St. John’s, ANTIGUA – Over the last two years, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has added more competitions to its regional calendar. Teams now have an opportunity to play ten first class four-day games; a compact one-day series at the start of the calendar year and a reformatted T20 competition in the summer. The recent adoption by the Board of directors to start the cricket year in May, form just part of the overall program with which the Board thinks if followed, can help the overall plan to see the elite male team inch back its way into the top tier of international cricket.
Director of Cricket, Richard Pybus in a presentation to the executive team, remarked, “research, innovation and consistency with evidence-based practice are essential to our philosophy and approach going forward. We engaged IMG to design our mental skills program, they have delivered the training of trainers’ program and the trainers have already begun its roll out. We are currently in discussions with IMG to broaden the consultancy work across the scope of the high performance program with the goal of program delivery in the first half of 2016”.
The Cricket Director went on to discuss what the high performance program will entail. The methodology, he says will be integrated and will look at a number of unique training disciplines to include physical and mental conditioning; leadership, life skills and of course technical cricket skills. “The methodology is athlete-centred and coach-driven, ensuring that athletic training is both cricket-specific and tailored to individual needs. It will be supported and assisted by regional sport science, sport medicine experts and administrative staff. The methodology also incorporates the principles of personal growth and all-round development of the cricketer,” added Pybus who thinks that to compete at the international level, all-round resources must be made available to deliver this program.
Pybus believes the roll out of this high performance program “is worthy of investment and should be looked at seriously if the team is to get back close or anywhere near to the top. It is what other regions across the world are doing and the West Indies should do no less.”
To complement the program, the Chief Executive Officer, Michael Muirhead thinks, “with the calendar set as it is with some clear breaks for international stars to participate overseas, there is still an opportunity to host special events in the region and the Americas.” The CEO pointed out that those special events are “opportunities to re-engage the public and with wider participation to include former players, the fans will get much more opportunities to participate.” He also added that “cricket as a product when diversified can attract a wider support of sponsor partners.”