State of WI Cricket and innovation at Wimbledon

First read this good story on Wimbledon….The Centre Court is being revamped, it would be without its roof this year. They would also be using hawk-eye technology at Wimbledon this year.

Now for some Cricket. Here is another great discussion on what ails WI cricket. Sanjay Manjrekar has done a great job as a moderator. He discusses it with Michael Holding (MH) and David Lloyd (DL).

MH nails the root cause at its head. When asked what the real problem is he says:

You don’t have that as many people playing the game in the Caribbean now, it’s as simple as that. Years ago you had a lot of people playing cricket. Football was also a very popular sport and is still a very popular sport as far as participation is concerned. But the amount of people who would play cricket 30-40 years ago is probably 3-4 times the number who play now.

It is important for the administrators to put in the infrastructure and the facilities so that the people who want to play the game can easily access all the required facilities. There are so many other games that are easily accessible plus we are in the modern age of computers – kids just do what is easiest for them. There are basketball courts with lights all over the Caribbean. So the kids don’t have to worry about playing just during the days – they can come home from school or work and start playing. They don’t have to worry about preparing surfaces, making pitches, wearing special uniforms or buying any expensive equipment – it’s all ready for them. What the cricket administrators need to do is make cricket just as readily available as the other sports and distractions.

He also raises questions about lack of domestic cricket etc but I think most important is the one that people do not play cricket at all.

Then DL says not all is lost and there is a lot of hope:

I think you have to be radical. Infrastructure is always important, you need top administrators, it needs to be an attractive game, it needs to be accessible and yes, you certainly need icons for the youngsters to emulate. I am miles away from what goes on in West Indies cricket but I do know of a man who is passionate about West Indies cricket called Mr. [Allen]Stanford – and he has the money. I think if the administrators and the ex-players could put forward a plan from the West Indies Cricket Board stating where they are looking to be in 5 or 10 years time and present that to Mr. Stanford and say, ‘please, help us out,’ he may just get involved; because from what I can see he is really passionate about West Indies cricket ….

Who is Alen Stanford? He is the chairman of a Financial Services Powerhouse called Stanford Group. He is immensely interested as MH also points out but has been goven a cold shoulder from WI cricket board.

So the basic issue is you need to develop more interest towards cricket amongst local population. Why doesn’t that happen? Two things, one other sports have better facilities and two higher incentives present at other sports.

Now, both are equally important. In India for instance, cricket is hugely popular but because of poor infrastructure that cannot identify right players becomes a problem. How do you reconcile the fact that Chiarman of Selection committee says there is not enough talent and on the other side there are young players who are committing suicides for not getting a chance?

For better facilities you need more finance (Finance is important) and this Mr. Stanford can provide and then the incentives have to be altered so that the public becomes interested and the game becomes popular. And in teh meantime other institutional changes like having a better board, more local cricket etc need to be brought about.

For Mr. Stanford WI cricket is like a distressed asset but has immense potential. So like a private equity player he would go about making changes in the entire structure and clean up the slate and eventually make a gain.

It is akin to a growth and development problem which economists face and have to tackle with most of the time.

2 Responses to “State of WI Cricket and innovation at Wimbledon”

  1. Apurv Says:

    Its a well known issue that kids in the Carribean are moving towards other ball games, the most prominent being BasketBall. The recently staged World Cup could have been an ideal platform to relaunch the game in this part of the world, but guess it did just the opposite. It was appalling to know that the tickets were so expensive that the games were almost inaccessible to the masses out there!
    Less than an year back, there was a 20-20 tournament organized by the same guy, Allen Sanford, and it was perhaps one of the most brilliant shows organized there. I had a chance to see the same on television – packed stands, loads of runs and excitement from ball one! I was wondering that the World Cup which was due to be held later would be a treat to watch.. but what a whimper it turned out to be!
    Its the administration thats killing the game. WI board is not known to be the most active and honest boards around, and with the ICC on top of them.. phew.. thats some icing on the cake!

  2. watch football on internet Says:

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