Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Saturday, May 24, 2003  

So the West Indies lost today's one day, to hand Australia an unbeatable 4-0 lead in the best of seven series. I didn't see the bulk of the West Indian innings, but I saw the Australians at bat. I know the West Indies are almost literally not in the same league as Australia, the incredible win in the last test match not withstanding. We're rebuilding and all that, yes. But nothing can excuse the appalling bowling and fielding display the Windies showed: a non-stop extravaganza of bad deliveries, inept fielding and missed catches. Then when it was their turn at the crease, and Ricardo Powell got out playing a terrible shot for the umpteenth time in his career, I'd had enough.

Of course, the problems aren't limited to, and certanly don't start on the field, as Ryan Naraine points out. The malaise that plagues our cricket runs deep and wide. And, the cricket itself aside, nothing symbolised that more for me today than the misprint on debutant Ryan Hurley's shirt. The "1" on the "41" was back to front. Yes, back to front. And this is nothing new - a few years ago wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs had an alter ego, Ridley "Jacabs".

Simple, simple things, from teaching players correct basic technique to looking after their health and safety properly to preparing decent pitches, we continually fail to get right; as with so much else in the Caribbean. The reasons why haven't changed. It's identifying the solutions and implementing them properly that is the challenge: more than anything else, we need the will to do the hard work necessary to turn things around. And I fear it will only be after the present set of leaders and administrators have all quitted the scene. There won't be a clean break obviously, but over time, once we start doing the simple things, then maybe, possibly, hopefully it will happen.

posted by Jonathan | 11:48 PM 0 comments


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