Stuart’s law

Stephenson does not believe Aussie's rule will have any impact

It is going to be very difficult for Stuart Law to turn West Indies cricket around because he does not understand the people and culture of the region, says former outstanding Barbadian first class cricketer Franklyn Stephenson.

Stephenson, head of the cricket academy that bears his name and which won the recently concluded Under-13 domestic tourney, suggested the Australian cultural experience and that to be found in the region, were different, and should have been taken into consideration by the powers-that-be.

“He does not understand our people and culture. West Indians are a very diverse group of people. In order to get someone to listen to you, sometimes one must get into the back of that person’s head. Our cricketers are drawn from the West Indian society. There is no way Stuart Law can come here from Australia and in a short space of time understand anything about our cricket. He can talk about techniques and theories, but our guys do not work like that, it is not part of their character, “ Stephenson told Barbados TODAY.

Franklyn Stephenson

Stephenson who played first-class cricket in England, Australia and South Africa, said the culture of West Indian cricketers was vastly different from what Law was accustomed to. He suggested this would present a problem for the Australian coach.

“Our cricketers are not  suddenly  going to come to terms with all of the various  theories and techniques that he will be talking about, this is going to confuse their thinking.  It is going to take them way back. By the time they get back to thinking proper cricket it will be too late,”, Stephenson said.

The former all rounder considered the best regional cricketer to have never played Test cricket, said the players would block out any new coaching methods Law attempted to introduce to them.

“The players are going to block themselves out. They are going to think that the coach cannot come down too heavy on them. They have seen coaches fired in the past. So the coach will do his thing and the players will do what they feel is right and that cannot help West Indies’ cricket,” Stephenson said.

Stephenson, who was banned after touring South Africa with the rebel West Indies team during the apartheid area, said another problem facing Law was that each time the West Indies Cricket Board appointed a coach, it appeared he was not allowed to do his job.

“I do not understand what the board really wants. It is just a series of dark tunnels where West Indies cricket is concerned”, Stephenson said.

According to Stephenson the regional team continued to blow hot and cold in Test matches.  

“They can compete with teams on the lower rung of Test cricket. Occasionally, they will show a glimmer of what can be by competing with one of the stronger teams and then we are right back to square one,” Stephenson said.

Stuart Law

He contended this was a weakness that the cricket authorities had allowed to fester.

“We had some great cricketers in the past, the present and recent crop never understood what it took those guys to get to the top of their game. Some of them believed they had a heritage. They thought they could just walk into Test cricket and do well. It does not work like that,” Stephenson said.

He explained that learning was a vital component in the development of a cricketer.

“A cricketer should always be learning something to help him develop. He should learn the conditions in the various countries. He should analyse the techniques of the great players of the past. By doing so his game will improve. If a cricketer is not prepared to do these things, he will not last long in international cricket”, Stephenson said.

According to Stephenson, it was all about learning for the great West Indian players of the past.

“They not only great cricketers. They were also blessed with the understanding that they had to learn every step of the way. Sadly, I do not see a lot of that happening now,” he lamented.

Stephenson added he was not impressed with the training camps he had seen conducted by the West Indies coaching staff.

“I do not think enough attention is being paid to practice. I have seen the team in training camps and have wondered what’s happening. It is just like a day out. The physio is there rubbing everybody. The boys have a little bowl, we are having a big camp. What is it all about?”

He added: “All of the avenues should be tested in the nets and training so that when a player steps out in the middle, he is fine-tuned and ready to perform. I have not seen the hard work being put in behind the scenes. There are international players who call me as soon as they land in Barbados and ask for a pitch to practice on.”

He issued a call to the players to work hard and said  the remedy to most things was hard work.

“If a player knows out in the middle is hard then he should put more hard work into his training. He should not wait on the board, invest some money in a pitch at home or seek out a place where pitches are available, a serious cricketer got to look after his development,” Stephenson said.

The former top county professional identified Shai Hope as the current West Indian player that had caught his eye.

“I am pretty impressed with the way Hope plays. I haven’t been very close. I am aware of what can happen when people start to tell a batsman how talented he is. Sometimes this can make a player stop working on his game. As soon as he fails that player can become disenchanted. I think that as long as Hope is prepared to put in the hard work he can go all of the way,” Stephenson said.

13 Responses to Stuart’s law

  1. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn April 28, 2017 at 2:17 am

    How a white man could come all the way from Australia and tell us how to play cricket. We going backwards. You mean to tell me that we can’t find no one in the Caribbean to teach out cricket how to bowl and bat. We make the ICC change many of the cricket rules today in cricket. Now you could only bowl one bouncer in a over. First thing we need some fast bouncy wicked in the Caribbean. All of a sudden we have all kinds of spinners. No disrespect to the spinners. I believed in playing 4 genuine fast bowlers who can bowl at 90 miles per hour. That is the first thing we have to do. Those Asians countries don’t like quick fast bowling for years. We preparing dead wicket to beat our selves.

  2. Harry April 28, 2017 at 5:56 am

    Mr. Benn how come its not right for a white man to come all the way from Australia to tell us how to play cricket but it was all right for the late Malcolm Marshall to to go to SA and coach white people please cut the racist crap.

  3. harry turnover April 28, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Angus Benn you need to wipe ya mout and flush it.What Harry just said is TRUE….you just hear about someone commenting on cricket matters and you want to do the same too not knowing that all it takes is a little bit of common sense to start with.

  4. harry turnover April 28, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Franklyn Stephenson you talking SH8 too .Man you and MOST people getting on as though a WI cricket Board only came into existence a decade or so ago and the performances of the cricketers are to be blamed ON THE BOARD.
    Look when you were playing there was a BOARD,before you there was a Board,when Sobers and the other greats were playing there was a Board and from the time I heard about the 3 Ws there was a Board and before them too…AND THE WI WERE PRODUCING WORLD CLASS CRICKETERS and there no coaches back then either.
    The problems ARE and will continue to be OTHER ATTRACTIONS other than cricket and of late T20 franchise cricket across the Globe.
    When Gayle,the Bravos,Ramdin,Rampaul,Samuels to name a few were playing and the WI were getting beat by all and sundry on their way to rock bottom status,there was no blame pointed at the Board for not playing the so called BEST players,no blame on a coach,but now that those players have been axed for their deliberate lack of performances on and off the field EVERY MAN JACK blaming the Board for not selecting those so called best players and finding fault with every coach.

  5. tsquires April 28, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Franklyn Stephenson is quite right. Cricket like all other things is a mental game! When your mental approach is right everything is within your reach, because thinking is a critical skill using brain matter, while most of our current crop of cricketers are using their feelings to guide them, which in any game in life can be a very critical mistake, therefore we need to revisit the Rudy Webster approach i.e. Psychological.

  6. vharrs April 28, 2017 at 9:00 am

    I appreciate Mr. Stephenson’s comments which he is entitle to. I agree that we as West Indians have a way of doing things and that includes how we play cricket. Over the years we have been successful, however I don’t buy into the view that the team can’t learn from Stuart Law or any other non-WI coach. Each player need to look at his game and see if his technique may need adjusting base on what the coach see. Players who are not performing need to learn how to accept change and this is what Mr. Stephenson is taking about (“He can talk about techniques and theories, but our guys do not work like that, it is not part of their character”). Players who do this limit themselves, playing inside the box instead of others ways that can be successful (outside the box). Doing the same thing over and over again is crazy. Time for a broader perspective, time to maybe admit I don’t know it all.

  7. WAYNE CAMPBELL April 28, 2017 at 9:08 am

    it begins with the selection of the players first to begin west indies is calypso cricket not pretty boy cricket hard hitting bats men and tear away fast bowling nower days we have medium fast bowlers and avrage spinners drop the top players for a talking the truth not because they fail and promating new young talent who isint ready for that level and drop a succeful coach and the top players who just won two t 20 world cricket and hirie a forign coach to fix the problem more fire

  8. orlando April 28, 2017 at 9:30 am

    no hes not right . its all a load of crap. the best example is that a south african went to india of all places and help them to be champions . just imagine . so dont bring all ya racist crap to te fore . angus ben i tell you before stay outta cricket affairs . and franklyn ever since i know you all you do is talk. thats why you never play test cricket. just shut up and drive.

  9. Greengiant April 28, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Cricket skills like other sporting skills is universal. There are coaches from various countries coaching outside their cultural hemispheres with success, this being the case for several years I can’t support Stephenson theory though it may be true. He, having played in different environments may know something we don’t.

  10. Alex Alleyne April 28, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    FOOT WORK, BRAIN POWER and SHOT SELECTION is the main problem with the young WI cricket players. The WICB do not need this “High priced Coach” in STUART LAW. The team need GORDON GRENNIDGE and BRIAN LARA for 3 years and for sure those youngsters will become some of the best batsmen in the WORLD in time to come . DOWRICH need to have some time with DAVID MURRAY to improve his wicket keeping skills. “DREAD” is there in BIM with a wealth of knowledge and WICB nor the BCA not tapping into it.
    Please do something and bring back the “GLORY-DAYS”.

  11. orlando April 28, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    alex crap. being a good cricketer does not make you a good coach. i cant see brian lara being a good coach, and fa god sake . david murray. why dont you say give it to franklyn. his under 13 team just won the tournament..and hes in the same boat as you. but that boat would sink very fast . TITANIC

  12. Elson Johnson April 28, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Franklin Stephenson shut up let the man do his job in peace and at the end the powers that be will make a decision on the way forward but right now you need to shut up.

  13. Sherlock SMLocky April 29, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Stephenson is some what right. He did not play test cricket because at that time it was tough to get in like Shillingford from the combine islands. Also, our cricketer of the past played cricket on the beach in the road, cutout a patch on a pasture to continue they training. Each one, teach one in the neighbor. Today, the current crop of cricketers need to watch videos of the past cricketers and themselves to see the different way you got out, along with asking questions to improve they game.


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