TDO Lynch wants to see Guyana cricket back on track
By Zaheer Mohamed
Newly appointed Territorial Development Officer (TDO) of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), Monte Lynch wants to see Guyana cricket return to its glory days. Lynch appointment came at a time when Guyana performed poorly in the recently concluded West Indies domestic tournaments finishing 5th in the 4 day with 18 points and 6th in the Super 50 with 8 points. He is tasked with the responsibility of improving the game in a country where cricket is regarded as its national sport.
Lynch played for Guyana in 1982-1983 when the country won the Shell Shield and Geddes Grant competitions under Clive Lloyd; he represented Surrey and England in three one day internationals and also worked with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union managing one of their franchise teams, Southern Rocks, and with a England Cricket Board level three coaching certificate under his belt, he may be the well suited for this assignment.
Lynch, who turned 55 on Tuesday last, told Kaieteur Sport yesterday of some of his plans to develop the game locally. He said that a great deal of emphasis will be placed at the grassroot level. “In collaboration with the GCB, I am looking at a three to four year plan where I want to reintroduce the game back in the schools. I am planning a meeting with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport to plan the best way forward in getting the game back on the school’s curricula as soon as possible. I am also hoping to start the Kiddies and the Digicel Grassroots coaching programme within the next four weeks, a meeting has been organized by the GCB for us to meet with representatives of the West Indies Cricket Board from the 29th-31st of May to discuss same,” added Lynch.
He said that youngsters will also be recommended to clubs and efforts will be made to have the youngsters train on Mondays and participate in matches on Fridays which will help them to compete at a young age.
Lynch who started the MAL Skills coaching company in England, which is now manage by his son Louis Lynch and began to coach at the Georgetown Cricket Club in August 2012, said he couldn’t find any employment and thanked those at the Georgetown Cricket Club for their support especially Les Ramalho, Richard Jodha, Paul-Chan-A-Sue and Phillip Fernandes and secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board Anand Sanasie for ensuring his knowledge in used to benefit the local game.
He informed that he hopes to organise summer camps in the three counties at different age groups but will target youngsters at the U12-15 level and wants to make the grassroots programme regular.
One of the things he will put in place is a well structured coaching programme. “I want a regular body of coaches to work with players at the U15, 17 and U19 level and ensure their fitness level is at an acceptable standard both on and off season. Players will be also trained to play on different surfaces so by the time they reached 17 we will get an idea whether they will play international cricket. I will also ask the West Indies Cricket Board through the GCB to hold level one and two coaching courses and refresher programmes and to assist in getting the umpires trained; I am hoping that only the top qualified coaches will be assigned for national duties.”
When quizzed about the game at the senior level, Lynch who was born at Anna Catherina on the West Coast of Demerara, said he will speak with each player that represented Guyana this year and progress from there. “I am impressed with some of the players’ talent but they must understand that it’s an honour to represent Guyana and must be serious if they want to wear the national team shirt, players must maintain a certain level of fitness before they join the camp and be eligible for selection, every cricketer will be given an equal opportunity to play for Guyana and they will be asked to play as a unit. Cricketers will be trained together but will also be given time to train individually,” he stated.
Lynch indicated that players must respect team rules and social graces must be brought back to the game. “Teams must gel together at all times and players must be on time for practise sessions and matches. They need to improve mentally and be ready to fight for Guyana, I don’t mind losing but players must show fight, they must be prepared to battle and self confidence is important,” he stated.
He said that efforts will be made to get sponsors on board to help with the development of the game and ask the relevant government officials to reduced transportation fares for teams traveling from their counties.
He indicated that Guyana needs a professional league. “We want a league in Guyana so our top players will be playing at home but it will have to be sponsored, currently most of our players are plying their trade in Trinidad and Tobago,” said Lynch.
In terms of female cricket, Lynch informed that the female teams will be asked to play at the junior levels with the males, they will also be involved in the Kiddies programme and a team will be put together for training.
He said better facilities need to be prepared. “We need better pitches and outfields; the facilities at the schools must be resurrected as well,” he stated.
Lynch pointed out that he marked out Essequibo and Linden for special attention. “Those are two areas that need a lot of help with their cricket and I will meet with the stake holders and plan the best way forward for them. I will also spend more time in those areas and oversee coaching programmes. Guyana produced great cricketers in the past and it’s hard to just sit back and see that decline,” he said.
He is asking the media for more coverage so that the sponsors will get more mileage and it will help to motivate the players.
Lynch said he will meet with the members of the De Edward Sports Club of West Berbice tomorrow and put systems in place for their development.