Resource constraints flowing from increasingly tough economic times are bound to be negatively affecting Jamaican sport and, in particular, the preparation of teams and individuals.
Credit is due to our rich sporting culture, the dedication and expertise of coaches and administrators as well as the talent and determination of competitors for continued success in so many areas, despite the odds.
In the latest examples — following hard on the heels of glory at the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow — Jamaica's Under-19 cricketers and our senior women's cricketers deserve high praise, having reaped success just recently.
Our Under-19 cricketers won both the regional one-day and three-day titles in St Kitts. The national women's team also grabbed a double, winning the regional twenty20 and super50 titles in Grenada.
The success of the Under-19 cricketers, coached by former Jamaica captain and West Indies batsman Mr Robert Samuels, would have been particularly heart-warming following on a disappointing showing on home soil by the national Under-15 cricketers earlier in the summer.
The Under-19 performance reassured us that Jamaica's cricket at youth level remains strong -- fuelled by the school competitions sponsored by GraceKennedy as well as the ScotiaBank-sponsored development programme, et al.
We expect that the administration which takes control of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), following the upcoming annual general meeting, will bring fresh ideas on how to further strengthen Jamaica's cricket at the youth level. Even more importantly, there must be a plan to so strengthen the clubs and parish associations that talent emerging from the age-groups system is enhanced.
The extraordinary success of the inaugural Caribbean Premier League is yet another signal to all that there is a future in cricket; that there can be a viable livelihood for those good enough to play professionally — even should they fall short of the West Indies team.
In the case of our female cricketers, they continue to excel despite the absence of school and club leagues.
It's incredible that despite the emergence of such world stars as Miss Stefanie Taylor, Jamaica's women's cricket is now far less structured than it was 40 years ago.
Surely it must be time for a competition serving our young female cricketers in schools, as well as a properly run club and parish programme for the senior players. We suggest that those women who have represented the country down the years have a responsibility to strongly lobby the JCA, ISSA, et al to get these programmes going.
Certainly, those delegates, male and female, getting ready to vote at the upcoming JCA election should be asking searching questions of the contenders regarding their plans for women's cricket.