Two reviews later GCB take a serious look at themselves

GUERNSEY cricket has already started the process of serious self-analysis and one strongly suspects it could end in some major changes on and off the pitch.

GUERNSEY cricket has already started the process of serious self-analysis and one strongly suspects it could end in some major changes on and off the pitch.

Inside Track’s fortnight-old call for a major shake-up in all aspects of the domestic game, has been backed by leading figures at the Guernsey Cricket Board, not to mention some in and around the senior island side. On the other side of the argument many players reacted angrily to this column’s not-too-subtle suggestion that perhaps they are not as good as they think they are and, with a bit more effort, could be a good deal better.

Yours truly has been battered by young Twitterers and, just like Kevin Pietersen’s misguided tweets, they caused sufficient embarrassment to the sport’s ruling body domestically that a few apologies were forthcoming.

The online frenzy, though, won’t throw this observer off at a serious time for the sport.

The biggest summer game has reached a crossroads and some big decisions need to be made as to where the sport wants to go and how they get there.

The good news is that Dave Piesing, chairman of the GCB, knows work has to be done and admitted so to Inside Track this week.

‘I’m happy to say that over the next four to six weeks there are lots of detailed discussions to have with numerous key parties, in order to put together new and updated three- to five-year strategies.

‘I just can’t go public on the details at this stage as that could be counter-productive.

‘I suspect it may well be the case that your suggestions won’t be very different from ours, but timing is everything and timing is delicate – it really isn’t the best time to be going public on them until after the inter-insular.’

Just what the new strategy will come up with is too early to surmise, but from what I hear there is widespread acknowledgement that Guernsey cricket has not got the formula right.

Heads may even roll, although I suspect that the key personnel changes will come not via an unceremonious axe, but more by a gentler route along the lines ‘we think we need a change of direction and....’

Inside Track has learned that, twice now, the GCB has been subjected to  a review in its workings, the latest one by a UK consultancy firm which highlighted faults in the operation and made recommendations which clearly have not been followed.

Whether the GCB, in this new period of self-analysis and decision-making, take on board the consultants’ guidelines for a better and more effective organisation, remains to be seen.

All this said, it needs to be emphasised that cricket is far from being in a calamitous tailspin.

As one top player reminded me this week, it’s less than a year since we were World League Division Five champions and subsequently became Channel Islands team of the year on the back of it.

True, very true and another inter-insular win next month will again show the island team in good light.

But from this observation post Jersey’s cricket structure in this new wave years of ICC competitions and funding is not any better.

Certainly, this summer’s CI League performances suggest that Jersey, too, have serious issues with strength in depth and commitment.

Both islands have struggled with the transition from the old ways and the move into the world of international cricket, preparing for it and its subsequent demands.

In defence of administrators in both islands, there was no blueprint to follow when suddenly decades of low-key, comfortable domestic cricket, went out the window and a more progressive approach was needed.

Guernsey and Jersey are still feeling their way through the transition, but certainly as far as the Sarnians are concerned, the fumbling needs to be replaced by a strategy that is both the right one and stick by it.

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LOVELY man Wally Chick. I didn’t know Terry Le Huray, basketball’s diehard, as well as ‘Woggy’, but I know enough of him to be sure that few have committed to improving that sport than Terry did during a long stint playing, coaching and refereeing.

Island sport is littered with memories of great characters and administrators, and it is fair to say that very few did more for any club than Woggy/Wally [he was known by both] did for his beloved Rovers.

He lived and breathed Rovers for decades, his passion for the club remaining with him even after illness kept him away from Port Soif.

But at 96 he had a very good innings and if Rovers are ever to mount a statue at their ground might I suggest it should be of this great club man.