Who is your neighbour?
July 12, 2019
Shepherd’s Cup qualifiers under way
July 12, 2019

CWI, TTFA in the same boat…

The past two weeks have been filled with controversial and sometimes unnecessary criticism, all coming from disappointed fans.

However, has either the administrators of Cricket West Indies (CWI) or the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association (TTFA) taken into consideration the value of solid evaluation with the coaches and players alike, before they decided to run to the media with all sorts of reasons which are often directed at individuals who are not even attached to the technical side of the organisations?

The CWI has decided to start their evaluation by looking into the performance of the coach, even before hearing other sides. Is it that they are ignoring the number of issues which overshadowed preparations for the Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2019, matters which would have affected the entire West Indies campaign?

Football is in the same situation. No one at the TTFA seems to want to listen carefully about the problems, missteps and attitudes on and off the field. I believe any first comments must come from the coaching staff.

It is my belief that one of the major setbacks of the preparation of the Soca Warriors for the recently-concluded Concacaf Gold Cup lies in the failure to bring the selected pros home in time for intense training for the “short period” of time they had.

On watching the matches, it appeared to me that for some strange reason, there was some form of disunity among the group.

These matters seemed to be showing long before the first match against Panama whose experience has improved with their exposure at the Russia World Cup 2018.

And now to our players, many of whom seemed unable to communicate properly with each other on the field. Team discussions should have taken place before matches to avoid the number of blunders.

Our regional cricket is likewise struggling. It began firstly when the selectors did not have the wisdom to insist that two-star performers Chris Gayle and Andre Russell were unfit to play in the CWC 2019 with such intensity at all times.

And what of the number of wide balls in at least two matches? Bowling 22 wide balls against Australia meant 22 runs were practically given away and also 3.4 overs were afforded to the opposing team.

The absence of well-planned innings at any one time was apparently ignored. In the midst of the criticism, one could not have missed the absolute change in batting technique by young Nicholas Pooran.

His lusty hitting in the T20 format did not work in the early matches but there was a complete transformation. He was more solid in his batting. Every ball gained respect, while some clever singles helped to bring up his confidence.

His stroke play increased with style and better foot movement. His wonderful performance did not come from attempting sixes. No, it was the artistry of finding the gaps along the ground and the alertness of gaining quick singles when necessary.

That lesson should have been learnt by our other batsmen; too many were caught metres off the boundary trying to hit fours and sixes.

Another plus was the excellent bowling of Kemar Roach, who has a bowling action with ball movement similar to the late great Malcolm Marshall. WI captain Jason Holder at times delivered some penetrative swingers, but strayed far too often.

There are more concerns to be raised, but I await to hear from the CWI and their report on CWC 2019.