first_img PRINCIPLES OF BATTING The top-order West Indies batsmen sometimes bat with no regard for the basics of the game, nor display the principles of good batting. Apart from not knowing the difference between aggression and carelessness, they drive when they should not be driving; they play back when they should not be playing back; and even when some of them do what is right, the lower-order batsmen do silly things. Sometimes, most times, when the team is in trouble, they get run-out, stumped, or caught on boundary going for big hits. That is the general attitude of the West Indian cricketer of today. The top-order batsmen do not bat responsibly and the lower-order batsmen bat as if they are as good as, or even better than the batsmen. How often does one see the recognised batsmen battling for survival, and at the other end, the tail-ender is swiping away until he is either stumped or gets caught on the boundary. No one supports the other, like all good team players do. The bowling is a little different, but how can a team select five specialist bowlers – including four specialist pacers – bowl 153 overs in one innings, and the four pacers bowl only 80 overs with the one spinner bowling 47 overs and a batsman bowling 27, more than any of the pacers. These things suggest that apart from the weakness of the players, the West Indies are not playing good cricket, despite the presence of a support group of four coaches, a former captain as manager, and another former captain as chief selector. Maybe the coaches are not any good, or may be, with the exception of Curtley Ambrose, the players just do not listen to them. The West Indies have just played finished a two-match series in Sri Lanka. They lost both matches badly, they enjoyed one good day, and the players, the team, are still in the same position as they were before the contest started. According to the captain, the batsmen lack good temperament and they have no patience. The truth, however, is that although the players have changed in the 20 years since Sabina Park in 1995, although the coaches have changed, although the selectors have changed, and although the board presidents have changed many times, Walcott’s words in Durban 1998 remain true to this day. The West Indies go to Australia in December, and, as usual, much is expected. It is always, according to them, unfortunate that the batsmen, who get to 10, 20, or 30, fail on a pitch that was good for batting, one on which opposing batsmen of similar or less experience score centuries, and one on which the bowlers, more times than not, always bowl well, picking up one or two wickets when the opposing bowlers reel in five or six wickets to beat the West Indies handsomely. It is also disappointing to hear, time and time again, that, but for the many dropped catches, the West Indies may have won. It is time they understand that catches are a part of cricket. It is sometimes, most times, the difference between a good team and a bad team, between victory and defeat. The West Indies cricketers, at this time, are generally poor cricketers. They are nowhere near the standard of previous West Indies cricketers, and they should know that that is so, or they should be told that it is so. Some of them got into the team by the skin of their teeth, some of them just ahead of not just another player or two, but ahead of several players. In other words, they got into the team when others could also easily have made the team. In fact, on many occasions, some got into the team when they were obviously not good enough, and never will be good enough. Instead of behaving like they are God’s gift to cricket, therefore, they should try to be West Indies cricketers. The batsmen, for example, should try and bat even for a reasonable time, they should concentrate, and as Phil Simmons encouraged them to do a few months ago, they should, for example, bat with an eye on the scoreboard, sometimes scoring a little at a time. POOR CRICKETERS BAT ACCORDING TO SKILL Walcott went on to explain that the batsmen needed to concentrate, to bat according to their skill, to bat to match the situation, and to bat for the team. “They should not, all of them, bat as if they are the best batsmen in the world, with respect for no one; as if they are all like Lara.” In South Africa, Walcott was right. Since that time, he has been right many times, and had he been alive and said it in this time, he definitely would also have been right. Test match cricketers are beyond the ordinary, or should be beyond the ordinary. The West Indies cricketers, a few of them, are beyond the ordinary. Most of them, however, are not, and it is time the West Indian fans face that fact. West Indies captains of recent vintage, the selectors, the manager, the coaches, and team’s media rep always, each time the team loses, talk about the talented batsmen and bowlers in the team. They always have some flattering words for the players. It is high time, however, that the people in charge stop making excuses for the players. CHANGE IN ATTITUDE Some 20 years ago, the West Indies’ long and distinguished reign as champions of the world came to an end, and today, they are still fighting to recover some of the lost glory – especially in Test cricket. The reason why it has taken them so long to dust themselves off is probably because they believe that are better than they really are. The late Sir Clyde Walcott said in Durban in 1998 during a Test match between the West Indies and South Africa, “The problem with the West Indies is that they believe that they are good, too good to be exact.” Walcott, a former great West Indies batsman, chief selector, manager, and president, as well as a former chairman of the International Cricket Conference, was in South Africa watching the West Indies who were about to lose the third Test match and the series 5-0. That was a tour which started with the West Indies players threatening to go on strike, and that was a West Indies team which included batsmen such as Brian Lara, Carl Hooper, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Philo Wallace, Clayton Lambert, and Stuart Williams; and bowlers like Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Franklyn Rose, and Nixon McLean. If there is no change in the attitude of the players, however; if there is no change in the selection process; if there is no change in the personality and quality of coaches to get the players to listen to them and to try and follow their instructions; and if there is no change in the quality of players coming out of the islands by their performances in the regional competition, the result will be the same – probably even worse. The players are weak, and so is the eleven selected. I do not know how to balance the team but I do know that in the present situation, a team of five specialist batsmen, with Denesh Ramdin at number six, and five specialist bowlers cannot work. When all is said and done, the players must take most of the blame for what is happening to West Indies cricket. After all, they are the ones who do the batting, bowling and fielding. They must better prepare themselves to do so.last_img read more

first_img$200M lawsuitOpposition Member of Parliament Juan Edghill has said that the multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed against him by Finance Minister Winston Jordan is a move to intimidate him but he will not be silenced and will continue to speak out against the wrongdoings of the coalition Government.Finance Minister Winston JordanMinister Jordan is claiming damages in the sum of $200 million for “malicious prosecution” over the private criminal charge of misconduct in public office that was filed by Edghill back in April regarding the construction of the controversial D’Urban Park Project.The Finance Minister and Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson were jointly charged with misconduct and abuse of public trust for authorising the payment of $906 million to Homestretch Development Inc, while Public Service Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, who was a Director of the company, was charged with alleged misconduct and the abuse of public trust for receiving the money as Director of the company while serving as a Minister in Government.However, those charges were subsequently discontinued by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack. But despite this, Jordan moved to the court, saying in his application that the private criminal charge was intended to embarrass, humiliate, and cause him to suffer public odium and contempt.“I have suffered significant harm to my reputation and integrity as a direct result of the institution of the criminal proceeding by the respondent against me,” Jordan said in the court document.Speaking with Guyana Times on Saturday, Edghill said he is yet to receive the court documents from the legal action filed, but noted that he will be vindicated in court during the proceedings.“This lawsuit is intended to intimate me and I would say they have failed miserably in seeking to intimate me. I will continue to confront wrongdoings, injustices, corruption, cronyism, and all forms of Government’s manipulation of processes that benefit individuals… I will be vindicated when I have my day in court because that lawsuit that was filed is an abuse of the process of the court.”He noted that he also feels that the lawsuit is “all about damage control, that’s what the Minister is trying to do right now – use the courts to do some damage control because… he knows that he is being held accountable and by his own admission, when he travels internationally, people are inquiring from him what’s really going on in Guyana and how the State is being managed in such a way. Well I’m not going to be intimidated, I will not be silent and I will continue to represent the people of Guyana as I did when I filed these criminal charges against members of the Government,” Edghill asserted.According to the Opposition MP, it appears as though the Finance Minister is not benefiting from the best legal advice, since he filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit when the private criminal charges of ‘Misconduct in Public Office’ was never prosecuted in the first place.“There must be a prosecution – this case was not prosecuted, it was null pros by the DPP. Secondly, if there was a prosecution the case would have had to be determined in [Jordan’s] favour. There was no determination of this matter because it was discontinued by the DPP, there is no finding of facts that the Minister is not guilty of the allegations that are conveyed in the charge because the matter was not prosecuted and it was not defended in court,” he told this newspaper.Edghill went on to point out too that one of the grounds that Minister Jordan cited in his application was that he was merely carrying out the decision of the National Assembly, which had approved the $906 million for the D’Urban Park project. To this end, Edghill, who is a former Junior Finance Minister under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/Civic) regime, called out Jordan for the Administration’s double standards.“The Minister is part of a Government that has taken former Finance Minister Ashni Singh and former NICIL’s CEO Winston Brassington to court for their conduct in public office when all they were doing was carrying out decisions of the Cabinet, decisions of a Board of NICIL. It looks like the Minister would like to have it both ways,” Edghill said.Nevertheless, the Opposition parliamentarian posited that he is awaiting the commencement of proceedings into this $200 million lawsuit since he will be able to defend his private criminal charges, which were dismissed.“While the charges may have been discontinued in the lower court, the fact that [Jordan] has now taken this matter to the higher court, the matter will be discussed there and the nation will be able to see if he really misconducted himself or not; so thanks to the Minister for engaging [me] so that these matter could be further ventilated in the High Court,” the PPP MP stated.Edghill’s private criminal charges where the second set of charges filed by the Opposition that the DPP had thrown out. She also discontinued previous charges against Government Ministers Volda Lawrence and George Norton over the sole sourcing of over $600 million in drugs and other pharmaceuticals for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, and the rental of a house in Sussex Street, Albouystown, Georgetown to be utilised as a drug bond at a cost of $12 million monthly respectively.The Opposition has since appealed the DDP’s discontinuation of the private criminal charges and the matter is currently being heard in the High Court. (Vahnu Manikchand)last_img read more