The New year is just a few days old, and despite all the problems in West Indies cricket – the abandoned tour of India; the defeats at the hands of Australia; Sri Lanka, and Australia again; the crisis facing the Board; and the fact that no West Indian made it into Test cricket’s Top Ten at the end of the year – we wish all those in the fraternity all the best for 2016. The only saving grace last year was the wonderful and thrilling victory at Kensington Oval, the one which handed the West Indies a draw against England and which filled every West Indian with excitement and with plenty hope. Although that hope ended only in wishful thinking, my wish, despite my feeling that things will remain the same, in spite of the huffing and puffing by the toothless CARICOM governments, is that the gloom of 2015 will be replaced by a little light in 2016. I love cricket, and I am passionate about Melbourne, Jamaica, and West Indies cricket. Indeed, most people, those who know me and know me well, especially my family, will say that I eat, sleep, and drink cricket. Last year, the West Indies brought down the curtain with an embarrassing and humiliating performance against Australia. They did nothing right. They were terrible in batting, bowling, and fielding. Indeed, with the exception of Darren Bravo, Kraigg Brathwaite, and a few others, they looked like novices. This year, however, the West Indies are scheduled to play one or two series, and based on results of the recent past, things are hardly likely to be any better. In fact, every year it has been the same. Despite the utterances about improvements and little gains, nothing has changed; nothing at all. Looking at the team, which, despite its weakness, includes a few questionable selections, looking at the management team, which allows inexperience and non-performing youngsters to speak on behalf of the team, and looking at the people who consistently talk glowingly about what to expect from the players despite defeat after defeat, it is easy to write off the players – especially as it appears that nothing is really being done to remedy the situation. Despite all the talk, the huge entourage surrounding the team on every tour, the money reportedly being spent on West Indies cricket, and the outreach in West Indies cricket, nothing is really happening. The West Indies need a system to develop their young players into productive players. They need to play the game regularly, to train regularly, and not only when it is ordered and supervised. They need people, good people, checking on them regularly, and not only to sympathise with them and to pat them on the back like nice guys whenever they fail. They need people, coaches or whoever, who will also say something or do something constructive at such times, which, at this time, is most times. COMMITTED PLAYERS The West Indies need to look also for players, good players, who are also proud people, committed people, and people who, although there is not one, respect the flag. And those kinds of players are necessary, very necessary. It makes no sense, or very little sense, to have the most talented players who, at the first sign of adversity, sulk and withdraw themselves from the game, sometimes, most times, affecting other players on the team. The West Indies need players who believe in one for all and all for one, and also players who, even though it is not true, believe, like a journalist, that he, or she, is as good as his, or her, last story. It is folly to fail, and fail, after one or two good performance and to stroll around the ground, to swagger, like the proverbial “cat’s pyjamas”. It is just as bad to treat one who has failed and failed after one or two good performances like royalty. My wish for 2016 is that these things will change. West Indies cricket has been through the good and the bad. It started promisingly, it had its watershed in 1950, it had its ups and downs, it became the best in the world, and now it is back at stage one. The return to the glory days, or near to them, must come back, hopefully, if not quickly. West Indies cricket basically has good, young players. They, however, need to commit themselves to the game and to the West Indies, to train hard and to play hard, and to remember who they are, where they are from, and that although it may not be the best in the world, although players from India, England, Australia earn more money than they do, those from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and South Africa are not. The West Indies players are paid what the West Indies can afford. It is as simple as that. My wish for the new year is that from all the few basically talented West Indies players some can be found with the class to carry West Indies cricket through these parlous times. The West Indies need players who can bat, bowl, field and know how to play the game. The West Indies need batsmen who can do more than reel off a pretty stroke here and there, bowlers who can really bowl and who can get good batsmen out, and fielders who can really field. My wish for this year is that the West Indies will see the light and realise that their cricketers are nowhere nearly as good as those of yesteryear, that their cricketers will also face that fact, that their cricketers play Test cricket two or three years too early in most cases, that our administrators will end their insularity, tighten up on West Indies cricket and make it stronger, and that they need to train and practice until they hear a voice say practice no more. West Indies cricket also needs to see less swagger in the cricketers, less cheerleaders, for whatever reason, among those who should guide, and among those guide technical development, and more people who can inspire and motivate rather than simply tell how to bat and bowl.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC):Veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul has called time on his illustrious international career, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced late yesterday.In a release, the WICB said the 41-year-old Guyanese had given notification via email that he was no longer available for selection.Chanderpaul played a record 164 Tests, amassing 11,867 runs at an average of 51. He is second on the all-time West Indies list of run-scorers to Brian Lara who scored 11 953 runs.He also played 268 one-day internationals and 22 Twenty20 internationals.Chanderpaul was axed last May by West Indies selectors following a run of low scores but said at the time he was focused on regaining his place in the side.He represented Guyana Jaguars in the ongoing Regional Super50 in Trinidad and Tobago.
House-to-House registrationProtests from PPP supporters for an election date to be set by the President…says dialogue should determine way forward…Christmas Day deadline impracticalStatements from officials that elections can only be conducted after Christmas Day should be taken with a grain of salt. This is according to a senior Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) official, who, however, noted the importance of dialogue between the Opposition – People’s Progressive Party – and the Government to find a solution.According to the official, the call for House-to-House Registration needing to take at least five months, when elections is already months overdue, cannot be taken seriously.The December 25 timeline was first put forward by GECOM lawyer Stanley Marcus to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) during a post-judgement hearing a few weeks ago. What is needed, the senior official said, is for GECOM to compress its activities to ensure everyone is satisfied with the process.“I think it’s [important] to have a list you can trust. The question is whether this list is good enough or not. [We] can do an election, I would imagine, in a shorter time than what I hear people peddling about December 25,” the official said.“I think the lawyer may have been saying that facetiously,” the official added. “I don’t think he said it with any conviction. So, perhaps the two parties can discuss how we can shorten the period of House-to-House Registration and then, subsequent to that, a two weeks’ Claims and Objections and we have the elections pretty early.”While this is the practical course of action, the official expressed concern that political persons are pushing agendas that are counterproductive to dialogue and compromise. And these voices, the official said, are drowning out the smaller voices of reason.ElectionsLast month, the CCJ ruled that the No-Confidence Motion of December 21, 2019, was validly passed against the Government. It also ruled that Alliance For Change (AFC) defector, Charrandas Persaud was entitled to vote against his party list and that even as a dual citizen, his vote was still valid.On the matter of then GECOM Chairman, retired Justice James Patterson, the court ruled that not only was his appointment unconstitutional, but the President ought to have given the Opposition Leader an explanation as to why consecutive lists of nominees were being rejected. Patterson has since resigned, igniting dialogue between President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo to select his replacement.But regardless of what the CCJ ruled, the coalition Government has been blatant in its disregard for the court and has said that it is not prepared to call elections unless House-to-House Registration is carried out.Registration is catered for under Section 6 of the National Registration Act Cap 19:08, with the intent of having those 14 and over included on the National Register of Registrants. But on August 4, 2005, then President Bharrat Jagdeo assented to amendments of the Act by including provisions for Continuous Registration.These amendments were in keeping with an international push away from House-to-House Registration and towards Continuous Registration as the more effective method of registering voters.According to Section 6 (A) of the Amendments, “the Elections Commission shall use the Official List of Electors from the 2001 General and Regional Elections as the base to commence continuing registration.”This meant that persons not on the 2001 Official List of Electors were legally required to visit registration offices in their respective registration areas to apply to be included on the list (though it is understood that GECOM officers would usually visit the homes of those who are disabled). The same holds true for the next (and last) time House-to-House Registration would be done, which was in 2008.The Opposition has consistently argued that House-to-House is nothing more than a delaying ploy and have noted that Claims and Objections are the way to go, even protesting for the President to set an election date on Friday. The CCJ meets on July 12 to hand down consequential orders on exactly what must be done to ensure the Constitution is followed.
34. Adam Bogdan (goalkeeper) 11 11 44. Brad Smith (left back) 11 11 11 11 54. Sheyi Ojo (winger) 11 26. Tiago Ilori (centre back) 11 24. Joe Allen (centre midfield) 11 32. Cameron Brannagan (centre midfield) 7. James Milner (winger) 3. Jose Enrique (centre back) – click the arrow above, right, to see the possible Liverpool line-up against Exeter in squad number order 11 53. Joao Carlos Teixeira (attacking midfield) 11 Exeter City v Liverpool is live on talkSPORT at 7.55pm on Friday 8 January.Jurgen Klopp is prepared to play the kids as his Liverpool side travel to face Exeter City tonight in the third round of the FA Cup.The Reds have a growing injury list, with Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure suffering muscle problems at Stoke on Tuesday.The loss of Toure and Lovren is a big blow, as Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho are also on the sidelines which leaves Liverpool without a senior centre-back.Jose Enrique is expected to be brought in from the cold for his first start of the season and partner Tiago Ilori, who has just been recalled from Aston Villa.Christian Benteke is set to earn a recall in attack after sitting on the bench during their 1-0 win at Stoke, while James Milner and Joe Allen could also start.However, Klopp will have to put faith in the club’s young players such as Brad Smith, Sheyi Ojo and Cameron Brannagan.To see talkSPORT’s predicted XI click the above arrow, right and let us know if you agree. 9. Christian Benteke (striker) 56. Connor Randall (right back)