Jimmy Adams lauds Under-19 attitude January 15, 2006

Poor flour, bad bread

T&T Express

Jimmy Adams is sceptical about the state of domestic cricket in the Caribbean © Getty Images
Jimmy Adams has not been directly involved with West Indies cricket since he played the last of his 54 Test matches back in 2001. But the former West Indies captain is certain of one thing: "If the flour is poor quality and the salt is poor quality, the bread will taste bad."

The Adams comment came yesterday when asked about whether the standard of the senior team had improved any since the left-handed middle-order batsman ended his international career following the 5-0 whitewash the West Indies suffered under his captaincy on their 2000/01 tour of Australia.

Elaborating further, Adams, currently in Trinidad in his capacity as manager of the West Indies Under-19 team currently preparing for the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka, said: "The sort of (desired) improvement won't start at the senior team, it's going to start at the levels below."

But he was sceptical about whether such development was now taking place. "Speaking for Jamaica, standards can be higher," he said. "The sort of lasting success that people want, more consistent (development) has to be made at the lower levels. I'm not sure culturally as an organisation we are inclined that way at the minute. Do we believe in it enough that all the resources will be put into it? Does everybody know what is expected at every level?"

Stressing on the standards of cricket in the West Indies, Adams said the initiative must begin at the basic level. "If you want to raise the standard of a national team, you have to raise the standards at the level below. That's a non-negotiable fact. If the standards below keep falling and they are falling," he stressed. "What do you expect to see when players get to international level?"

While the former WI skipper had his doubts about the present level of senior regional cricket, he was more positive about the little he has seen so far of the under-19s. The inclement weather which forced the postponement of the start of the Carib Sunday League competition this weekend, has also hampered the young Windies squad now encamped at the Sir Frank Worrell Cricket Development Centre in Balmain, Couva.

Adams said the rain had kept the squad of 14 led by Leon Johnson of Guyana indoors. However, while there was not much cricket to see, the general approach was encouraging. "I've been very pleased with the attitude that I've seen. I feel that if that attitude remains, what talent they have, we should see some good cricket coming out of it."

Adams, who was hastily called on to replace Roger Harper who quit as manager to take up a coaching job with Kenya, stressed further: "I'm from the school of thought that the attitude is more important (than talent). It doesn't matter how much talent you have, if the attitude is not right, it's not going to happen. If we can help them to foster the right attitude, you have no doubt that with the general levels of talent that we have, we will see some good cricket resulting."

At the last Under-19 World Cup, West Indies, captained by Denesh Ramdin reached the final where they were beaten by Pakistan.

West Indies Under-19 squad: Leon Johnson (capt, Guyana), Jason Mohammed (vice-capt, T&T), Richard Ramdeen (Guyana), Gajanand Singh (Guyana), Andre Fletcher (Grenada), Nelson Pascal (Grenada), Kemar Roach (Barbados), Javon Searles (Barbados), Shamarh Brooks (Barbados), Andre McCarthy (Jamaica), William Perkins (T&T), Sunil Narine (T&T), Kieron Pollard (T&T), Rishi Bachan (T&T).