“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” – Galatians 6:9
Two weeks ago, I advised that, in the context of a WI cricket captain, the inner or personal qualities of an individual that constitute effective leadership include humility, values, character, motives, habits, traits, competencies, style, behaviors, and skills.
Based on these qualities, I recommended that Ganga be selected as West Indies captain ahead of Sarwan. I received a response “I would go with Ganga as captain because of his superior leadership skills and he seems to be a more socially mature person.” I like the “socially mature” phrase. Indeed, it expresses what I wanted to say but I could not find a way of saying it without appearing to be offensive.
Bruce Aanensen, the new WICB CEO, was quoted as follows: “The board had proposed, about a year ago, criteria for the selection of a captain. It was never officially implemented but after discussion with the cricket committee and the selectors, we all agreed that it should be used as the guide to the selection of captain.
He said that neither Sarwan nor Ganga fulfilled all of the criteria and it was agreed that Sarwan would be appointed and be given the necessary assistance in achieving the criteria laid out. Bruce went on to say that Sarwan’s on-the-field leadership and knowledge of the game were the two things that swung things in his favour and added that he also has the respect of the players.
It was not a very convincing selection process and I did not get the impression that either Sarwan or Ganga was interviewed on the phone or otherwise. One reassuring element is that Ganga has been, albeit belatedly, appointed vice captain. We must now support Ronnie Sarwan and Daren Ganga and wish them all the best.
It was reported on the WICB website that “The WICB at a Special Meeting in Barbados, on Sunday April 29, reviewed recommendations for a New Vision for West Indies cricketâ€¦The Board agreed to adopt the best practices proposed by the group and send a clear signal that the way forward will be characterised by a renewed emphasis on confidentiality, accountability and performance. The Board endorsed the view that in future it will not be ‘business as usual’. In this context the Board agreed that future agreements with the players will be based on a performance remuneration package”.
There is some evidence in the selection of the team that indeed it will not be “business as usual”. The non selection of Dwayne Smith and Marlon Samuels, two very talented cricketers, should send them a message. Whether they receive it and act upon it is another matter. They need help.
How many people noticed that, in the WI England match on the 21st April, Marlon Samuels was off the field from midway in the England innings and did not return. Was Samuels injured? I saw no evidence of this. I did however observe his sullen body language as he walked off. I wonder why? Let us hope that the captain and vice captain can work together and with the team’s management and build a team that will grow from strength to strength.
We expect leaders to demonstrate personal character, set directions, mobilise individual commitment, and engender organizational capability. Leaders must be accountable. Let us scrutinize their performance and take timely corrective action, where necessary. Let us praise them in a timely manner when it is deserved.
It is heartening to note that the board has at last decided that the compensation of the members of the West Indies team should be based on performance. We have no details of the system that is proposed but one thing is sure that targets or benchmarks must be set for each player which will be the basis on which his performance will be judged.
What can we realistically expect from the team in terms of batting performance in a Test match? The historical test batting averages are: (1) Gayle – 38; (2) Ganga – 27; (3) Chanderpaul – 45; (4) Sarwan – 38; (5) Bravo -32; (6) Morton – 26; (7) Smith – 25 or Joseph – 16; (8) Ramdin – 26; (9) Taylor – 8 or Sammy – NA; (10) Powell – 6 or Rampaul – NA; (11) Collymore – 8 or Edwards – 4. The average total that can be expected from the team’s batting performance is 270. In any given Innings, first or second, during the test series in England it may be less or more.
The full management team for the forthcoming tour of the UK includes a manager, a head coach, an assistant coach, strength and conditioning coach, a physiologist, a performance enhancement consultant, and a physiotherapist.
Can the management team motivate each player to achieve a batting average during the UK tour which is 10%, say, greater than their historical test batting average? This could be the new performance target for each player and if it is achieved we can expect average team totals of about 300. I think that this can be achieved with the right performance based incentives, dedication, motivation, commitment and loyalty. If this fails then the management team would have failed and would be accountable. We must not give up!