Best wishes to the JCA selection panel
MANY will have missed it, but the newly elected executive of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) has named a new senior selection panel ahead of the 2014 regional cricket season.
Headed by former Jamaica captain and West Indies batsman Mr Wavell Hinds, the panel includes the former West Indies captain, decorated fast bowler and Ambassador-at-Large Mr Courtney Walsh, as well as former Jamaica batsmen Messrs Delroy Morgan, Wayne Lewis and Cleveland Davidson.
This newspaper applauds the choices and wishes Mr Hinds and his panel all that's good as they play their part in the effort to advance Jamaica's cricket.
We would also wish to thank the former panel led by Mr Courtney Daley. They, we believe, did a good job, given all the circumstances.
The new panel has started work, having selected a training squad for the regional 50-over and four-day first-class competitions set to begin in late January and early February.
Training started Tuesday and, while more preparation time would have been ideal, we believe that if all goes according to plan there will be adequate opportunity for individuals to impress the selectors ahead of competition.
We are pleased by the number of new faces mixed in with the experienced players in the training squad.
For, while the national side has done really well, time waits for no man.
The Tamar Lambert-led four-day Jamaica team has been exceptional, winning an unprecedented five regional titles from 2008 to 2012.
However, Mr Lambert and the core of the squad over those years are now mostly over 30 years old. Inevitably, over the next few years, they will have to make way for new blood.
The transition must take place gradually, and must be handled delicately so as to always maintain that important balance between experience and youth.
Mr Hinds and his panel will also be well aware, we are sure, of the need to be respectful to those who have served their country. Too often in the past, at the level of Jamaica and West Indies cricket, players who have given their all are shunted aside in a manner which leaves a bad taste.
In that respect, this newspaper believes it would be in order for new JCA President Mr Wilford 'Billy" Heaven and his executive to contemplate how best to honour past national cricketers.
Certainly, those who have held the Jamaican flag aloft in the championship-winning teams of recent years should not be allowed to walk away without due recognition.