Dear Editor: Captaining or coaching WI is an impossible job, because the real “bunglers” stay hidden

“[…] No matter how poorly the [West Indies] teams play, there are no consequences for the regional boards because they operate under the CWI. The CWI is basically a sponge they created to absorb the repercussions of their own ineptitude and incompetence at the territorial level.

“Is it CWI president Ricky Skerritt’s responsibility to develop cricketers in Trinidad? Or is it Azim Bassarath’s? […]”

The following Letter to the Editor on the state of West Indies cricket was submitted to Wired868 by cricket enthusiast Choy Aping:

Then West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran (right) and spinner Gudakesh Motie patrol the outfield during an ODI against India at the Queen’s Park Oval on 22 July 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

For too long, Cricket West Indies (CWI) has been getting away with indirectly engaging in undermining and scapegoating coaches and captains in WI cricket, with little to no consequences for it.

It is almost as if CWI becomes the good guy when they fire coaches and captains who they sent out on the battlefield with all the resources to fail in the first place.

KFC Munch Pack

I find something is massively wrong with such a system.

The captain and coaches of West Indies teams pay the price for all of the incompetence of the cricket board—and when I say board, I’m referring to the TTCB, GCB, BCB, LICB, JCA, etc.

The captain and coaches’ jobs in any field are performance-based, but the responsibility/onus is on the parent body to provide the adequate resources to get those results. In that regard, CWI has been failing miserably and getting away with it.

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite (left) shows off the Apex Test series MVP award while then head coach Phil Simmons sports the Richards-Botham Trophy.
(via CWI Media)

Is it the coach’s fault that he does not have batsmen with first-class average of 35 or bowlers snaring five-wicket hauls in the regional 4-day competition?

How is the coach expected to get fast bowlers to take five-for at the highest level when they are not doing it in the regionals?!

I will tell you here and now: any captain or coach who takes up the role of WI captain or coach today is doing so for a payday and selection security, as they will always face the impossible task of trying to succeed with inadequate resources.

And these guys have been getting away with this crime on WI cricket for years.

CWI president Ricky Skerritt (third from right) and vice-president Dr Kishore Swallow (far right) pose with regional cricket representatives including TTCB president Azim Bassarath (second from right).

Imagine the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force have not won or reached close to winning a 4-day competition for the past 17 years, yet guys like Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TCB) president Azim Bassarath are being re-elected unopposed for years—thanks, in part, to the difficulty of voting them out through the flawed constitution.

The administrative structure of West Indies cricket is massively flawed. No matter how poorly the teams play, there are no consequences for the regional boards because they operate under the CWI.

The CWI is basically a sponge they created to absorb the repercussions of their own ineptitude and incompetence at the territorial level.

Is it CWI president Ricky Skerritt’s responsibility to develop cricketers in Trinidad? Or is it Bassarath’s?

Why then is Skerritt blamed, and not Bassarath, when underprepared Trinidad and Tobago cricketers go out and fail on the West Indies Team?

T&T Red Force opener Keagan Simmons is bowled by Barbados pacer Akeem Jordan for duck during WI Championship action in Tarouba on 25 May 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Can Skeritt fire Bassarath? How then is Skeritt supposed to make Bassarath account for the lack of proper cricketers coming out of Trinidad?

Meanwhile Bassarath seems impossible to get rid of, due to their “outgoing votes” system.

I honestly can’t see how the West Indies team will ever get better under the current structure.

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One comment

  1. “I will tell you here and now: any captain or coach who takes up the role of WI captain or coach today is doing so for a payday and selection security, as they will always face the impossible task of trying to succeed with inadequate resources.”
    .
    When Cameron and his band of scallywags were plundering West Indies Cricket like a band of jolly pirates, nobody wanted that brand of top-down management.
    In came Skerritt and his troupe of saviours and all should have been well at the camp.
    So why do these same problems persist?
    I’ve said it time and again—the era for “West Indies” cricket is past. We no longer have the cultural homogeneity of the post-WW2 British colonies. We no longer have the systems those Brits formed and furnished at their leisure. Cricket, in today’s Caribbean, faces challenges far and above the capacity of these archaic territorial boards are capable of delivering. Commercial rights management within a transparent business model that can consistently compete with other Boards that have bigger budgets; bigger markets; bigger talent pools is near impossible. Near.
    The question of if “Can Skeritt fire Bassarath? How then is Skeritt supposed to make Bassarath account for the lack of proper cricketers coming out of Trinidad?” should never arise. Why? Because it is not Bassarath’s responsibility to do so. There are cricket clubs all over the islands; with programmes that start from as early as age 5 and are fully integrated into a primary school, secondary school, club age group and national age group training and competition framework. There are pay-to-play academies, community-based coaching initiatives at all levels and in every corner of the islands.
    Why must Bassarath be the one with the big stick hovering over this T&T cricket project like some omnipresent mammy booshoo? No.
    If T&T cricket is not producing talent it is T&T’s cricketers who are at fault. The same for all territories.
    But it is then that we start to see the issue…do they work? Are these governance systems of unpaid amateurs, elected on short-term cycles like some Head Boy popularity contest…are they capable of delivering the policy to get cricket to the top?
    Short answer is clear to everyone: if it was, then it would. But it aint. So it can’t.

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