January 28, 2011

Messiah's Men mess up in the 2011 WCL Division 3 Tournament

It isn't the lack of talent or the lack of resources but somehow the USA's senior team managed to not only not get promoted but took the elevator down to WCL Division 4.   There will be many views on why this happened but one cannot escape the sense one got that they were over-confident, they even felt entitled, they didn't seem to play as a unit, and their age showed.  Their batting was particularly vulnerable with ill-advised shot making costing them dearly.  Catching wasn't their strong point either with several drops and run-out misses.  They did have good moments -- the win over Hong Kong was an impressive one and the fightback win over Oman after being nearly done and dusted at 20 for 7 chasing 122.  And, of course, they likely got the raw end of many decisions. 

This was a team that was picked not because the players had performed of late but because they were mostly an established albeit aging group who appeared to be successful.   I think with this debacle, it is time for many of the older players to move on and for younger ones to find their places and get their feet wet as they attempt to get up to WCL Division 3 in the next couple of years.  Any player who is over 35 who plays ODI cricket better be incredibly fit or incredibly skilled.  I don't think US has such players.  So youth is the way to go.

Lets not forget that team management must have been an issue especially when the assistant coach is asked to play and he gladly does.  The performances of the manager, coach and other staff needs to be carefully evaluated given some of the bizarre decisions regarding team composition.

Dainty and company back in the US should feel quite embarassed by this demotion and use it as a forcing function for changes that ultimately make US cricket better.  What most people in the know will tell you and me is that no such thing will happen because the current crew at USACA is not interested in winning but mostly interested in the perks and privileges that come with staying in power. 

To me, this lack of desire to win at the highest level of cricket managememt is the saddest part of all this.

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