Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Corneal: Lloyd is right man for the job
The more we look at International cricket, whether it is a Test series, an ODI or a T20, a short story of the great game, the more complex it becomes, especially when it comes to dreaming about the WI being the best Cricket country in the World.
Whatever format on which we choose to make a judgment about, the quality of our team, the final comment will certainly bring to the table, the fundamental principles of batting, bowling and fielding for scrutiny.
The amount of natural talent in the cadre of players over the past decade should have taken us closer to the top of the Test cricket standard, and maybe lead the ODI teams.
Some claim that the players were short of adequate coaching and/or counselling which players with ability need to turn them into good cricketers.
It is not expected that youngsters can deal with realism when it comes to strategy, adjustment to conditions of the pitch, and coping with a wide variety of bowlers when they in a match as batsmen. They need to understand the details of the value of technique, the way to observe the differences among wickets which can span from a spinner’s dream, a fast bowler’s payday, and more importantly, the temperament to use one’s ability to play every ball on its merit.
With no disrespect to anyone in particular, the major problem seemed to have been the lack of critical analysis which can turn average players into high quality performers. The selection process, when complimented with some poor decisions by the coaching staff, may well have contributed to the players’ inability to be consistently competent and without a desire to develop a winning pattern.
This is why I believe that Clive Lloyd, the former West Indies Cricket captain, a strategist par excellence, and someone who often leads by example on and off the field is a wonderful choice to head the selection panel.
Apart from being one of the best fieldsmen in world cricket during his tenure on the field, he has the ability to stop a dismal batting rot by putting his head down and taking the initiative which great captains often have to adopt.
His trust in his own players was that wonderful gift of selflessness which allowed him to let his players make decisions on their own before he endeavored to entrust his own opinion on them.
We have tried many persons since the Joey Carew led selection panel and very rarely have we seen a team which would have gained full approval by the experts.
Lloyd’s presence at the helm can help interaction with the young players, educate them on a more regular basis that they are accustomed, and guide the elected captain towards making better “cricket” decisions than the recent group of “captains”.
I am even inclined to suggest that, similar to the policy or tennis teams and golfers, the principle of naming a non-playing captain may not be a bad idea.
Our recent hit and miss choices of captains can be corrected if Lloyd can be allowed more communication with the “field captain,” where his experience as a successful captain can serve to improve the inexperienced leaders.
The other selectors will learn as they go along, especially Courtenay Walsh who has the drive to succeed and the will to give his best, particularly when it comes to advice to fast bowlers.
I am somewhat surprised that the coaching staff has not been changed, seeing that there has been very little improvement in the general performances of the team and a proper format in which the coach’s concept can catch the attention of all the promising players in the region.
A change in the batting, bowling, and fielding coach categories can bring new ideas to the table, especially as the experience of Gordon Greenidge, Andy Roberts, and Gus Logie can be added to the likes of Curtley Ambrose, Bryan Davis and Desmond Haynes and be used to move around the region, making certain that our youngsters are educated in every aspect of the game.
A word to the WICB: The job of change is incomplete. Get to the coaching staff and ensure that all bases for progress are covered.
Editor’s note: Alvin Corneal is a former national cricketer.