It may be WI should disengage from international cricket

Dear Editor,

It was not because New Zealand is something of a fortress for its country’s cricket team, it was because the West Indies team was so weak. The impression was created of a professional outfit playing (not competing) with a junior team. It was as if the West Indians could neither bat, bowl nor field very well. Obviously, if they continue to perform in that manner, other quality international teams would not want to engage with them. When fielding West Indians do not consistently take difficult catches or stop difficult shots along the ground. They seem, when batting, to be unaware of the concept of building an innings, and when bowling, ‘good line and length’ is the exception rather than the norm. They tend to play without purpose, and their level of inconsistency is above the norm. It is clear that some important decisions must be taken, one of which may be to disengage from international cricket. If a decision against disengagement is made the following is recommended:

Implement the recommendations of the last three commissions of inquiry to the degree that they are not inconsistent with one another, starting with the Patterson recommendations, recognising that such implementation will not be completed for some time.

The current President of the Board, who is obviously much more interested in finance than in cricket, and has had success in finance, should step aside from the presidency and assume the finance portfolio, at the same rate of remuneration. A new president who cares about cricket, has a normal ego and can have good relations with cricketers, should be elected.

Rehire Mr Simmonds, one of the most thoughtful and popular  coaches, as the head coach, and add specialist coaches in each aspect of the game, for example, batting, slow bowling, fast bowling, fielding, wicket-keeping.

Emphasise the importance of the mental element of the game by retaining the services of at least one sports psychologist to be an integral part of the team.

Remove all selection eligibility barriers not based on merit, and always select at least 2 or 3 experienced players to every team, as is done by every other international team that wins anything.

Stop pigeonholing players so that except in exceptional cases the best cricketers can be chosen without regard to the length of the game.

Yours faithfully,

Romain Pitt

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