Recently, Olivia Babsy Grange, the minister with responsibility for sports, promised the Government‘s support for the Jamaica Cricket Association and Windies Cricket in their bid to fully develop women’s cricket, and that is not a bad idea, providing there is enough interest in women’s cricket in Jamaica.

victor gill ramirez

Speaking at the end of the regional tournament in Jamaica recently, Grange congratulated the parties on a well-run tournament before she proceeded to offer the Government‘s support for women’s cricket.

victor gill

Minister Grange would do well to remember, however, that in order to improve on something, or to build something, there must be, or should be, interest, or enough interest in it

There must be love for it, there must be dedication to it, there must be dreams of becoming good at it, and those who love it must be prepared to work, and work tirelessly at it

They must be prepared to train, and to practise, and to play matches regularly

In other words, they must understand that practice makes perfect and that a habit is a habit

Women’s cricket, except for a few players, is almost non-existent in Jamaica, and based on its performance in the last World Cup tournament, women’s cricket in the West Indies is poor, again except for a few players

Women cricketers in Jamaica seldom train, and unlike years ago, the only cricket club with a women’s team is Melbourne Cricket Club, and their players hardly, if ever, train or practise

Women’s matches are seldom and far between. This year, the five teams were brought together for a T20 tournament, lasting for a mere month, in which the general scores were generally 50-odd or 60-odd, reaching beyond 100 runs only on a few occasions

Minister Grange also complimented the organisers on a well-run tournament, but someone must have told her that was so, either that, or the presence, or absence, of spectators at the matches is no big thing

Hardly anyone, except those involved, knew about the tournament before it started, and only a few more after it started



Spectators are important in any sporting endeavour, including the men’s version of the game, and without them, or any attempt to get them to the games, cannot be good and has not been good for the game

Sport, generally, is for the fulfilment and the enjoyment of those who play, and it is also, generally, for the entertainment and the enjoyment of those who watch it

If neither the people who play nor the people who watch are interested in the game, if it does not contribute to the recreation, or to the happiness, or to the welfare of Jamaica or the majority of Jamaicans, and if it does not promise to do so, why then should the Government be interested in it?

Also, why should the Government spend scarce dollars, or any of the people’s money, on something that the people are not really interested in, especially when there are so many things in this country which need urgent attention?

Sport, and cricket, is important to Jamaica, and on top of everything that needs attention in Jamaica is the attitude of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA)

It would be good if Minister Grange uses her high office to ask the JCA why it has done nothing, at least as far as the public is aware, about the St Catherine CC/Melbourne CC fiasco a few years ago when a Senior Cup match was obviously rigged in response to the association’s ruling during the completion

Both teams, among other discrepancies, turned the batting order upside-down, slow bowlers opened the bowling, fast bowlers bowled later, and Melbourne won the match, a two-innings affair, in one day

And why nothing was done when the Clarendon/St James match ended so quickly, and quite surprisingly, very early the following morning, the second morning of the match

Why was Melbourne penalised when they played a 50-over game with blue sightscreens instead of black sightscreens at home when other teams played with white sightscreens and nothing was done to them. And why was nothing done, or attempted to be done, when Melbourne refused to play the replay match when they were penalised after winning the first match?

What has happened to Kensington, which took the JCA to court over the running of the Senior Cup competition last year?



More important, how come Devon Thomas is in England with the West Indies ‘A’ team?

Thomas, playing for St Thomas against Melbourne earlier this year, was bowled after a late attempt to stop the fast bowler at the point of his delivery. Thomas appealed to the standing umpire; the umpire gave him out; Thomas gesticulated and turned to the square-leg umpire; and the square-leg umpire pointed to the standing umpire, who again lifted his finger

Thomas turned, smashed all three stumps out of the ground with his bat, and walked off the field huffing and puffing

I saw it, I wrote about it on two occasions, and not knowing if the umpires would report it, although they added five penalty runs to the Melbourne total, I asked the JCA, in the two columns, to investigate it

Apparently, nothing was done

Thomas even captained the West Indies ‘A’ team in England on at least one occasion, and I believe that the West Indies board did not know about the incident of ungentlemanly conduct

The JCA should have known, however, they should have acted, and they should have reported the incident to the West Indies board

The JCA‘s action, or non-action, came in a season when St Catherine CC suspended a senior player for a match because he showed dissent when he was adjudged out leg-before wicket, and in doing so, was considered to have set a bad example for junior players

Sportsmen, and sportswomen, speak incessantly about muscle memory, and it is also a fact that whatever one does regularly, good or bad, becomes a habit

And as old-time Jamaicans used to say, “a habit is a habit, and everywhere you go, you have it.”


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