Dec 15, 2016 Sports
By Sean Devers
Both Coaches; the Guyana Jaguars Rayon Griffith and Trinidad & Tobago Red Force’s Gus Logie blamed the lack of promotion, the standard of the players and the location of the WICB First-Class matches as reasons why fans are not flocking stands as they did in the 1980s.
Logie said the powers that be depend on a few news pieces without putting out advertisements, leaving many unaware that there is a match in their country while the decision to play all First-Class at the International venues robs many of coming to the games.
Logie and Griffith feel due to lack of ‘big name stars’ the spectators show little interest in watching Regional First-Class cricket.
The still fit looking 56-year-old Logie who played 52 Tests between 1983 and 1991, noted fans in 80s came in their numbers to watch First-Class cricket because of the big name players and because of the location of the Venues.
“These grounds (present venues) are difficult to reach unless you drive your own car and matches in South Trinidad at Guaracara Park would have a wonderful atmosphere with people stepping off the street and into the ground,” the diminutive Logie who has 13 First-Class tons including two at Test level, lamented.
The 37-year-old Griffith is of a more modern generation but agreed with Logie that where the game is played and who is playing are important factors in crowd attendance.
“If this game (T&T vs Guyana) was set for Albion in Berbice, even without any major crowd pullers in the teams, the crowd would have been large. There are also lights at Albion and in the past people would drive up from Georgetown and spend the weekend and then you had to pay a fee to enter the ground, while now it’s free,” said Griffith who took 56 wickets from 22 First-Class games.
Both Coaches agreed that inconsistent pitches and performances by the players also add to the disinterest of fans, who would prefer to go to a t20 match.
Logie, who has played 158 ODIs but who never played a T20 game, feels that some innovations must be made in regards to gifts from the sponsors and things like music during the intervals to attract the young generation to this format.
Both Coaches agreed that the decline in pace and bounce in the pitches throughout the Region which makes free scoring a problem and favor the spinners, is killing fast bowling and the longer version of the game in the West Indies.
Logie thinks that one of the reasons T&T, who only has five First-Class titles since 1966 and none since 2005 but have been very successful in limited overs cricket, is because most Trinidadians focus on the shorter version and the same core of players are together for a five-year period.
“We have a good group here but they are inexperienced. Players like the Bravos, Simmons, Narine, Pollard, Gabriel, Ramdin and Pooran are all unavailable due various reasons. Our strength is our bowling but our pacers could have their work cut out for them on what should be a slow pitch and batsmen will have to be patient,” Logie stated.
The Red Force pace attack should include Guyanese born Marlon Richards, Jamaican Sheldon Cottrell and 21-year-old Bajan Roshon Primus.
When asked about Narsingh Deonarine, Logie said that the left-handed Guyanese was not included in their squad but along with Pooran were promised contracts not go into the ‘pool’ but both refused the contracts and put themselves on the market to be bought.
Logie said that Kyle Hope is the team’s most consistent and best batsman and a lot will depend on what type of support he gets Jason Mohamed, Skipper Yannick Ottley, Yannic Cariah and Steven Katwaroo.
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