Wise Windwards


In blazing their way to their first-ever regional Under-19 one-day title at Kensington Oval on Wednesday, the Windward Islands truly warmed my heart with their approach, understanding and execution of the contentious Pace (Bonus) Points rule. They were sweet and solid.

Funny enough, without intending to blow a trumpet, I publicly said on the eve of the seventh and final series while hosting Mid Wicket that the Windward Islands would win the title.

It was no idle boast. Having followed the tournament closely with the Bonus points as a very key factor and wary that the opposition for the Windward Islands in the last round were beleaguered Leeward Islands, I had every reason to stick my neck out for Jerlani Robinson’s team. Thanks to the Almighty and the highly impressive Windward Islands side, my neck is still in place.

Opponents of the Bonus Points rule have used all sorts of terms to knock it. And they have only done so after intelligent teams like Barbados and the Windward Islands swept to success, Barbados having lifted the three-day title. In a nutshell, the critics were dormant before the tournament started, cared little about the rules as it progressed and suddenly jumped on a bandwagon that should have long been addressed by asking questions of those at the West Indies Cricket Board who were responsible for the implementation.

It is downright ridiculous to belittle the success of smart teams at the height of their glory. It would have been far better to educate the public on the Rule by presenting stories and quotes from the WICB before or even early in the tournament.

Two weeks ago, I wrote that “though Barbados did not win a match, the team and management must be highly praised for their understanding and use of the ‘Pace bonus points’ system which was introduced last year to encourage fast bowling and wicket-taking”.

It is now the turn of the Windwards to be lauded for their understanding of the rule as well.

In the limited overs version, under Rule 21.9 Points, it is stated: The points system is as follows: Win 6, Tie or No Result 2, Loss 0.

The following bonus points shall apply in addition to 21.9 above —

a) Pace wicket bonus points:

“Each team shall be awarded 0.5 point for each wicket taken by a pace bowler. Bonus points shall be added to the match points for each team.

Pace bowlers shall be nominated on the official team sheet before the toss (refer to clause 1.2). The Umpires will verify wickets taken by pace bowlers at the conclusion of the match.”

It now gives me great pleasure to share with you the report I wrote on the final round of matches for the BCA website on Wednesday:

“The Windward Islands captured the 2012 West Indies Cricket Board Under-19 One-Day championship here today after beating Leeward islands by six wickets in the seventh and final round of matches.

“It was the first time that the plucky Windward Islands, captained by Jerlani Robinson, had won the limited overs title which was first contested in 1998 under the banner of Nortel Networks.

“On a dramatic day at the famous international venue, Kensington Oval, the Windward Islands used the bonus Pace Points rule to telling effect, earning 4.5 to add to the mandatory six points for a win as they ended on 35.0 points to upstage pre-series leaders Guyana who had completed their fixtures on Monday with 34.0 points.

“The only other title contenders, Jamaica, had their desperate hopes ‘washed away’ after early morning rain left the outfield very wet at Bayfield in the eastern parish of St. Philip and eventually led to a ‘no-decision without a ball bowled against last year’s champions Barbados, who were the new three-day winners.

“Wet conditions also resulted in the same outcome in the other match between ICC Americas and Trinidad & Tobago at Pine Basin.

“The Leeward Islands, who won the toss, were bowled out for 144 in 44.3 overs with all but one of the wickets going to either fast or medium-pace bowlers.

“Then spurred by an unbeaten 60 off 72 balls with five fours and one six from Tarryck Gabriel, the Windward Islands triumphed in 36.1 overs to spark celebrations.”

Now pay close attention to the post-match comments from the Windward Islands long-standing team coach Raymon Duncan.

“We came up big when it mattered most. That was today. We needed a win and we also needed some Bonus Points, so we used four pace bowlers and they did the job for us. We showed that we have quality in our bowling department and I am happy with the way the boys went about the job today.

“We started the tournament slowly but you could see we got better and better as the tournament went on. It is good that the boys have something to take home and after a month of hard work during the tournament, I’m sure they will cherish this victory for a long time,” Duncan said.

Come to the top of the class Mr. Duncan. You could have also said that there was an early setback for the Windwards to gain the required bonus points against the Leewards when medium-pacer Shermon Lewis was forced out of the attack for the rest of the innings after sending down two high-pitched deliveries in his fifth over, having taken the wicket of captain and key batsman Akeem Saunders.

As it turned out, Lewis’ replacement, Gidron Pope, ended with the tidy figures of two for 22 off 7.3 overs.

The final points were: Windward Islands 35.0, Guyana 34.0, Jamaica 27.5, Barbados 21.5, Trinidad & Tobago 13.5, ICC Americas 13.5 and Leeward Islands, eight.

Now check the Pace Points (Bonus) of each team: Windward Islands 13, ICC Americas 9.5, Jamaica 7.5, Barbados 7.5, Guyana 6, Leeward Islands 4 and Trinidad & Tobago 3.5.

You be the judge.

The passing of Barrington Yearwood

It was with great sadness that while preparing to leave home last Sunday morning to cover the BCA LIME Elite eighth and penultimate round division match between Republic Bank St. Catherine and repeat champions Sagicor Life UWI at Bayfield, I got a call from a very faithful supporter of CGI Maple informing me of the death of their team manager and former player Barrington Yearwood Sr at the age of 52.

While I knew that Barry, as he was affectionately known, had been ailing for a couple years, the news still came as I shock since he was relatively active in his role with the team up until late July.

I first met Barry back in the 1980s and though he did not make his First division debut until 1990, having been a settled member in the Intermediate division team, he was good enough to earn a regular place in the Maple limited overs side as a hard-hitting batsman, steady medium-pace bowler and excellent fielder.

After hanging up his boots, Barry turned to managing the Maple Division 1 and one-day teams – a job he dearly loved and for which he earned great respect for more than a decade.

One of his finest moments came in 2008 when Maple won the inaugural Sagicor General Twenty20 title, and repeated the success last year to become the only team to capture two T20 titles.

In reviewing that 2008 final against Cable & Wireless (now LIME) at Weymouth on December 7, which Maple won by four runs, I wrote on the BCA website: “Team manager Barrington Yearwood Sr is viewed as a tough, no-nonsense person by some observers, who may not always agree with his tactics. To his credit, however, he has played a big role in recruiting young players, mainly from the north, and as one who played for Maple in the Intermediate division way back in the 1980s and also had a taste at the Division 1 level in 1990, he can be described as an “out-and-out” Maple man”.

Barry’s funeral is next Tuesday, September 4, at 10 a.m. at the St. Peter Parish Church, with the interment at St. Lucy Parish Church.

Condolences to his family and from a cricketing perspective, son Barrington Jr, whose other names of Bjorn Beckenbauer clearly indicate the all-round sporting man Barrington Sr was. Barrington Jr is one of the top all-rounders in the Maple team which he first represented in the Division 1 championship at the tender age of 13 while a schoolboy at Alexandra. He also played for the Barbados and West Indies Under-19 sides and has turned out for Barbados in a couple first-class matches.

May Barrington Yearwood Sr rest in peace!

Keith Holder is a veteran, award-winning freelance sports journalist, who has been covering local, regional and international cricket since 1980 as a writer and commentator. He has compiled statistics on the Barbados Cricket Association Division 1 championship for over three decades and is responsible for editing the BCA website (www.bcacricket.org).

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