Cozier calls for change
Mon, 04/04/2016 - 12:00am
On the eve of the Men’s and Women’s Cricket World Cup T20 international finals in India, the call for Barbados to return to its glorious past was made by writer, former commentator and featured speaker Tony Cozier.
Cozier was in true form as he addressed the audience at the Barbados Cricket Association’s (BCA) Awards Ceremony at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, which included His Excellency, Governor General of Barbados, Sir Elliot Belgrave, and BCA President Joel ‘Big Bird’ Garner.
Cozier pulled no punches as he spoke about the drop in the standard of cricket in Barbados, while offering some advice on how to resurrect the state of cricket in this island.
He pointed out that cricket was part of the social development of Barbados in the almost 200 years the sport has been played on the island.
Cozier also commended the BCA for an outstanding year of cricket where the Barbadian national team has done well in the Caribbean, but also the inclusion of Barbadian players in the Under-19 squad that won the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year. The inclusion of seven Barbadian women in the victorious West Indies T20 Women’s team was also a key achievement lauded by Cozier.
He however was unsatisfied with the level of promotion of local cricket in Barbados and wished that the BCA would use the means given to them, including the Internet and social media, to promote cricket matches on weekends, using the recent promotion of local road tennis as an example.
Cozier drew reference to the fact that some of the best cricketers in the world came from the shores of Barbados and in 1966 when Barbados became independent, cricket was never stronger. The national team won the individual Shell Shield tournament that year under the captaincy of Garfield Sobers which is one of twenty-one titles held by Barbados in the same tournament.
He praised the cricket of that time along with the cricket in the days of the Sobers, Garner and Everton Weeks who were three of nine on the West Indian team that year that toured England. He also made mention of how the strength of Barbadian cricket held the public’s imagination and continued down the line to the great Barbadian openers of Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge.
Cozier made the recommendation that Haynes and Greenidge and any willing cricket legends be asked to assist in the revamping of the current structure of cricket in Barbados.
Cozier also said he wished that the BCA would bring back the old cricket pitches where one had to learn your cricket craft on different surfaces depending on where one played cricket on the day.