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Good Move … but what follows?


The decision by national cricket selectors to include several youngsters in the squad for the upcoming Windwards senior tournament must be hailed as a step in the right direction.

The 17-member squad announced two weeks ago, 13 of whom will travel to Grenada, shows six players under the age of 20.

At last the selectors have come to the realisation that many of the “fixtures” stood little or no chance of lifting their game to another notch.{{more}}

An opportunity was wasted at the recent Stanford 20/20 when the same selectors made a faux pas and went the way of the “aged”.

It was laughable that many of the other islands included their young players in that tournament while ours had to sit out.

It is my hope that this latest move signals the end of the Cinderella era and that selection will be based on merit.

And, those selected have done so on the basis of their consistent performance. This is not to say that at all times, selectors must pick young players because they are young; but they have shown the maturity and propensity to improve their game.

A close look at some of our national players in the recent past, many seemed unreceptive to any form of coaching, hence their lack of technique was exposed when they ventured against oppositions away from home.

The emphasis on youth in the squad is complemented by a group of senior players who are equipped with the poise to nurture the young charges. They must be afforded a long run.

The opportunity to represent this country at the Windwards level also gives the youthful selectees a chance to gain first class exposure if they gain a place on the Windwards team to the Carib Beer four day series and the KFC Cup.

They too have to step up to the plate and accept the responsibility and confidence vested in them.

But their advancement must be coupled with the commensurate administrative competence by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association, whose vibrancy needs propelling. The association seemed to be locked in mode of silence as there are little pronouncements of its intentions of moving the sport forward.

Selectors Joseph Jack, Urias King and Selwyn Allen have given them a cue of rejuvenation and the need for a corrective course. The association must find creative ways to inject interest in the local competitions and attract more youngsters to the sport.

For too long the national competitions have been exercises of mere formality. By a stroke of convenience, occasioned by the unavailability of playing fields this year’s shortened version, added some flame of hope, as there was an inkling of public following.

Whilst the sport has lost a lot of its appeal on the local circuit, there is no shortage of talent but which must be systematically channelled to the professional sphere.

With this country producing seven players who have represented the senior West Indies team, shows that talent is available. However, we have only one batsman to show, in the late Alphie Roberts .The temperament of Lauron Francois and the ability of Donwell Hector, both teenagers, present the prospects of ending the dearth left by Roberts just over fifty years ago.

Many have shown promise in the past but lacked guidance and proper programmes and they fell by the wayside. Is this going to happen again?