In the first of her Bajun Blogs from the beautiful island of Barbados, D-M Layne looks at cricket on the island of Barbados. She believes that cricket in that famous Caribbean island is a tradition that should be held to heart…
Cricket in Barbados is a tradition and one I believe we should hold to heart.
As with anything of any substance, we should nourish it to see it grow, but sadly, over the years it can be said that we have regressed into a primitive state as we have not taken the opportunities to advance.
Cricket is Barbados is still seen as a “hobby” at the local level and I believe that our sportsmen are being taken advantage of. I think that if we want the most out of our cricketers, we need to show them that they are worth it.
Asking a guy to play cricket every weekend for 4 months is a job in itself and one that should be rewarded, after all, some of these young men will go on to represent our country and we need to put everything in place to ensure that there are no hindrances in doing such.
Junior Cricket Programmes
JCPs are few but some clubs have established a system for talent development at the micro-level.
Most of these programmes are funded by the clubs and are often used as means of recreation for younger kids. I see JCPs as a step in the right direction because it allows us to “identify talent” at a very young age, this talent identification will then allow us to put all the possible steps in place to groom our young cricketers into the well-rounded sportsmen that they ought to be.
It also presents the opportunity for a competitive junior league outside of “school cricket” which may allow for young boys not representing school teams to do such.
What’s a sport team without its fans? I say it is nothing.
The purpose of sport, I believe, is to bring people together. Here in Barbados, with cricket being our top sport, spectator interest is very low.
That is because there is nothing for people to be interested in. People don’t see the sport as being competitive nor do they take cricketers as seriously as they should.
Some clubs on weekends can barely muster a crowd of 20 people to watch a match. It gets even worse, at the Regional level, with not even a quarter of the seating being occupied at the Kensington Oval during a 4-Day game.
I’m not old enough to speak about times passed, but based on the stories that I’ve been told, cricket back in the day was nothing to be missed, people still brag about the Legends of Barbados cricket in comparison to the batch of players we have today.
This section ties back into my point of development. The development that I speak of will lead to semi-professionalization of the sport, which will lead to competitiveness, and that will consequently spike the spectator interest we so desire. We need to start making things right!
I’m not going to be all sour and take shots at the system with every chance I get but these are things that we need to recognize and embrace if we intend to improve.
As far as I’m concerned, in Barbados cricket, the negatives far outweigh the positives and it is clearly seen with our Regional performances as a team of recent times.
The good thing about our cricket is that we still have some players left, guys that turn out every weekend to play for the love of the sport. Without that love, our cricket in Barbados would be nothing.
My views are that these guys deserve it all – the commitment and dedication that they’ve shown to this sport is exceptional and they should be rewarded for their hard work.
Dawn-Marie Layne is the Director of DML Sport Psychology, Mental Skills Coach and Female Cricketer for the University of West Indies and Barbados Women.
She has played for two UK Counties and has hopes of playing for the West Indies Women in the near future. She is a right-arm fast bowler and a left-handed bat.
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author and a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications.
He's unsurprisingly a complete cricket badger!