Dr Rudi Webster wrote an excellent article in the Sunday Express of December 16, 2018. He told the Cricket West Indies (CWI) board that they must blame themselves for the poor performances of the West Indies team and not the players!
And of what was the president of CWI guilty? He was talking down to the players and threatening them with “serious decisions” and that the CWI was spending millions of dollars on them and getting no return on their investment. It is simple to blame others for one’s own shortcomings but it never makes matters improve.
Dr Webster says: “Effective leaders do not blame other people or circumstances for results. They look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, they create them.”
This brings me to our national team, the Trinidad & Tobago Red Force (RF).
Before the start of the series that began on December 6, the RF had to postpone its first fixture because there was no available ground to play the home match; the fixture was changed to a date in March 2019. The second scheduled game was played December 13–16 at the Brian Lara stadium, south Trinidad.
The coach of the T&T team, Kelvin Williams, said that he was very happy with the preparation, especially having the extra week to prepare! He stated that the team was ready and the chances for winning in 2019 were very good.
He continued there were several trial matches and lots of runs were scored while they did extra work on their fielding, because in 2018 the team dropped over 50 catches, and while they were in the top three, halfway through the programme they slipped down the standings ending in last place!
Lo and behold in the new season of 2019 the RF lost their first game against the Windward Islands outright! A side whose head was down, playing away from home, coming off an outright loss to Guyana Jaguars; and the Red Force with their extra weekend’s preparation, according to Williams, only to be out-classed, even after claiming a lead on first innings!
I had to pay extra attention to the coach to hear why the national team was off to such a bad start after being so well prepared. Much of it doesn’t make sense to me but here goes: “It is not the result we were really looking for and to be honest we really lost this game on the second day when we actually bowled them out for 206 and to be all out for 225, that is where we lost it.”
This explanation was given to the Express cricket correspondent Roger Seepersad and there was no retraction from Williams and it was published on December 19, therefore I accept it to be true!
He says, “It was not the result we were looking for.” Which team looks for that result? He goes on to say that “to be honest” the game was really lost when the T&T team scored 225 runs and led on first innings by 19 runs? That is when they really lost the game? And that was on the second day of a four-day game to boot!
He goes on to say that the bowling was good, but a few catches were put down in the outfield. Dropped catches in the outfield raising its ugly head again? The batting let him down with some careless shots in the second innings chasing 270. Careless shots in a well-prepared team?
I’m afraid these are all excuses from one who does not know the reasons why his batting collapsed (he said the wicket was still good) or for that matter why his team did badly.
From all the points put forward here by the coach, I would venture to suggest that his team is not the least bit ready for the contest. They are way behind in their preparation, motivation, desire and attitude.
The manager of the team, Roland Sampath, has added his voice to his team’s performance. He had this to say: “Forget potential, give me men who are willing to work hard and I am happy. I am very disappointed with the fact that we lost that first game…even the said players are saying that they have been well-prepared for the tournament. Well, where is the performance to back it up?”
Players don’t know when they’re well-prepared; they have a coach and a trainer to get them there and if they are well-prepared then it will be revealed in their performances.
A professional coach, manager and trainer should all know how fit and ready a team is to do battle on the day of competition. That is the job. One can’t wait for match-day then judge whether they’re ready or not.
Sampath and Williams have been there for some time and have revealed the lack of knowledge—the reason for bad performances.