Tony Becca | Some words of advice for president Billy Heaven

first_img Six-wicket hauls Will improve Most of Jamaica’s good cricketers, as happened this year, play cricket for four or five weeks a year, in March and April, but what happens in the months of May, June, July, and August? Those are the months for cricket in Jamaica, and the more we play, properly, with the best up against the best, the more we will improve. We need a long season annually in which to develop our cricket, for the best to play against the best, on good pitches and on bad pitches, in rain or shine, for the batsmen to really learn to bat, for the bowlers to really learn to bowl, (fast leg breaks, googlies, et cetera), and for everybody to learn how to field properly. We need a competition of the best eight or ten clubs playing all over Jamaica in one league of return matches. Those clubs will eventually attract the best players, and with the clubs falling in line with good work habits and good discipline, with the players playing the right atmosphere and learning from it, the Jamaica team should be selected from these players. So many players do not train properly, so many players are not coached properly, so many players believe that they are good, and so many people believe that there are many talented players in this country. I do not know, but I do not believe so. But for a few, I do not see them. What I see every day are batsmen who drive beautifully through the covers one or two times, batsmen who play a cut shot or two, and get out for 10 or 20 runs. I also see bowlers who bowl on a length most times, but who never attempt to bowl something like a “wrong ‘un” or even a “flipper”. Although a few of our batsmen look good, even when not in the nets, I have not seen, for a long, long time, a batsman bat for a day or a team bat out a day in a Senior Cup match. What matters really is that cricket has been losing ground over the years, and, in losing ground in its popularity and its influence, it has, like the West Indies, lost its strength. Cricket needs some serious action if it is to survive, and if it is to make a U-turn and show some improvement while really developing itself. Cricket needs to divide itself into three groups, into those who play for fun and exercise, those youngsters who play to get better, and those who play seriously with the aim of doing so professionally at the first-class level and beyond. Jamaica’s cricket needs many competitions for its many players. The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), however, needs to spearhead one long two-day competition so that its few talented players can train daily to play against each other on Saturdays and Sundays in return matches for a season of 14 or 18 matches. Rome was not built in a day, and the standard of Jamaica’s cricket cannot and will not be built in a day, regardless of who thinks so. Losing ground The Senior Cup cricket season is over, and congratulations to Melbourne on being crowned champions, and to St. Thomas for reaching their first final. The question may well be asked of Melbourne, however, and justifiable so, and especially by cricket lovers, champions of what? The season has come and gone. It lasted only a few weeks, between late March and early May, and it only lasted until May because of a protest which extended the season by one week. Melbourne, having won the cup for the umpteenth time, although not for some time, may not mind it. They certainly will not mind winning the $500,000 prize money, and neither will the one or two players who did really well as batsmen, bowlers, and as fielders, throughout the exercise. With 23 teams playing in the competition which was divided into four groups, probably because of the lack of money, with each team playing four or five matches before going in the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, and the final, the competition was too short, much too short at that. Whatever is said about Jamaica’s cricket, regardless of how many people play the game, regardless of how many competitions there are around the country, and regardless of who wins these competitions, Jamaica’s cricket is poor, and it is getting weaker and weaker. Once upon a time, cricket was the number one sport in Jamaica. Today, it is not so. Today, and it really does not matter, it is number three, behind football and track and field, or track and field and football. Some of our batsmen score hundreds in local cricket. They hit the ball to all parts of the field, and some of bowlers take five or six-wicket hauls by just attempting to bowl wicket to wicket, and that is fine. Put a Jamaica cap on their heads, however, send them out to bat or to bowl for Jamaica, and they look, most of them, like misfits. Jamaica is not a rich country, and it cannot do the things that others can do. It can, with a little planning, however, do a lot more to develop our cricket, or, at least, to make it as good as it was once upon a time with what we have. We do not need to talk about longer terms in office. Two years is a long time, and neither do we need to propose term limits for officers. Jamaica is too small a country. The JCA needs to talk to the Government also. The Senior Cup should be the biggest competition in the land, and, therefore, it should carry the highest prize money. If cricket is to progress, you cannot have a situation where a competition of less quality deals out a greater prize money, and where some players, definitely less talented, will, if there is clash, choose the competition which promises more money. Congrats Melbourne, and well done St. Thomas, but better, from cricket administrators, for cricket and for cricketers, is needed, and urgently.last_img read more

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No fairness involved in the process

first_imgDear Editor,With respect to the controversial appointment of Roxanne Myers as Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), I’ve noticed that the defence has shifted its argument to one of academic superiority.This position – like the earlier one about merit – cannot hold sway, as neither candidate received their degree from an institution that is top-rated. In fact, an online search revealed that the UN mandated University for Peace from which Myers obtained her Master’s degree is ranked 3756 by Ranking Web of Universities online (See http://www.webometrics.info/en).The same site ranks the Anglia Ruskin University from which Vishnu Persaud obtained his Masters at 1178.This brings me back to the view of Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who was quoted as saying that the issue at hand has more to do with the absence of fairness in the entire process – a position I agree with.Mr Persaud met all the advertised criteria. He has a post graduate degree, qualification in elections management, experience in the management of national elections, and much more. He is therefore the ‘superior’, ‘fit and proper’ candidate. In spite of this, he was sidelined in favour of Myers, whose social media-adumbrated, partisan political views disqualify her from holding such a sensitive position.Further, what makes the process even more questionable is the fact that Myers’s chief defender, Commissioner Vincent Alexander, neglects to disclose their teacher-student relationship at the University of Guyana.Clearly, this shows that there was no fairness involved in the process; and that persons, in spite of their experience and qualifications, are being sidestepped in preference for handpicked supporters of the APNU/AFC.Regards,Attiya Bakshlast_img read more

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