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Cricket the victim of two-sport conflict

THE overlap between the end of the cricket season and the start of the football season is presenting the same problems as it has for a number of years.

Once Cup Match is over, cricketers tend to lose interest, particularly those whose teams have little incentive — the much criticised one-league format put in place by Bermuda Cricket Board having exacerbated such disinterest.

The KO Championship launched last weekend was a disaster — hardly what sponsors Logic would have envisaged.

Of the four games scheduled, two were cancelled and the other two were short-handed.

Somerset couldn't even muster a team and had to forfeit the match against Southampton Rangers, and the game between Willow Cuts and Bailey's Bay was called off because the pitch at White Hill field hadn't been prepared.

As the home team, Cuts were culpable and should be fined or punished in another form. If a groundsman wasn't available, the club should've ensured others could fill the void, at the very least make the strip playable.

As for the other games, they were hardly a contest.

Western Stars could field only ten players and were duly thrashed by six wickets by League and Eastern Counties champions St David's.

Stars put just 90 runs on the board and it was even worse at Wellington Oval where ten-man St George's could only scramble 88 and as such slumped to an eight-wicket defeat against Cleveland.

No doubt Labour Day's football double-header, the first serious games of the season, in the Dudley Eve Trophy, played a significant role in the lackadaisical attitude displayed by some cricketers.

For some, clearly their priority lies elsewhere.

It's not indigenous, it happens throughout the world.

At the amateur level, players have their choice.

Here, cricket seems to be the victim.

* * * *

IN days gone by, children would spend their school holidays earning extra cash, mingling with friends, taking the long break from school to do anything but homework.

Many do all of above but through the avenue of sport, opportunities continue to grow whereby teens, even those younger, can travel overseas and be introduced to other cultures, and at the same time take part in the sports they enjoy most.

This past summer there might have been more teams and individuals hopping onto planes to all corners of the globe than ever before.

Just about every sport boasts some kind of junior programme and while some might not appreciate how fortunate they are compared to those in other countries, they're now bearing the fruit from those who planted seeds — their parents, volunteers, sponsors and so many others who put these programmes in place.

In the last couple of months alone young footballers, cricketers, golfers, swimmers, tennis players, sailors, netballers, squash payers and athletes have all travelled overseas. Up until a few years ago, that wasn't the case.

USA, Canada and the Caribbean have been the preferred destinations.

But several went further afield — Europe, Asia, South and Central America.

Just last week, youth footballers returned from Denmark, and netballers from Scotland.

They might not always be grateful for these opportunities. But many won't get a second chance.

The reality is that the older these athletes get, the opportunities decrease.

They'll find that the senior level is much tougher than junior competition. Beyond Under-19, natural talent is only a part of equation. The

commitment intensifies, as do the sacrifices.

Only a small percentage of those who dream for a professional career realise that dream.

That's not to say they shouldn't strive for such excellence. But what they should do is enjoy every moment of these summer sojourns.

The friends they make may last a lifetime.

The travels at someone's expense won't.

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Published September 06, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 06, 2013 at 12:19 pm)

Cricket the victim of two-sport conflict

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