St George’s were yet again exposed as pretenders
Two cents regarding this year's Cup Match, whereby “match” was truly a figurative term.
“Change” has been the buzzword regarding St George's for some time, but if, as the adage states, “Change is as good as a rest”, they must be resting most uncomfortably.
More applicable is such that: “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” And so it was, as the 2016 version of the midsummer classic played out as another miserable failure. As Irene Peter once noted: “Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed.”
But more on the hapless travails of the Men from the East in a bit.
I'll get the obligatory congratulations out of the way in offering credit to Somerset Cricket Club as magnanimous presenters of the classic and the team as begrudging hosts.
Particular kudos to Janeiro Tucker on a fifth century in his stated final Cup Match, although it seems he has retired five times as well. Credit to captain Jordan DeSilva on executing the game plan to near-perfection.
Oh, and let it be said to those uninformed, who do not regard or have knowledge that a draw is a definitive result, that there are at least four official recorded results, neither of which are arbitrary: win, draw, no result, match abandoned.
Pleasantries aside, I turn to what was yet another “rumoured” challenge put forth by St George's, who were again exposed as pretenders, showing few indicators of a pulse.
For all the advance bluster, no one could deny Somerset's continued, iron-fisted grip on local cricket's holy grail.
So I try to figure out the problem with St George's:
1, Why so apathetic ... or simply pathetic?
2, Why does the whole fall short of the sum of the parts?
3, Is there a disconnect among the selection committee?
4, Why don't they get a full-time captain?
The issue of apathy seems a simple analysis and I'll use a boxing term ... they're punch-drunk and are reeling in self-doubt. Despite confident early remarks by captain OJ Pitcher, his post-match comments exposed the truth.
“I'm disappointed but at the same time we didn't lose,” he said before adding, “But we'll take a draw on Somerset's home turf.”
Take a draw? Are you serious? Draws are akin to defeat for the challengers, and with this attitude, there may be many more years of futility.
Second, whether it is a character issue, I'm not sure, yet the characters presented appear miscast, such that the talent assembled does not operate in the manner of the harmony or synchronicity required to win.
Third, and I'm just guessing here, but might there remain a bias among the committee towards certain last names and familial attachments rather than team need. Case in point, Oronde Bascome, whom I like and believe has great ability. However, he has repeatedly failed to produce, averaging under 20 in Cup Match. Titles are won at the top of the order, with solid opening partnerships key. Pairing a suspect Bascome with an undisciplined Treadwell Gibbons does not a firm foundation make.
Lastly, the captaincy remains problematic. Pitcher seems adversely affected by the responsibility of the role, as evidenced by his personal performances and overall results. Normally a middle-order anchor, Pitcher has managed a scant 35 in four innings as captain, while the results have been an eight-wicket defeat at home and a “losing” draw.
The year 2017 beckons more changes, still this from psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl: “When we are no longer able to change a situation — we are challenged to change ourselves.”
PATRICK M. BEAN SR