The problem in West Indies cricket is one of lack of diligence in administration

Dear Editor,

I hope West Indian cricket people have been watching Australia in India and recognising that  India has been dominating  Australia even more than England dominated the West Indies; and what is more there was no performance by any player in that series to match the dominating performance of  our young Lewis.

That said, it is even more important to note that our team has set another international cricket record to add to the one made about four years ago when we were the earliest team ever to tour England. The new record is to be the latest team ever to play an international match in England. Of course, there will be those who would say that our players deserve that treatment; but in all fairness we are not either the worst or the best team, so why should the records be ours. Some years ago in Barbados against Australia writing in the Trinidad and Tobago Review I brought to the public`s attention that we were the first team to have been made to play a three hour pre-lunch session, and what is more that circumstance actually reduced our chances of success. Those who know an awful lot more about cricket than I, never pursued the matter. I am sure that has not happened again. I bring these matters up because I think West Indian cricket people tend to think that things just happen by chance, and that it is not important to attempt to find causal connections between events. We do not have to be conspiracy theorists to recognise that in a competitive, harsh world people usually have reasons for taking certain steps rather than others, and that countries have a duty to protect themselves. I suggest that the WICB should resolve to make some fundamental changes to protect and advance the interest of West Indian cricket:

They must consider their cricketers as young people whose interests, emotional and financial, they have a responsibility to preserve and advance.

They must do everything within their power, reasonably, to have all their cricketers eligible for selection  to national teams without unreasonably punitive restrictions. If an example be needed we should remember that the year after Narine was the MVP or runner-up MVP in a series against New Zealand, he was excluded from the entire series against New Zealand because he was one day late for training camp due to his involvement in the final of his IPL team for which he was engaged with a huge contract.

They must stop pigeonholing cricketers by persisting with the myth that certain players are technically or sometimes temperamentally unsuited to the longest, longer or shortest forms of the game, as the case may be. There are very few such cricketers. There are very few different, if any, technical skills required for the different formats. Most of these alleged differences cannot be articulated because they are figments of the imagination of decision-makers., They must recognise the importance of the mental element necessary for success in international competition and do everything within their power reasonably, to provide the necessary support for their players. They must do their utmost not to put players in a position where the players must feel that their own interests should prevail over that of the team.

They must improve the physical facilities available to players and provide more specialised coaching and more individual attention to the needs of players, especially in helping them deal with weaknesses, which every player, even the best, has.

They must find innovative ways of getting the coaching staff more active during games Last but not least they must recognise that the problem in West Indies cricket is much less one of lack of talent than it is one of thoughtlessness and lack of diligence in administration.

Yours faithfully,

Romain Pitt

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