League cricket has never been so one-sided
So far this year there has been two weeks of cricket and not one game has been close or even competitive.
Never in the history of cricket have games been so one-sided teams winning by huge margins of 200-runs plus, and by 10 wickets.
It is really dreadful to read about and must be awful to watch.
As discussed in my recent article about the one-league format, there were some games that finished as early as 3 o'clock.
Interestingly enough after two weeks of cricket, the teams that are supposed to be the top six hold down six of the top seven places, thus identifying the weaker teams who would have been in Division Two had there been one.
So what does cricket gain from all of this?
Can someone in Bermuda please tell me how can this format be improving our cricket? I know some of you may be saying I am flogging a dead horse, but the horse needs to be flogged and flogged and flogged some more.
Think about it! If we are truly focused on developing why then are we still playing limited overs and not open cricket where there is no pressure to score?
Batsmen can build an innings and bowlers can bowl long spells. I am just confused and angry at the same time because this makes no sense.
Let me say this, it isn't all bad. I commend the Cricket Board on their effort to obtain sponsorship for the various age groups and summer clinics and player of the week awards. That is awesome.
However, the focus needs to be on improving the product, which in this case is the player. So, do you improve a player by putting him up against someone who is twice or three times his superior, no? Or do you put him against someone who is on or around his level where he can build his confidence up to eventually play at a higher level?
Players' improvement or development as used by the Board should not be done through one league, it should be done through good coaching.
Player development is done through hours and hours of good coaching, where the players' strengths and weaknesses are being worked on in training and perfected in a match situation during training, so that the player is allowed to make a mistake but correct it, thus building confidence to do it in an actual game.
Years ago when I was playing I could not score off the leg spinner who turns the ball from leg to off. I would just block them like most of our modern day players do unless it was a really bad ball.
Darryl Cullinan told me if I wanted to develop my game and take it to the next level I must work on scoring off a bowler's good ball as the higher the level of cricket you play the less bad balls you will receive in an over.
He took me for two weeks straight at Police Field and put cones in the outfield where fielders would be on the off side and told me to skip down and put another colour cone between them and said 'this is your target area'. We did it over and over and over and over.
That's all I did for 30 minutes every session that I came there for those two weeks. The more I did it, the better I got and my confidence grew to the point I was confident enough to execute it in a game. That is player development, good coaching.
That brings me to my next point. Do we have good coaching at clubs? How do coaches coach at most clubs? The players warm up, hit a few catches and go bat in the nets.
When is it time for one-on-one technical work? Do coaches do one-on-one technical work with players to help improve their game? I would say very little. Most coaches try to coach while the player is batting in the nets against bowling.
Seriously, if Bermuda Cricket Board want to develop cricket in Bermuda they must first develop good coaches because good coaching is the only way we are going to develop good players.
One cannot realistically think that a player can train twice a week or in some cases once a week, the way most clubs train in Bermuda, and then because they are playing against better opposition on a weekend they will improve. That is a joke and totally unrealistic.
Have you really looked at the scores for the last two weeks? I am sorry but as I said, the horse needs to be flogged.
Here is just a few from this past weekend Willow Cuts 282 for 8 versus Somerset Bridge 83 all out; Western Stars 110 all out versus St. David's 111 for 0; Somerset 333 for six versus Flatts 136 all out.
I won't go any further. Is it too late to stop the league and reschedule the whole season starting next weekend with two leagues?
No, serious, I am not joking. We are practically wasting a whole season of cricket. I had one friend call me and say last week he went from St. David's all the way to Somerset stopping at various fields trying to find a good game of cricket and he didn't find one until he got to Somerset to watch Bailey's Bay againsts Somerset.
After today I refuse to revisit this topic again as I think my point has now been clearly made.
If the clubs who actually form the Cricket Board can sit back and watch this happen and allow this to happen to our cricket, then who am I to say anything.
Quote of the week: "A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are." Ara Parasheghian