Tino Best fighting for survival
Barbados Advocate article.
Bridgetown, Barbados - At 32 years of age, Tino Best is cognisant of the fact that there are hundreds of younger fast bowlers across the Caribbean, just itching to take his place on the West Indies team.
Yet, he is adamant that there is still plenty left in the tank and he aims to use the tour of India to justify his selection on the team.
At the end of the recent one-week West Indies team building exercise in Miami, Best noted that his mind is in the right place for him to perform well on the sub-continent.
“At age 32, know what I mean, I am probably the oldest fast bowler in the Caribbean that is still playing international cricket. I need to perform each and every time I go out there on the field so I am not trying to put too much pressure on myself, knowing that I have a big task at hand,” said Best.
He praised the recent one-week team building exercise with Dr. Scott Hamilton for helping him to maintain his focus as a cricketer. Best made the point that cricket is one per cent skill and 99 per cent head and thinks that the mental exercises he participated in can help his game in the long-run.
“I think the smarter cricketer always comes out on top and Dr. Scott Hamilton has been getting me to do so for the last four or five days here in Miami and I think he has been doing a good job. I am playing a lot calmer and I think that my focus is a lot better than I would say maybe three, four months ago. I realise what my role is in the team and I feel very comfortable in the environment; I know what I have to do and at the end of the day I just have to go out there and execute,” said Best.
He also made the point that while he has been playing with most of the guys for more than a decade, it was only through the team building exercise that he was able to delve deeper into what his teammates were thinking.
“This has me getting deeper into guys’ thoughts now and knowing guys’ aspirations and guys’ goals and I am very, very glad that the West Indies Cricket Board has done something so tremendous for us. I just hope that we can benefit from it and I hope it is not the first and last time for it; I just hope that it will go on,” said Best.
During the week the team was involved in several team building exercises and engaged in sessions as well as interaction with Dr. Jason Scott Hamilton, the Jamaican Elite Sports Psychologist, who has worked with the team for the last six months.
The West Indies will contest two Test matches and three One-Day Internationals in India and will go straight to New Zealand for three Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals. The first Test against India is scheduled for November 6 – 10 in Kolkata at the Eden Gardens Cricket Ground.