Bryan Davis slams TT squad, officials

Trinidad & Tobago Newsday article.

PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD - Former Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies cricketer Bryan Davis, in his latest column on the Catholic News, has slammed both the national cricket team and the officials (technical staff and administrators) for the inconsistent display in the Regional Four Day Championship.

In his article entitled “Time for self-analysis”, Davis began by emphasising, “no excuses please! Don’t keep repeating that they are very talented and then criticise them for poor performances!” 

Davis, talking about TT’s three-day defeat to Barbados, stated, “they were only in the final due to the weird structure of the West Indies Cricket Board’s competition. 

“TT also lost two other games during the season in the same time frame, and a third in just two days,” he continued. “Yet the management of the team — the manager, coach and captain, cast all blame on the shoulders of the batsmen, charging them with an inability to build scores to win matches in the four-day format.” 

In assessing the team, Davis made it clear that “one must look at the behind-the-scenes work — the preparation of the team, the player selection and the quality of leadership.” 

With regards to the squad, Davis wrote, “there’s team selection, which can hinder a team’s performance if not handled with knowledge, awareness, wisdom and a vast amount of cricket savvy. The national selection body is comprised of too many selectors (chairman Dudnath Ramkessoon, Roland Sampath, Alec Burns, Narine Bidhesi, coach David Williams and captain Denesh Ramdin). 

“The number of selectors should never be more than four and none should hold any executive position on the Board, as their views could be compromised by the influence of higher authority,” he added. “The selectors must be independent, not unlike the judiciary in a democratic country.” 

Davis encouraged the selectors to attend club matches throughout the country “to observe and choose worthy aspirants to attend trial games for further assessment. They should not rely on guesswork, which was so obviously employed in all their selections.” 

He bemoaned the use of veteran off-spinner Amit Jaggernauth, the National Cricketer of the Year 2012, who was the 12th man for the Final. “If he’s not considered able enough, then leave him out!” 

He continued, “why decide that the very youthful Jeremy Solozano, who was injured for the most part of the cricket season, should make his debut against the seasoned, competitive and brawny Jamaicans? Solozano was obviously not ready and I’m surprised they couldn’t see that.” 

Concerning the team preparation, Davis revealed, “this TT team was not well prepared. I saw them practise and it was distressing to watch. 

“Practice sessions ought to last at least four to six hours each, with a minimum of three sessions a week in order to toughen up the players. Williams certainly leaves a lot to be desired in the way he prepares our national cricket teams. Much more hard work is necessary.” 

He also touched on the captaincy, stating that Ramdin “has proven to be disappointing in his strategies and tactics. 

“I was also flabbergasted when he allowed Steven Katwaroo to keep wicket (in the Final) when he is the West Indies’ first choice stumper. My logical conclusion was that we did not play our best team since the best keeper did not keep wicket.” 

He continued, “then there (was) the talk, too much talk, of what we’re going to do to Barbados because they are supposedly at a disadvantage playing at home since they’ll be under lots of pressure from the home crowd! And the constant talk about the pitch and how green it is! So much nonsense! Play the game and be ready for anything that the Bajans may throw at you!” 

He ended, “nonetheless, the authorities should take a long hard look at themselves and stop blaming the players. They’ve brought the skill; it is up to you to hone it.”

First Published In The Trinidad & Tobago Newsday.

Sat, 05/25/2013 - 04:54