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So glad nightmare season is over

As I reflect on the season just finished, I can't help but to think of the number of players who disrespect the game in Bermuda.

Players are taking this lovely game for granted and abusing it, which has come back to haunt us as a country.

For some cricketers it's just a pastime, but for others it represents way more than that.

Several years ago I recall then Bermuda coach Daryll Cullinan talking with the players at only his second training session.

It was one of the most powerful speeches I have heard from a coach. Training started at 6pm and there were some players rolling in at 6.10pm, 6.15pm. Anybody who arrived late was sent to the assistant coach and Cullinan just ignored them until the end of the session.

As the team came together at the end of the session, he gave an awe-inspiring speech about time management and preparation not only for games, but also training.

“It's very simple,” he said. “If you think you're going to disrespect the game of cricket and be successful you have another thing coming. Cricket like no other sport will humble you quickly.” He went on to say how cricket has taken some of us to parts of the world that many only dream about, yet we come back and still disrespect the game.

Sadly, as I write about respect for the game, Dennis Musson Sr comes to mind. This was a man who loved the game. A former Cleveland cricketer, he died this week and will be truly missed by all at the club. It was his spirit and passion for the game that I will particularly miss.

He loved the game and always encouraged Cleveland to play hard, but in the right spirit of the game.

Dennis was one of a handful of former players who still offer advice or share information with the players. If I had to give a prize for commitment to training he would probably get it before any one of my players, as he sat in on practically every training session. It's this love and passion that our players lack. The hunger and respect for the game is gone and clubs need to find a way to bring that back.

As Cleveland coach, I was devastated to watch my team act in the manner that they did. Some people thought I should have resigned to show that I do not condone that type of behaviour.

However, I refuse to bail out on Cleveland. For years and years they have been the whipping boys because of their passive mentality.

It has taken me a few seasons to build a team at Cleveland that can be competitive and I'm not going to throw away all my hard work just to please a few people.

No, the clubs must sit down and come together for the betterment of cricket and lay some laws down to show the players that we're taking the game back.

The clubs must set a code of conduct for their players to adhere to and stick by them regardless of who the player is.

Consistency is the key here, as it has to be a collective effort by all the clubs. Indiscipline doesn't just exist at Cleveland, trust me, it's at practically every club in one shape or another.

Next week the Bermuda Cricket Board are having a meeting to discuss the season and how we can improve going forward.

It's imperative that every club sends a representative, one who cares, and has the sport's best interest at heart so we can collectively bounce back from a nightmare season and have an outstanding one next year.

Tough to watch: Smith, the Cleveland coach, admits he was devastated by some of his team's behaviour (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published October 02, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated October 02, 2015 at 1:14 am)

So glad nightmare season is over

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