By Carlena Knight
For many years, one of the issues facing the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB) is the under-performance of the junior teams in regional tournaments, but President of the LICB Enoch Lewis believes he has found one way to address that situation.
Lewis, who was a guest on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show last week, shared his view that a minds’ coach is one avenue the Board can look at to help curb this dilemma.
“One of the things that comes to mind with the recent under performance of the Under-19 team is whether or not we need somebody in there, a minds’ coach. When that team was leaving here, there were a lot of folks who saw the team in training and were very, very optimistic about what they would do in the tournament. But from year to year when they leave the confines of familiar circumstances, of familiar grounds and faces, once we go outside they just under perform for some reason.
“To me, it is not necessarily the lack of skills, but the mindset is not quite right.”
Lewis, despite showing his concern for the Under-19 team, did not share the exact sentiment for the Under-15.
“Our Under-15s, we selected a lot of guys who will play in this tournament for the next two years with that development in mind, and so, we are expecting them to be better next year,” he said.
“When I looked at our team [compared with] the other Under-15s, I saw a bunch of real kids versus some people who are teenagers. You know the size difference was so obvious. We believe we are onto something; we have some guys with skill and if we can keep them around for another two years, we are hoping by that time that it will pay dividends.”
Another issue highlighted by Lewis was the fact that the sport of cricket continues to lose its numbers to other sports, and he stated what he believes is the reason for that.
“What has happened is that a lot of these other sports offer scholarships and so a lot of these players have gravitated to these other sports. It allows them to play the sport and at the same time get their education.
“We are not that fortunate on the cricket side. We have been able to get a few guys to go off to the University of the West Indies after they have finished school to get their tertiary education done. But outside of the region, we have not been so lucky in getting other scholarships. In other words, they are very limited and so we tend to lose players to other sports as a result of that,” the LICB president said.