By Neto Baptiste
A vast majority of young players today are uncoachable and smoke too much weed. This is the analysis of veteran cricket coach and former national player, John Archibald.
Archibald, who was speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show at the time, was responding to concerns over the low number of promising young talents advancing to and doing well at both the national and regional levels of the game.
“It’s not in my business to tell people how to live their lives but I have been saying to these youngsters that some of their brains are not fully developed yet for the amount of weed [marijuana] some of them want to smoke. This everyday diet of getting up in the morning and literally smoking your life away. That talent that you see out there and you’re saying good, beautiful, wonderful, that talent is not going to amount to very much. Majority of that talent, trust what I am telling you, is going to just die a natural death and some of them are going to just give up playing cricket at an early age because they’re just not going to have it any more,” he said.
The former Leeward Islands player who currently coaches the CUB Bethesda Golden Eagles in the domestic league, believes the next generation of cricketers is not as hungry for success as their predecessors, while their ability to endure and utilise criticism in a positive way is non-existent.
“Ninety-something percent of these youngsters throughout the length and breadth of Antigua are not coachable. Some people offer you a decent word of advice … and some of these young players will take it and become disgruntled with it. So, you have to become coachable and be willing to put in the mileage and the work because these are the things required to get you to the next level,” Archibald said.
“I can’t tell when last I get up early in the morning and see somebody running on the cricket field or running on the road, putting in their mileage, or doing some little extra bit after practice, whether it be knocking some balls, sprinting, or whether it be doing something you think your game needs in order to take it to the next level,” he added.
Bethesda is currently sixth in the 10-team standings for the ongoing Two-Day Cricket Competition with 18 points from their three matches to date. They have won one, lost one, and drawn one. PIC Liberta Blackhawks, unbeaten in their three matches thus far, is leading the standings.
Bethesda finished as runners up in the recently staged Cool & Smooth T20 Explosion, losing to Blackhawks in a rain-affected final at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.