Haniff blasts organisation of Women’s cricket tournament
By Sean Devers
Stabroek News
July 3, 2003

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President of the Guyana Women’s Cricket Association and manager of this year’s national female cricket team Angela Haniff feels that the 2003 rain affected West Indies Women’s Cricket tournament which concluded on Saturday in Grenada was poorly organized.

The Berbician Haniff, who recently took over the presidency from Emily Dodson, said she was pleased with the overall performance of the Guyana team although she thinks her young team did not benefit much from the competition which ended with Trinidad and Tobago being crowned champions after winning both the league and knock-out competitions.

Guyana who re-entered regional women’s cricket for the first time after 20 years in 2001, was the youngest team in the competition and their lone victory was against the USA.

“Although our only win was against the USA, we have filed two protests involving the games against St. Lucia and Jamaica.

We are still awaiting the outcome of those protests to see what space we finished in the competition,” Haniff told Stabroek Sports.

“In the game against Jamaica we were told that we needed to get 80 from 34 overs due to the Duckworth Lewis system after rain fell with Jamaica making 107 in 43.3 overs.

When we reached that score the umpire said he never told our captain 80 was our target and we decided not to continue the game,” the manager explained.

She added that she felt the game against Saint Lucia should have been called off after heavy rain left the outfield wet and soggy and to her mind, unfit for play.

“After we batted the rain came down during the lunch break and when the umpires re-started the game the conditions were very bad and our players were at a terrible disadvantage in the dangerous conditions which also made fielding a nightmare. That game should have been declared a no result,” Haniff explained.

“The competition was poorly organized and apart from poor umpiring, the standard of scoring was shocking for a competition of this standard. Little boys, who seemed unable to understand some of the umpires’ signals, were used as scorers and one hopes that when these competitions are played in some of the smaller Islands the West Indies Board pay attention to what transpires,” an upset Haniff declared.

Haniff said the team spirit was very good but she feels that the young players need to work a lot harder on their cricket if they hope to be successful at the regional level.

“I got the impression from the body language of the young players during the opening ceremony that they were intimidated by the size of the players from the other teams even before the competition began,” Haniff said.

Haniff feels that Indomattie Gordiyal was the leading performer for Guyana in Grenada. She said that although captain Diana Ferreira James got a five-wicket haul in the competition, she bowled too many wides and never really put pressure on the opposition batters opening the bowling.

Haniff lamented that the team did not have enough time to prepare properly for the competition and feels that girls in Guyana are not playing enough cricket.

She said her main priority as president of the women’s cricket board is to get more fund-raising activities going to get more club competitions in place.

“I hope we can get the support of the public, the government and the business community to help develop women’s cricket in Guyana. I hope that the inter-county competition is completed when the weather improves since Essequibo did not get a chance to play due to rain. I am also hoping to get a combined Georgetown team to play in Berbice to help raise funds and create interest for female cricket in Berbice,” Haniff disclosed.

“I am hoping that the girls try to attend lectures on the laws of cricket, umpiring, scoring and so on. I get the impression that all they want to do is bat and bowl.

I don’t think the girls know enough about cricket. They are young and can improve if they really want to work hard and take the game seriously,” Haniff revealed.

Skipper Ferreira James agreed that the competition was poorly organized and felt that the rain also affected her team’s chances of doing better.

The FIFA football referee also complained about the low standard of umpiring.

“In the Jamaica game the umpire told me one thing and then when we thought we had won said something else. I was the next person to bat when a wicket fell at our victory score and I fully agreed with the coach when he decided not to continue the game,” James noted.

“Taking all things into account I am fairly satisfied with the team’s performance but the younger players need to realize that they have to apply themselves a lot more if they want to do well against far more experienced players,” the captain said.

The 2003 West Indies female under-23 competition is slated for St. Vincent during the Easter period while the 2003 senior competition is fixed for Trinidad and Tobago during the summer vacation.