Can anyone explain why the West Indies are playing Pakistan at virtually the same time the Indian Premier League games are being played?
One can understand why Pakistan, whose players do not play in the IPL, would be willing to be involved but what is the rationale for the involvement of the West Indies? Does management want to demonstrate that the mercenaries will always show their true colours?
Scheduling is the key to the avoidance of all this angst in international cricket over players not making the sacrifices necessary to make themselves available to represent their countries.
This is not soccer, the beautiful game with a ton of countries. There are some ten countries that play serious cricket. Ten people—preferably women—with a computer and a world map and the will can solve this problem. The whole business is just so ridiculous.
Why are cricketers forced to choose between the possibility, even the probability, of earning blue-collar wages and the certainty of an executive pay scale?
Guess what, if presented with such an option, the WICB directors and those who support them would do?
With the Fourth ODI between the two teams about to start on Sunday, Ian Bishop warned listeners in his pre-game broadcast that the WI team in this era tends not to win successive games. He might have said back-to-back games but I think it was the former.
I do not know whether Bishop asked himself why this was the case but, apart from an interview in The Cricketer magazine some time ago in which Sir Vivian Richards credited psychologist Rudi Webster with taking his game to a higher level early in his international career, West Indian cricket people tend, for some undeclared reason, to avoid discussions about the mental side of the game.
In accounting for poor performances, they prefer to focus on explanations that have more to do with negative personality traits like laziness or lack of pride.
The fact is, however, that there has been so much evidence over the last several years which points in the direction of lack of confidence—what Webster once labelled the “fear of winning.” It is astounding that so little attention has been paid to it. That may well be an even bigger problem than our thoughtless selection policies
It seems absolutely clear to me that unless we take major steps to pay careful attention to the psyche of our cricketers in preparing them for international competition, they will remain at or near the bottom of the rankings in all formats of international cricket. I suspect that the incredibly poor relationships that exist between management and players, especially senior players, is one of the reasons for the fragility of the psyches of our men.
We owe it to our cricketers who have done so much for the image of the region to recognize the critical importance of hardening our players mentally if they are to continue competing at the highest level.
Is it not a fact that nowadays the mental side of the game is at least as important as its physical side?
And the mental side includes the work of administrators and selectors as well. It is a pity that my recent letter was not published before Evin Lewis’ devastating match-winning innings in the Third ODI on Saturday. It should not surprise well-informed cricket people that a highly skilled left-hander is more likely than a similar right-hander to score heavily against leg-spin.
I have already commented on how thoughtless it was to have excluded the best left-hand batsman, Darren Bravo, from West Indies cricket for what is essentially a rather “childish” reason. After watching the devastation wreaked by the two Pakistani leg-spinners, not playing the in-form Jonathan Carter in this series is clearly a mistake, grounded partly in the simplistic notion that many cricketers are simply not suited for the shorter form of the game.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, there are very few really good cricketers who cannot perform well in all forms of the game.
Who dares dispute that what is needed most in West Indies cricket is more thinking, especially of the independent variety?