IPL and West Indies Cricket

IPL and West Indies Cricket

Declining interest in cricket among young men started long before the advent of the IPL. Instead of bemoaning the decision of key players to opt for the IPL instead of playing for the West Indies we should face the realities and embrace this as a blessing in disguise.

In much the same way that the entertainment industry attracts young persons who are seeking a viable means of making a living, the T20 leagues provide an option for many who may not make the cut at the highest level.

Consider the Kevon Coopers who might have been confined to playing regionally for virtually no pay. He and others like him might be inspired to develop their skills in the knowledge that there are attractive opportunities around the world for highly skilled cricketers.

West Indies was strong when we had scores making a living in county and league cricket. The IPL and T20 leagues present a counter-point to basketball and football.

Reflect on the amazing interest in athletics in Jamaica not indirectly linked to the vast opportunities for many who could not qualify for a small squad of elite performers to make a substantial living.

The lessons from a Sunil Narine who rebounded from having to correct his action to earning megabucks in a short period of time will not be lost on many who will now commit to more serious time in the nets. This can only be good for West Indies cricket in the medium and long term.

There is no guarantee that if the IPL players were available we would beat higher ranked teams. Those players are making a far more significant contribution to the development of West Indies cricket.

Time will tell!

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Sports As A Career

As parents we tend to hammer home the importance of academic pursuit with our children.

“Have you done your homework?” is a staple feature of dialogue with our kids. How often do we hear “Have you run your laps and done your push-ups”? or “Have you completed your batting (or bowling) practice”?

News just out is that the lowly placed West Indies players in the relatively unattractive sport of cricket have just been awarded contracts.

Some pretty ordinary cricketers are guaranteed US$80,000 and US$100,000 per year. That is more than most executives in the Caribbean earn. It certainly outstrips teachers’ salaries by a long shot.

Of course all this is chicken feed when compared to what is now on offer in Athletics, not to mention Basketball and Football.

The message: Follow up on the development of the physical, sporting skills as well. At a minimum, the child will be healthier.

Here is the report on the cricketers who have been awarded contracts.