Best wishes for Mr Michael Muirhead: he'll need it

Saturday, September 22, 2012    

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Such is the nature of sport that West Indies, contemptuously dismissed time and again over the last decade and more as 'no hopers', are being favoured by many to win the ICC World twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka.

Should they win their opening game today against always-powerful Australia their stocks will soar sky high, though the tournament is actually so structured, that they need only beat Ireland on Monday to be sure of progression to the next round.

Much of the reason for the surge in expectations of this West Indies team has to do with the make up of the squad and the nature of twenty20 cricket.

The core of the West Indies squad including Messrs Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwyane Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell and captain, Mr Darren Sammy, are considered among the top power hitters of world cricket - seen as a huge plus in the shortest form of the game.

Also, the bowling attack - led by the off spinner Mr Sunil Narine who was recently named Emerging Player of the Year by the ICC - is considered very capable.

Additionally, over the past year or two, the West Indies have been gaining respect for performances on the field in all forms of cricket, even while losing. Their domination of New Zealand in Florida and the Caribbean in July and August will have sharply accelerated that growing respect.

Good performances over the last year by the West Indies 'A' and the obvious success so far of the two year-old Sagicor High Performance Centre suggest a basis for optimism going forward.

Obviously, all well thinking West Indian cricket fans will be hoping for a strong West Indian performance in Sri Lanka - none more so, we suggest, than the newly appointed CEO, management consultant Mr Michael Muirhead.

Mr Muirhead takes over from Dr Ernest Hilaire, whose several run-ins with players, the players union WIPA and others have left a bitter taste.

The latest costly arbitration rulings in favour of players Messrs Ramnaresh Sarwan and Lendl Simmons against the WICB provide yet more evidence of the loss of credibility by the regional board and the extent of the repair job that must be done.

Complex negotiations with the players and their union and other stakeholders including existing and potential sponsorship partners, media partners and regional governments must be undertaken by the WICB to take regional cricket forward.

At the centre of it all, by virtue of necessity, will be Mr Muirhead.

Even as he must be decisive, Mr Muirhead will do well, we think, to seek to eschew the air of confrontation which has clouded the issues in recent years.

Crucially, we recommend due diligence and thoughtfulness at every turn. We wish Mr Muirhead well as we do West Indies cricket. He'll need all our support.





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