CAPTAIN TAYLOR Speaking of coaches, Jamaica is in need of coaches, good coaches, and quickly at that. Good coaches make good cricketers, sometimes they turn good cricketers into great cricketers, and good and great cricketers make good and great teams. At present, Jamaica has some good coaches – Robert Samuels, Terrence Corke and Odelmo Peters, to name a few – but more are needed, and many more at that. Jamaica’s cricket needs more coaches to match the numbers in football, more so, the numbers and the quality of those in track and field, and thank God, two good ones are now available. One who is currently available is Andre Coley, the former Kingston College, Kingston Club, Lucas, Jamaica Youth, West Indies Youth, and Jamaica wicketkeeper. Coley recently worked as an assistant coach on the West Indies team for a few years, but he is back home and ready to work in Jamaica. The other one is Robert Haynes, the former Kingston College, Lucas Club, Kensington Club, Jamaica Youth, West Indies Youth, Jamaica, and West Indies ODI right-arm leg-spinner, and the man who narrowly missed representing the West Indies in Test matches. It would be a good move to get them on the Jamaica Cricket Association’s team of coaches, where they could better serve Jamaica’s cricket well. COLEY AND HAYNES It is said that good things come to those who wait, and thankfully, something good has come to West Indies cricket, courtesy of president Dave Cameron. The new technical director of West Indies cricket is a West Indian, and he is none other than Jimmy Adams, the former Jamaica and West Indies left-handed batsman, part-time left-arm spinner, and part-time wicketkeeper who also served as captain. The man, who, after his first 12 Test matches, boasted a better average than the legendary Don Bradman, is also a member of the ICC’s World Cricket Committee and a former president of the FICA, the Federation of International Cricketers Association. After marking time for a long time, during which Englishman Richard Pybus sat in the position, the West Indies Cricket Board finally saw the wisdom of having one of their own in this most important position in their fight to get the West Indies back to the top of world cricket. And they could not have made a better choice. Adams is a good man, he was a good cricketer, and one who played with some good and great cricketers. He is bright, he was a student of the game before, during, and after his playing days, he broadened his knowledge of the game as coach of Jamaica and of country club Kent, and most important of all, he possesses a passion second to none for the development of the game. As one who has been through been there and done it all, mainly through hard work and dedication as against what is glibly called ‘natural talent’, he is also a natural fit for the job. On top of all that, Adams possesses the kind of personality, and the integrity, which make him ideal for the job, the job of working with and dealing with the West Indian people and their insularity. If anyone can do it, Adams seems to be the one. A round of applause for the West Indies Cricket Board for seeing the light and taking Adams on board as the technical director, even though they apparently have also employed Australian Stuart Law as the West Indies cricket coach. That move is a negative one following the replacement of Bennett King, another Australian, with Phil Simmons and then the firing of Simmons some months ago. It reminds me of the popular saying about the cow kicking over the pail of milk. The West Indies were once the best cricket team in the world, and arguably the best ever in the world, and the West Indies must have produced a few good coaches over the years. Simmons was and is a good coach, and his only mistake was that he mixed up the job as coach and that of a selector, or as the selector, and a very talkative one at that. It is, however, infra dig, or at least it appears so, to turn to an Australian, or an Englishman, or to anyone but a West Indian to solve the problem of West Indies cricket in this day and age. Congrats to Jamaica’s women’s cricket captain and to the winning West Indies women’s World Cup captain, Staphanie Taylor, who has been named captain of the Women’s Team of the Year by the International Cricket Council. This is the first year that the award has been made in women’s cricket. The team, which was named for the period September 2015 to September 2016, includes two West Indians, three New Zealanders, two Australians, two English, one Indian, and one South African. The team, which was named in batting order, has Taylor coming in at number four and Deandra Dottin, also of the West Indies, batting at number eight. New Zealand’s Suzzie Bates, who was named to bat at number one, was named the ODI and T20 Player of the Year. Bates, who won the ODI award in 2013, was the first player to win both awards. In ODI matches, she totalled 472 runs for an average of 94.90 per innings and took eight wickets at an economy rate of 3.75 runs over, and in T29 cricket, Bates scored 429 runs with four fifties at an average of 42.90 per innings.
The Indian men’s hockey team will take on Japan as they open their campaign in the Asia Cup 2017 here at the Maulana Bhashani National Stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday.Though India are clear favourites for the title and interestingly also have the backing of the local crowd who welcomed the team with loud cheers during their practice match on Monday against Oman, they need to bring their top game to every match to ensure they top Pool A which will also see Bangladesh and Pakistan in the fray.”The opening match of the tournament is always challenging because we need to get over the early nervousness and find our rhythm. We have had two good practice sessions on the main pitch and even played a practice match against Oman. The team is upbeat and ready for the first challenge,” stated skipper Manpreet Singh on the eve of their first match.India previously played Japan in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year where they beat them 4-3. It’s Japan’s ability to play fast-paced hockey with good attack that makes them an unpredictable team. At the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup they set up a shocking 3-2 win over World No.2 Australia.”We have seen how they play and they are definitely one of the fastest improving sides in Asia. We can never take Japan to be an easy team,” expressed Manpreet.India’s defence line-up saw a minor change with the experienced Kothajit Singh missing out due to an injury. “But we are now joined by Amit Rohidas who has just returned from a good outing at the Australian Hockey League and he did well during India’s tour of Belgium and Holland so we don’t see Kothajit’s absence as a set-back,” explained Manpreet.advertisementOn the other hand, Japanese National Coach Siegfried Aikman minced no words when he said that every team stands a chance to make the final in this tournament. “It’s a major tournament which gives us the opportunity to play at the highest level. The World Cup qualifier makes it even more challenging for us but reality learns that we need to know our place in the ranking. We stand for a huge challenge to compete with outstanding teams in our group. However, this is sports and in sports its always possible to flip the script. So, let’s wait and see,” he stated.Speaking about India in the tournament, Aikman said, “I think that India has the best chances as the highest ranked team in this tournament. But behind India almost all countries can surprise. As I said before we don’t come only to participate we came to achieve our goals.”