Windies going through `structural adjustment’- Griffith
..`there will be no gain without pain’
June 7, 2004
KINGSTON, Jamaica -President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Teddy Griffith has termed the current era of West Indies cricket as a period of “structural adjustment.”
Speaking at the Annual Awards Banquet of the Medical Association of
Jamaica held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Saturday night, Griffith said the game in the region was undergoing “all the pains (and hopefully the gains) associated with that term.”
Griffith, however, stressed that the improvement of West Indies cricket did not lie in the hands of the WICB alone.
“If it is true that there is no stronger force than cricket to unify us
regionally and give us pride, then we must all be prepared to go to bat
for the regional game. In this structural adjustment phase, I repeat, there will be no gain without pain and the way forward must entail the involvement of those with the skills, talents and ideas to lift us up,” he added.
Basing his address on the theme the Challenges of Modern-Day Cricket,
the WICB President said the adjustment had become necessary because West Indies cricket had been “caught out by the winds of change, both on and off the field, which swept through world cricket from the mid-nineties.”
He said on the field, it was no secret that the professionalism honed
day-in-day out in English County Cricket had been a major contributor
to the success of the all-conquering West Indies team of the 80s and 90s. Griffith pointed out that compared with those days when as many as
twenty West Indian players were engaged in the County Championship, the number of regional players involved in English County cricket today could be counted on the fingers of one hand.
“With that avenue virtually cut off, the opportunities for regular
high-class cricket so necessary to develop a player’s skills and
attitudes have become limited,” he added.
The WICB president said that off the field there had been a movement
towards professional administration, which brought with it an increase in the application of scientific methodology, including the use of technology to improve on the field performance.
“These are not issues that can be resolved over night, particularly
given the financial position of the game in the Caribbean. However the WICB has been taking action to bring our cricket back to the elevated position in world cricket that its talent suggests it should attain,” he said.
He cited the provision of regular high level playing opportunities
outside of the international game as a top priority of his administration as was the upgrading of the staff at the Antigua-based Secretariat, which was being structured to meet the demands of administration in the modern-day game.
The Board itself, the president said, had a blend of youth and Experience “all of whom bring strong business and professional qualifications to the table.”
Its structure was also designed to ensure that the direction of the game in the region, at the very least, kept abreast of its counterparts in the International Cricket Council (ICC), he added.