The following cricket issues need the public’s urgent attention. As usual I will try to be factual and fair.
- Its been now some time since the last men’s tour has elapsed. Yet, no summary of reports
or USACA’S evaluation has been forwarded to the stakeholders. Then there is another tour that will take place next month.
(a) It appears that there is a great deal of bias against certain players in the USA squad, Orlando Baker, Barrington Bartley, Clain Williams, Glenroy Hall. Baker is the best cricketer on the team, both in cricket knowledge and playing ability. He was the MVP of the 2008 Americas Cup in Florida when USA defeated Canada. Despite being sent in to bat at # 8 he had the second top score and took five wickets. In the preparation for the Dubai/Nepal trip, he was rarely given the ball to bowl. On the trip he was used as a bowler and then as wicketkeeper when Carl Wright got hurt. He was moved up from # 8 to open the inning only by the intervention of an invited foreign official.
(b) Bartley is arguably the best all rounder in the USA and a brilliant fielder. He is a left arm spinner and a right hand batsman. While most teams were playing three and four spinners, the USA was using one spinner and four fast bowlers and using one of the fast bowlers to bowl spin. Why was he left off the team? Personal animosity?, or is he being blackballed because he returned from the Guyana tour to New York to take care of an emergency with his son.? Recently, one player flew back home from the Dubai/Nepal tour and rejoined the team at a later date. Is he going to suffer the same fate?
Why was money spent to send Williams and Hall on tour if they were not going to
be used? Why were they selected in the first place? Isn’t it a shame that they had
to sit and watch while other players failed and failed and failed and failed.
(c) The same team was used for the two warm up games in Dubai. That was a poor strategy on the part of the captain and the coaching staff. What it meant is that since you only saw 11 players perform you would have to use the same 11 for the first competition game and probably, the second.
(d) There was a different batting order for each game. This showed a lack of cricket knowledge and a lack of confidence in the players. A fast bowler made a half century batting at # 9 and was promoted to # 5. A fast bowler bowled one spell fast and the other spin. The handling of the bowlers left much to be desired.
(e) Money was wasted to take a 41 year old player to Florida for preparation only to find out that he was not eligible.
(f) Only in America is a captain allowed to be a selector. I wonder who selects the captain? If USACA were your company wouldn’t you demand that an employee be successful in one position before adding another?
(g) Our cricket officials represent USACA and are held to the same Code of Conduct as the players which means no crude or abusive language, cursing or fighting among themselves, especially in public. They should not deliberately embarrass players or criticize players to their team mates.
(h) The father of Akeem Dodson recently wrote an article and it is reported that one of the cricket team officials, in response, stated that Akeem would never play for the USA as long as he held that position. Who made that official, God and who gave him the authority to decide who plays for the USA? What a world this would be if we penalized children for what we believe is the misdeed of their fathers.
Akeem, 22, is the poster boy for cricket development in the USA and there should be articles about him in every cricket publication. To all the pundits and hypocrites who talk about homegrown players, here is one right before your face. BORN IN THE USA, a college student, a left hand upper order batsman and wicketkeeper, learnt his cricket here, represented the USA at the U/15 level, represented the USA at the 2006 – U/19 WC., represented the USA at the senior level, plays league cricket in England. If cricket were your personal business, who would you want working for your company, Akeem or that cricket official?
Stakeholders, you are the referees of our cricket, not spectators. If you want to get to the truth and not “sweep things under the rug”, do not rely on a few self serving reports, talk to the players and the official from New Zealand. At the very least a tele-conference call with the team should be arranged. To get a report on the performance of the officials, you have to talk to the players. That is the only way, your questions will be answered.
We have been down this path before. Many stakeholders have given up, while others keep prodding along. Proper governance demands that “the dog wag the tail and not the other way around”. Remember, if you continue to do things the same way, you will get the same results.
Clifford S. Hinds