I have learnt of the recent appointment of Mr Monty Lynch, the former Guyana and England batsman as the new Territorial Development Officer (TDO) of the Guyana Cricket Board, replacing former West Indies fast bowler Reon King whose tenure may have become untenable following the installation of the Interim Management Committee by the government. In fact Mr King’s designation was that of Cricket Development Officer (CDO) after the WICB had made the change from TDO a few years ago. The reversion to the status of TDO will still present Mr Lynch with a colossal task in repairing the fortunes and damaged psychological image of Guyana’s cricket, although there have been sporadic successes at all levels despite the administrative uncertainty. However, the consistency with which Guyana had achieved its glowing reputation in the past is rapidly waning. While I am impressed with Mr Lynch’s resumé and international playing and coaching experience, he will need to quickly assess the local structures, particularly in Essequibo where despite the abundance of talent, the administrative and technical resources have been minimally advanced to achieve the desired objectives. I have observed that in the current scenario players have had to be selected for inter-county tournaments from Essequibo merely on their natural ability, rather than their skill with intense training, encampment periods and more importantly having related competitions that will prepare them better to compete. Some of the younger players from the under 15 and 17 levels especially, would have never played competitive cricket before, unlike their counterparts, and this situation has existed for far too long. Generally though, I anticipate that the new TDO will provide a comprehensive and strategic plan that will be unique in providing for the needs of each county and ensuring that there is uniformity in executing such vision.
Inter-county tournaments are not what they used to be when they were the essence of rivalry and pride that brought out the best from the players; instead it’s the opposite because of a lethargic system that only seem interested in meeting the obligation of selecting teams to compete in WICB tournaments. Mr Lynch will do well to be present at the current under 19 matches organized by the GCB, and along with the relevant personnel have reviews of the young players to address their limitations in a timely manner. Such a course could contribute towards the players becoming aware and appreciating the advice given in order to raise the level of their game. Follow-up clinics within the various disciplines, coordinated networks among the three counties and a professionally driven support staff should be Mr Lynch’s approach to return Guyana to consistent success, such as was achieved when we won the under 19 title for five consecutive years. The challenges are not insurmountable, but the test will be for the current administration to fully support Mr Lynch in providing the stewardship for Guyana’s cricket and raising its present low morale.