive gap to being back in Test contention must be the objective for 2014. But wait! Something has already gone away with that plan, has it not? Does this make any sense? How could present head coach, Ottis Gibson, be allowed to investigate himself, as recently proposed, that he and new director of cricket, Richard Pybus, are to plan West Indies’ resurgence into Test cricket, after the very distasteful, disgraceful Test debacles of India and New Zealand? Was it not the same Gibson at the head of the team when WI badly lost four, rain saving that fifth loss, of the last five Tests, in India and New Zealand, late in 2013? And we wonder? 2014 must conjure up better than this! Where is the West Indies Prime Minister’s Committee on cricket in all this? Where are political cricket lovers like Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, former Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson, even Trinidad and Tobago’s Sports Minister, Anil Roberts, in all this?
So, West Indies first home series for 2013 was an easy 2-0 Test series win, and 3-0 ODI series win, vs lowly Zimbabwe, a team just coming back to international cricket. Off spinner Shane Shillingford, to also feature in different situations late in 2013, was unplayable, 19 Test wickets in this series. Severely dark clouds had already formed for him! Shillingford had previously been instructed by ICC to have his action corrected a year ago. This was supposedly done by the same West Indies coaching personnel, who allowed him to bowl on in 2013, only to be severely embarrassed again, his action again negated by ICC and its officials, in NZ. Is there not something wrong here, or am I crazy? I could not care less as to whom so ever bowler from any other international teams who may be “bowling” illegally. My concern is about West Indies cricketers, those who represent me! Initially, after his first assessment in Australia, it was the responsibility WICB and its coaches to ensure that Shillingford’s bowling action was properly corrected, so that he could pass ICC muster. Now that he has been, again, negated by ICC’s umpires during West Indies tour of NZ 2013, it is again suggested that West Indies coaches must be the ones to correct his action again.
What! Is this not real full madness? Per that saying: “If you continue to do the same thing, then you can only expect to get the same results!” Anyway, many West Indies heads should have rolled after Champions Trophy, June 2013, in UK, when our senior batsmen at the crease, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, and team management personnel, seemed not to be able to either read or understand the high-lighted Duckworth-Lewis computations. Thus the game vs South Africa was tied, per Duckworth-Lewis, when, had West Indies not lost Pollard’s wicket on that last delivery before rain came, West Indies would have won and progressed to the semis. For highlighting this ineptitude, I received e-mails and telephone calls, 13 minutes worth, from, supposedly, Grand Pooba of WI cricket, suggesting that “now is a new time for West Indies cricket, and that he and WICB would not tolerate me in West Indies cricket unless I change my critiquing style of West Indies cricket!”
Well, you must have heard of Edward Swowden by now, who has leaked many of USA’s NSA secrets. I know for fact that, since 1989, all of my telephone calls and e-mails are always monitored, since I had worked for USA Federal Government and defence contractor United Technologies/Pratt & Whitney in the past. Hence, those e-mails and telephone calls made to me, mid-June 2013, still exist in voice and text. Also, India and Sri Lanka played tri-ODI series vs WI, and Pakistan toured WI for ODI’s too, our team faring badly against each, before going to India and New Zealand to be further annihilated. 2013 was a poor international cricket year for WI. Hope for better in 2014. Enjoy!
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