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A Disturbing Trend Infecting NY Players

By Orin Davidson

The curtains came down on the Ahmad Caribbean Cup series in blaze of glory for undisputed champions Guyana, and not the thrilling finish befitting the grand finale of a competition of its magnitude

Guyana pounded Jamaica in the Twenty20 overs decider, in as one-sided a final you would’ve encountered in the competition’s history, last weekend.

It was not a case of the double champions being miles ahead of the competition, but their humiliation of Jamaica in Saturday’s final was due mainly to the weakened lineup Jamaica showed up with at Idlewild Park.

Not taking anything away from Guyana’s performance, they came to win and had every right to keep their foot on the gas, all the way.

Jamaica had their problems though.

Their inability to persuade their best players to represent the country of their birth, as opposed to playing for pay in Washington on the said day, left them at the mercy of full strength Guyana.

Jamaica’s four best batsmen were missing, which virtually left them with a second string side to contest the team’s biggest game of the season.

Manager Lloyd Dickson said the players preferred to play for money in Washington because he could not compensate them due to failed sponsorship promised the team this year.

With Carl Wright, Orlando Baker, Vinord Woolcock and Oneil Powell missing, the final became a mis-match.

Gone it seems are the days when players who can perform a bit, do so for the honor and pride of representing their teams at the highest level of competition wherever.

That feeling was enhanced more so this year because a number of teams were affected likewise, when playing dates involving different competitions clashed.

The fact that the Jamaican players explained their positions fully to the manager, is sending the message loud and clear, that money for players will be the determining factor in the fortunes of teams playing at any level in New York and beyond.

Teams paying players to represent them, has being in existence for the longest while here. But it was always reserved for the prominent first class players who fly over every summer from the West Indies.

A few years down the road, the practice has spread to home-based players as well resulting in more than one teams and competitions suffering this season.

Even the New York Regional team could not field its best team for all of its scheduled games in the National Championship Eastern Conference playoffs.

And soon the United States team could be affected likewise. Its’ probably a blessing in disguise the squad was ineligible for international competition this year.

This state of affairs could set a disturbing precedent for current and up and coming players who could soon be putting money pressure on their teams to play.

The reality though is that cricket in America is years away from any form of professionalism, which is why administrators could face big problems fielding their best teams in the near future.
That is unless the directors and others find the necessary sponsorship to pay demanding players.

Otherwise, administrators will have their work cut out trying to talk players into playing for national pride and bragging rights, for the time being.
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