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Bad move!

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Could anyone really tell me what was the thinking of the Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association, when those gentlemen chose to send an Under-19 Women’s team to be part of the West Indies Competition which starts on Monday in St. Lucia?{{more}}

Yes, they did not have to foot the bill, as the West Indies Cricket Board is responsible for the airfare and accommodation, but there are some costs attached, which the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association will have to meet.

In addition, in the regional Women’s Cricket set up, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is one of the powerhouses, having done well at the senior level, and when the Under-23 competition was around. But that was then, when there was a real resurgence of Women’s Cricket here.

We cannot dwell on past accomplishments. Instead, we have to look at the issue at hand, as most of all, the country’s sporting pride is at stake.

Sending such an inexperienced unit was certainly a recipe for total embarrassment and a possible sporting disaster.

My personal assessment comes following opportunities I have had to see the team going through its paces at the Arnos Vale Playing Field, and the players, innocent, well meaning and enthusiastic as they may be, are just not ready for this level of competition.

The young ladies, many of them new to the sport, have little clue about the game of Cricket. Some are even afraid of the hard ball, fearful of being hit by it.

Mind you, there are a few of them who are material which can be harnessed and developed into worthy cricketing products.

With the absence of Cricket in the schools, then the selection was left to the interest shown by those at the secondary school level, and the few who are good enough to be part of the handful of teams which participate in the senior competition.

Hence, the catchment is extremely small, thus compounding the issue.

So I cannot fault the young ladies, as they are not the ones who had the final say. And, of course, it is new territory for them, and with the exuberance of youth pumping in their veins, they will gladly grab an opportunity to travel.

I am also aware that the competition is purely developmental and that winning is not the major objective, but giving the aspiring cricketers an occasion to hone their new found skills. Accepted!

Yes, I accept we have to start somewhere, but in my estimation, we have started nowhere.

President of the SVGCA, Julian Jack, and company, your objective of getting exposure is all well and good, but the reverse may be attained, as that exposure may just be in the form of humiliation.

Mr. Jack and company, not everyone learns to swim by throwing them at the deep end. Some often drown.

You may well understand why not every gift must be accepted.

Are you guys lacking the guts to call a spade a spade and be frank with the WICB and most of all the young ladies, and say we are just not up to scratch at this level? It would have shown you are real men if you had forgone the competition.

In the unlikely event that the team does well, I will be the first to admit it is a fluke. But the decision makers will be vindicated, unfortunately, for a poor choice.

Or is my take on that decision wrong?

Am I right in reading it that the Women’s Cricket Association may have been dissolved but the status quo has been kept in tact?

Women’s Cricket here and indeed in the Caribbean is still light years behind the other Cricketing nations, and every effort is being made to bring along players as quickly as they can. However, we seem to be again engaging in the quick fix approach.

Instead, the SVGCA could have used that same team, let them move around the country, have some short live-in camps, play matches, build their confidence and, most importantly, knowledge of Cricket.

First of all, we have to get the young ladies to love the game, become passionate instead of following the trend of getting involved in activities because they were asked to, or because a friend of theirs is a part of it, so they tag along.

Whilst it is the SVGCA which is the focus of attention, several other associations are guilty of such practices of entering into leagues that they are not adequately prepared for.

Certainly needed is that structured and systematic journey towards getting athletes to that acceptable level of proficiency. We lack this, and entering competitions for competition sake will not aid in the process.

What also has been a bad move for some time now is the presence of that “Mound” at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

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