I endorse fully your editorial of Monday, March 23, ‘Where was the Captain?’ at the time when
the Coach’s oversight cost WI to lose the first ODI on Friday, March 19 at the Providence Stadium.
The Captain is totally responsible for all decisions on the field of play − from the moment the toss is spun to the final ball.
He makes the judgement to bat or field first if he wins the toss, as well as deciding batting order, declarations, bowling choices, field placements and tactics. In the frenetic moments he should have been monitoring the Duckworth Lewis requirements and together with the entire team have been ‘on the ball’ at every ball bowled.
The Coach’s responsibility is to prepare the team. The selectors (ideally including the Captain and the Coach) select the team for the Captain to lead on the field. The authority and responsibility must be clearly defined to maximise results. Any deviation will affect team spirit, morale, motivation, cohesiveness and final achievement. Contrary to other opinions mooted, division of labour does not apply here, and responsibilities cannot be re-assigned or usurped.
Coach Dyson was magnanimous to accept the blame fully. It would serve no purpose pointing fingers now. A genuine oversight/mistake has been made, and as the Captain himself asserts we need to move on.
Noted: but before doing so, the Captain must recognise and carry out his full responsibilities.
Each Captain has his own style, but a page or two needs to be taken from Clive Lloyd’s book.
Long after his retirement I have watched his expression in the pavilion while the West Indies performed indifferently, and sensed his concern with every ball bowled.
We have matched England in every department of the game in the series so far. West Indies have now shown their true mettle and are on the road to regain their rightful place in the cricket hierarchy. My special delight this weekend was Chanderpaul and Sarwan’s brilliant performances in front of their home crowd.