While there are so many more important things going on in the world at the moment, I feel compelled to address cricket in Canada. I wish not only to address our national cricket team, our cricketing administration and structure, but some of the key stakeholders, the cricketing community.
As I write, Canada has won its only game at the ICC World Cricket League Division 2. Today, USA and Oman qualified for ODI status. There is a possibility still that Canada can qualify in the top 4, but that is dependant on many other factors.
The easy thing to do now is to tear apart the team selections and selectors. Berate the batsmen not producing runs. Come down on the bowlers who’ve failed to get key breakthroughs and let runs go every game. Hindsight is twenty-twenty (no pun intended), and it is always easy to rip apart and criticize on-field decisions and tactics. All that will do no good now. As the cricketing community the best thing that you can do is rally around your team, rally around your country.
Far too often, especially on social media (because everyone has a voice now), people have taken advantage of the platform and used it to boost their own egos and attack players. The captain of Canada, Davy Jacobs, is the most experienced, proven and successful player in the country. He has played 91 First Class matches, 106 List A and 83 T20 matches in his career to date. These matches were compiled in a professional career playing in South Africa, England, India and West Indies. He has played IPL and opened the batting with Sachin Tendulkar. He has represented South Africa “A” touring numerous countries around the world. Davy, on this tour has been Canada’s leading batsman and today secured victory for the team with another undefeated half ton.
Now, over the last few days, so-called experts have tried to attack him as a player and captain. People whom either have played no level of cricket and one’s that think they are world class players. The cricketing public is free to rant and have every right to an opinion, but when some people are given the status of “cricket experts” then that becomes problematic.
This brings me to highlight a conversation I had last week with an international cricket coach, who is highly respected in Australia and England (as he’s worked with numerous current England players). In our conversation we spoke about the amount of talent in Canada. He agreed we have some very highly talented players. He also stated that one of the major problems with cricketers getting better in Canada and other associate countries, is that they “believe they have made it” and build a “big fish in a little pond mentality”. I totally agree with this and it was proven on a social media blog recently where a so-called “expert” has perhaps in his own mind become a world superstar, who felt they could attack the class and integrity of Canada’s best player. Now one thing is for sure. For anyone who has played, coached or been involved in sport at a high level, is that there is a basic respect for your fellow athletes. We may not all agree on strategy or rate people differently, but when someone has played a high level of sport, there is a common respect between athletes.
Canada is a growing and developing cricketing country. We need to be careful and mindful in how it is portrayed. We need to ensure that people not within the cricketing circles are not miseducated about the game. I have seen too much ranting, attacking and hating over the last little while, and now today’s case the “experts” are doing a lot of “back- tracking”, “tails between the legs”, “eating their words” type discussions. It really and truly is farcical.
We need solutions and plans. There’s a time for talk and there’s a time for action. Now ask yourself, what action have you done and that’s your value.