In cricket meetings consensus is the way to go

Dear Editor,

Cricket has been modernized from being a talent-driven sport to one that now takes cognizance of technology, psychology, endurance and technical superiority. The support staff (manager, coach) must now be equipped to confront the challenges of the opposition with precision and must do their research in order to achieve consistent positive results. Additionally, the players are required to pay keen attention to their work ethic, mental approach, knowledge of their environment, the opposition and their rapport in the dressing room.

Australian Greg Chappell in his autobiography Fierce Focus described how his dressing room encounters were counterproductive when he was coach of India’s national team, since there were different status tiers at team meetings. He concluded that the meetings should be separated into senior, intermediate and junior, since the junior players were afraid to speak in front of  the seniors or challenge their points.

This kind of thing exists even in the local cricketing system in Guyana. In fact in many cases the junior players are not confident enough to make contributions because they feel insecure or believe they are now establishing themselves, while the seniors dominate the meetings and can take a particular angle without the challenge of sufficient reasoning.

There are other cases where the senior players cannot express themselves and do not speak at all during team meetings. I recall when I first made the senior inter-county team as a teenager for Essequibo in 1995, and when I was called upon to speak, I did. However, the two most senior members and the best batsmen were uncomfortable and did not contribute to the meeting at a time when I was looking for guidance and inspiration from them.

Generally though, I have found that players rely heavily on the technical staff and in particular the coach to solve most of the problems, instead of there being a collaborative effort. This would require the confidence of the team to be at the optimum level, and all the players given support to express themselves without fear or intimidation from the hierarchy. Separating the different status groups as revealed by Gregg Chappell perhaps contributed to his short and contentious tenure as India’s coach. Both seniors and juniors would take the field seeking the same result but not with a common goal or sharing the same concept of what is to be achieved.

Team meetings should be held in an atmosphere of inclusivity, mutual respect and appreciation for differing views, and the contribution of a centurion should stand equal scrutiny with that of the scoreless. I admired the boldness of England’s coach Andy Flower admitting that it was a mistake to omit spinner Monty Panesar from the first Test against India given his heroics in the second Test that England won. I wonder however whether the views of junior players about the nature of the pitch were given due consideration in determining the eventual composition of the team by the seniors.

Perhaps he was admitting that England’s team meetings would have to look for the consensus of the entire team instead of the opinions of a few. It is always the better option to choose consensus in team building.

Yours faithfully,                                                                                                                                                              
Elroy Stephney

Latest in Letters

default placeholder

The city council would need revenue to deal with vagrants

Dear Editor, Please refer to a letter which appeared in the Monday, June 27, edition of your newspaper captioned ‘City Hall should forget parking meters and build homes for vagrants and beggars’.

default placeholder

Dangerous demagoguery won in a European country again

Dear Editor, United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister David Cameron lost his job, after losing the UK referendum to leave or remain (the Brexit vote) in the European Union (EU).

default placeholder

Part of northbound lane of East Bank road deteriorating

Dear Editor, I would like to draw to the public’s attention the rapid deterioration of the northbound lanes of the recently constructed Section 2 on the East Bank Demerara Road.

default placeholder

Ogunseye should get Dr Thomas’s version

Dear Editor Based on a conversation I had had with Dr Clive Thomas after the 1992 elections, I asked Mr Tacuma Ogunseye to check his facts directly with Dr Thomas (‘Mr Ogunseye should get the facts from Dr Thomas,’ SN, June 23).

default placeholder

Guidelines for hiring teaching heads of department are archaic

Dear Editor, I note with worry and also much anger the replies of GTU President Mark Lyte and Mr George Cave in the print media recently regarding my letters in the press which highlighted the actions against dozens of teachers in the High Court, especially as they relate to my own preliminary promotion to Head of the English Department.

default placeholder

West Indies should be allowed to take part in Champions trophy

Dear Editor, Decisions have been overturned by those who made them on much more significant issues than which teams are excluded from a particular international sporting event or series of events.

default placeholder

The party is over

Dear Editor, With reference to the headline, ‘Cases being built against drug kingpins -US embassy official’ (SN, June 26),  this is the second instance in approximately two weeks that the US government, through a very high level representative, has showed its hand. 

default placeholder

‘I have never defended the PPP – only its right to govern’

Dear Editor, In his riposte titled ‘Cheddi Jagan withdrew the offer of a ministerial post to Clive Thomas’ (SN, Jun 22), Tacuma Ogunseye falsely attacked me. 


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: