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Needed: a special cricket coach

Dear Sir,

Very soon, the Bermuda Cricket Board will announce a national coach to take over cricket, which is our most prestigious sport but which is losing in popularity.

The applicants are Arnold Manders (Level 3), Lorenzo Tucker (Level 3 bowling coach), Herbie Bascome (Level 2) and Clay Smith (Level 2).

It is pleasing to see that all four applicants have stayed in the race. This shows that they truly feel they can do the job.

Over the years, I have observed two of the four applicants at very close range, being the manager for the under-19 team and the senior team.

I have watched all of the candidates on and off the field: their demeanour, conduct, language, attitude. The areas that are just as important as their cricket coaching skills.

Our national cricket standing according to the International Cricket Council, the world governing body, is at division four. Our domestic cricket is at level four or lower.

With the cricket climate in Bermuda, it will take a special coach to keep our team where they are and to take them forward.

The coach will have to be in tune with the coaches who coach our cricketers that are in Britain and elsewhere, so they will want to give Bermuda their best. At present, most of the overseas players prefer to stay where they are in the hope of playing English county cricket.

Our players here at home are satisfied to play Cup Match and counties and to even physically fight to win. Only personal, family and club coaching can change that mindset.

Yes, our national coach will have a serious responsibility and should not be played down or degraded because he has Level 3 or Level 2, it should be about the best coach to get the most out of the players we have. At this level, it is about qualification not certification.

A Level 3 coach may want to work with a Level 2 head coach to get the job done because of his special training.

Keep in mind, we also have to have an assistant coach that will work with the coach. Not all coaches get along. The national coach needs an assistant who will support him and follow his plan, and must not be intimidated when the assistant gets more out of training the players than he does. More is better.

I wish the BCB selectors the best in their deliberations and for them to consider all aspects about the person/coach you select for the betterment of cricket in Bermuda.