by Brian Davis
The Trinidad & Tobago national cricket team which placed last in the recently concluded Professional Cricket League (PCL) four-day first-class tournament, is expected to ‘come good’ in the WICB Regional Super50 tournament which started in Antigua last Tuesday.
That is according to the captain Denesh Ramdin who will lead the ‘Red Force’ again despite his humiliating defeat in the previous tournament. I feel it my duty to analyse the skipper’s statements as reported in last Sunday’s Sunday Express.
No. 1: “I think we are very confident playing the shorter format at this level and hopefully we can go out there and execute. We did well last year although we did not go on to win, so hopefully we can get closer to the final and I think if we get to the final we will win the tournament.”
In the semi-final last year Jamaica scored well over 400 runs batting first and T&T had no chance! It was a poor performance. We did not do well last year and if he really thinks so then his aspirations are very low!
Then it’s hopefully this and hopefully that! That is no way to think if you’re a professional cricketer; that hopeful wishing is for your fans and family who will hope the team will do good! So he hopes to get to the final and if they do they’ll win the tournament? Rubbish!
No. 2: “This is a different tournament. We have to just try to learn from our mistakes. We have five or six new guys, so it is important the experienced players help the younger ones. But that is gone, we can’t change it but we can learn from it. This is a different format and I think we are more comfortable in the white-ball format.”
To learn from our mistakes? That’s not clear; this nonsense about experienced players helping the younger ones does not happen. Surely the experienced player has enough on his plate already. Once a youngster is chosen that means he’s good enough to play at the level he’s chosen for; his help comes from his own observance of what’s going on around him. And where are the five or six new guys? I did not see a single ‘new guy’ on the selected squad!
It’s not a matter of being more comfortable in the white-ball format. What helps Ramdin is the fact that in the one-innings game it is much easier to lead the side as there’s less to think about, very little strategy, and tactics are not worrisome. Anyone can play or captain a team in the limited overs game but the two-inning game is not for the unknowledgeable or the mentally lazy!
No. 3: “I think we will need a good all-round performance to come away with the trophy. It is a tournament where you need to bat, bowl and field well and when you look at the other teams in the group, like Hampshire, who have played some good cricket back in their home, they are going to bring their level of professionalism to this format, so we need to bring our ‘A’ game. We want to win all our games and not have to depend on other results to try to squeeze into the semi-finals. Winning up front will mean there is less pressure in the back end of the tournament, so it is important to get a good start.”
Of course you will need a good all round performance to win the trophy and certainly your team has to bat, bowl and field well because the other teams (not only Hampshire) will be doing so; and don’t you try to bring your ‘A’ game in every match you play? And of course you want to win all your games – that is the whole reason for participating!
It is a mistake to continue with Ramdin as captain – he has turned out to be such a loser. Jason Mohammed is a member of the T&T team and is presently the vice-captain of the WI team that will be playing in the qualifiers to get the Caribbean cricketers into the World Cup 2019. Wouldn’t it have been a fine opportunity for him to get some leadership experience under his belt? He certainly needs it!
And it is always repeated by the Cricket Board members and the captain himself on how well T&T does in limited overs cricket not recognising the fact that they won when the team consisted of the Bravos – Dwayne & Darren, Kieron Pollard, Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine. This team is also accompanied by the same coach and manager that saw them through the PCL tournament, Kelvin Williams & Roland Sampath.
Despite my critical analysis I wish the team all the luck in the world for they’ll certainly need it. I’ll be backing them – but not betting!