Bruce Aanensen: West Indies Players Need Better Practice Facilities

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PORT-OF-SPAIN – IMPROVING practice facilities and identifying players with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are just two ways to increase the competitiveness of West Indies cricket.

This according to former president of Queen’s Park Cricket Club Bruce Aanensen at the club’s Annual Cricket End of Season and Awards Dinner on Saturday evening.

Bruce Aanensen

Delivering the feature address at the club’s Century Ballroom in St Clair, Aanensen said West Indies cricket has been in the doldrums for more than 20 years.

He said, “The only consistent thing about our cricket in recent years has been our inconsistency on the field and controversy in the boardroom.”

Aanensen, a former chief executive officer of the West Indies Cricket Board, said many studies and reports were done to improve West Indies cricket and “Cricket West Indies (CWI) has steadfastly refused to implement the several key recommendations of the committees that they themselves have appointed.

“These recommendations in the main, relate to the structure and composition of the CWI Board.”

In preparing for his address titled Improving the Competitiveness of West Indies Cricket at the International Level, Aanensen said he spoke to a number of people including, members of the CWI executive, ex-West Indies players, a top international umpire, International Cricket Council match referees and young West Indies players who aspire to the top level.

Aanensen after his discussions he identified a number of improvements:

  • Better practice facilities for our players to encourage them to want to practice for long periods.
  • A more enabling training environment where the players’ needs are recognised and facilities cater to those needs.
  • Introduction of a professionally organised structure for the management and motivation of players during practice time.
  • Clearly defined expectations of players in their preparations, fitness levels and game performances.
  • Inculcate in players the importance of fielding and catching and motivating them to work harder to be the best fielding team in the world.

In addition to these suggestions, Aanensen added his own, saying, “Administrators need to identify from within their board, one or two individuals who possess player development skills, who can listen to and speak with players; note I said speak with and not talk to in an unstructured informal environment, build trust through listening, motivate and provide constructive criticism, only at the appropriate time.”

He said, “Administrative boards need to identify the skills and expertise required among their members and select board members accordingly.

“The required leadership skills, expertise and integrity of members must be clearly defined in the job descriptions.”

Aanensen said, “In the modern day world sporting environment, sports psychologists are an essential part of the support set up.

“These individuals need to be able to identify players with possible learning disabilities particularly ADHD.

“This causes individuals to have attention problems, difficulty in keeping focus for extended periods, to make careless mistakes as a result of impulsiveness and to be easily distracted.

“From my own personal human resource management experience, I can easily identify at least four past and current players who fall into that category.”

He added, “ADHD is not an issue that players should be ashamed to acknowledge.

“We come into this life with gifts and talents from the Almighty, but we also have challenges that we need to accept and find the support mechanisms to address.

“Failure to do so will result in underachievement.”






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