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Big Dreams And Young Legs

Dr. Linden Dodson
Feb. 14th, 2010 | (12 Comments)
In Washington last summer something great occurred in a cricket tournament that will affect all involved for a life time. After two days of cricket in the Eastern Conference Tournament hosted by Atlantic Region, a star studded New York Region Team was reduced to third place behind Atlantic Region who had won both of their games and South East Region who had beaten New York and Lost to Atlantic Region.

The star studded New York Region team during the Eastern Conference Tournament last year.

The team management, Linden Frazier (Coach), Steve Massiah (Captain) and yours truly (Manager) decided to forgo meeting with the team that Saturday evening scheduling instead a team meeting for 8.00 am on Sunday. Our last game, against Atlantic Region, the front runners was scheduled for 10.00 am on Sunday. The meeting was held at the hotel, right after breakfast, in the court yard, in the morning sunshine where we could find some privacy. At the meeting the team was apprised of the situation and the numbers were explained; we had worked out a chart and graph in which the most likely scenarios were extrapolated this was communicated to the team; the boys were then challenged individually and as a team to go out and make New York proud. The rest is history New York dismissed Atlantic region for 82 in 32 overs then responded with 84 in 9.3 overs; by 1:30 pm on Sunday the game was over. New York catapulted from third place to first place in two hours of breath taking cricket.

In Dubai this week Team USA found themselves in the same scenario in the Twenty 20 World Cup qualifiers. After two days of cricket they were third place and needed to overcome a net run rate deficit of 2.6 runs per over to beat Afghanistan and qualify for the Super Four. Afghanistan batted first (good for the USA position) and compiled 135 for 4 in their allotted 20 overs therefore USA need 136 in 14.5 overs to go to the next round they could only muster 106 for 7 in their turn at the wicket.

Is it possible that the details were not communicated to the team and they were not fired up to go out and achieve as was done in Washington? In New York the sacking of the Manager and Coach without explanation was well ventilated and it was brought out at that time that Massiah was part of the process that removed the Manager and Coach. It should be now very clear to all that neither Massiah nor the administration valued the part that motivation and inspiration played in winning. Cricket was sacrificed at the altar of politics.

The Afghan medium pace bowler Hamid Hassan said in the post match interview that he enjoys looking at USA television and movies and particularly he liked Rocky and his team is the “Rocky” of International Cricket. Twenty two year old Hasan took eleven wickets in the tournament including three against USA.

The difference between the two teams is obvious the Afghans had bigger dreams and younger legs they were able to take inspiration from an American folk hero to beat America while team USA saw no value in such trivialities.

The two teams that emerged from the ICC Twenty20 qualifiers and will participate in the ICC World Twenty20 this spring in the West Indies are Afghanistan and Ireland. For the record, let it be known that the average age of the Afghans is 22 years old; their youngest player is 17 years old and their captain is 25 years old. By the same token the average age of the Irelanders is 25 years old; their youngest player is 17 years old and their captain is 25 years old. Compare this to Team USA with 10 players over 30 years old including Dhaniram (9 runs from 5 innings) 43 years old.

After the tournament Americans in Dubai were left with the impression that in New York and USA cricket there are no big dreams and young legs. USA cricketers, spectators and most stake-holders know otherwise and we must wash shame out of our eyes and demand nothing but the best from those who represent us on and off the field. We the people understand that A New York under 25 Team or better still a USA under 25 Team, Coach Frazier (New York) and / or Coach Benjamin (California) with a Manager who can motivate and inspire would defeat both Ireland and Afghanistan.

Send your comment
Lets get this straight:
1. If L.F was the coach of the US U-19 team recently in N.Z - we would have won the World Cup.
2. If L.F and L.D were the coach and manager respectively we would have beaten Afghanistan and play Ireland in the final in Dubai.
3. Without a certificate in hand all \'wannabe coach\'is really nothing - in the whole of the US there are only 2 guys -L.F & R.B -{has anyone heard of Ian Pont?}
4. So a player who has played @ the highest level comes under a guy - who has a piece of paper{I wonder by which cricket board is He certified}
5.L.F has played 1 \'real\' first class game in his life against J\'ca - interestingly - he played as a fast bowler for Guyana - and it\'s hilarious that he was brought on 3rd change behind spinners Butts, Ganouri and paceman Joseph - it happened again in the 2nd innings! - and by the way this was at Sabina Park -the C;bean quickest strip -

L.F has been passed up many times for positions because like Mr. Singh implied - they don\'t want you!It\'s plain as that!
In the first place - Morrishaw the NYR chief{who did nothing for NY cricket}tolerated a lot slackness.So Fraser got the post - by the way was L.F a certified coach 3yrs. ago - if not how come you coached? Don Lockerbie according to confirmed sources, deliberately refused to even shake L.F and Morrishaw hands at the regional U-19 competition in NY last year.
As inneficient as Dainty is - he is not looking in L.F\'s direction.Soon everyone will be certified and then the pool of coaches will be big to draw from!
By then it will be even more impossible for L.F to land a job in the cricketing arena.
Maybe we\'ll make sure if Carl Hooper wants the US job - never mind he\'s played 102 Tests and 227 ODI\'s - if he is not certified - your playing days counts for nothing according to some {very laughable)

Posted Outside Edge for 4 on Feb. 15th, 2010

Certified CRICKETER, certified. Anybody can be a coach, you,me,John Doe from down the block. If coaching were that simple, all players with 1st class experience would become coaches. Instead, they take the time to become certified. Tony is a good friend of mine but he is NOT a certified coach. I guess thats why is was given the manager position of the USA under 15 team.He knows the game like most of us but he is NOT a certified coach.
Secondly, you speak of regional a selection committee. I\'m gonna go a bit further. There are individuals, such as yourself you come on boards such as this to voice your displeasure with cricket in the region and selection process etc. However, those same individuals are never present to help out in any way with the development with youth cricket. I challenge you to come out to a NYR meeting and become part of the solution instead of pointing fingers at the people who are doing the hard ground work. Come out and part part of a committee( selection or other) that will help youngsters in the NYR.
As I stated earlier, I am not one for politics. I could care less if a players is from Guyana,Pakistan,TT,Bangldesh, I could care less. Yes Freeman and Keon were the players selected. A selection panel from the NYR came up with the squad and thats that. We will not all agree on the selection and this is true with all teams but for you to suggest that it was a Guyanese thing is just false. CRICKETER when the season starts I am the one that walk through Marine Park looking for young players from Pakistan and India. I am the one that place several ads on the various cricket websites to attract players from various countries. You want to help the cricket? Get involve instead of pointing fingers.
FYI. players who were considered to be open staus could not have been selected to play for the US. That includes Rasheem,Keon,Ileo and the lot of other talented players. There were also other reasons why Rasheem was not selected. Dont get me wrong, Rasheem is one the good talents we have in the NYR but as I said earlier CRICKETER, there are other things you do not know about that I will not make public on the website. Get your facts straight before you make statements.

Posted Lester Hooper on Feb. 15th, 2010

Well Mr. Hooper, fraiser is a good coach but is def. not the best coach around. You asked for one more qualified man to do the coaching job. Two words. Tony Boyke. All you guys at new york do is to suppress talent and dont let \"true cricket lovers and fans\" to speak out. Mr. Boyke was one of them who is passionate about cricket and pretty sure the guy to discipline them senior guys. Give him a chance now, will you?????? I would geuss the answer is a big no-no because you dont want the control to get out of New York\'s hand. Isn\'t that right????
Posted Cricket Lover 007 on Feb. 15th, 2010

Mr. Hooper: My point is that the best team was not selected to represent the region, and Linden played a major role in the selection process. We should have a selection panel inorder to counter attack any unbiased decisions that are made with-in the region so that no one individual takes the blame. Should we blame the coach of the USA U-19 team, or should we blame the regional committees??
Two simple questions:
(1) Who was part of the NY Youth Committee that made the decision to neglect the two youngsters?
(2) Can you name the two players with “open status” that were selected ahead of Rasheem James? Was it Freeman and Keon Lake? These two youngsters are from Guyana, and the coach is also from Guyana. Only sharing facts…. It’s very difficult to be objective when you are given facts….
Please be mindful that this was a very keen aspect in US cricket, because the USA U-19 team was going to be selected based on the National tournament. Off course, a selection in the regional team gives you a chance to make the USA U-19 team.

Posted Youth Cricketer on Feb. 15th, 2010

Youth Cricketer you need to go and get your facts straight before writing things you dont know anything about. First of all Linden Frazer did not drop Andy Mohammed from the New York team. That decision was made by the NYR youth committee. Secondly, Rasheem James did not make the NYR team last year because only 2 players with open status was to be in the 14 players selected. Rasheem James is an allrounder and at that given time we had 3 allrounders who were citizens. Abdulla Syed has played for the NYR for 4 years and his highest score to date is 52. See where I am going here. With respect to the under 19 game against Atlantic region last year, yes we knew rain was going to play a factor but the truth is our batting was struggling. Maybe we could have done something different to change the out come but thats history. Cricketer you need to look at the individual his certifications,accomplishments and his success. Theman has brought the NYR 2 under 19 national championships in 2007 and 2008,a senior divisional championship in 2008, Dreamcricket 20/20 winners in 2009 and 2nd place in 2008 just to name a few. Now you name me 1 coach in the NYR or any part of the USA who has such accomplishments.Cricketer if you were working in a company and you were the most qualified person withing your department but keep getting skipped over for promotions, you would be upset right? Same thing applies here so before you start writing about people try to be as objective as you can, especially when talking cricket. Linden Frazer may not be perfect, and neither are any of us but he is the most qualified coach in the USA second only to Reginald Benjamin from CA( just facts) With respect to any under 19 player in the NYR who says they had a bad experience with coach Fraser, I dare them to put that in writing. I have been around the NYR under 19 team for the past 4 years and I know them all ( under 19 players that is) I\'m not one for politics but the climate on most cricket website is getting ridiculous. Give the man hisbreak and let him prove you wrong. I look forward to any and all responses.
Posted Lester Hooper on Feb. 14th, 2010

Oh and FYI Cricketer....the cost to be coached by a level 2 coach is approx 250/session (2hrs). The same coach Frazer does it for FREE when dealing with any young player in the NYR who needs help. He has been doing this for the past 5 years. You ask any and I mean ANY young player in the USA if coach Frazer has ever demanded money to help them. Coach Frazer also helps out the women from the USA team and yes Cricketer he does it for FREE. So you find me a qualified coasch who is so passionate about his coaching and his Region before you disgard the one you have.
Posted Lester Hooper on Feb. 14th, 2010

Seems like Youth Cricketer has a hard-on for Linden Fraser. And for you people coaches win matches. You guys should check the role of a coach, i simply don;t understand how could you guys believe coaches cannot help win matches. Maybe the coaching role is probably different in the USA and especially in New York.
Posted Jerry Khan on Feb. 14th, 2010

Yes, off course Linden was the acting coach when the NY U-19 team won the national title, but please be advised that players win matches, not the coach.
I am positive that \"certain\" players can praise Linden for the great job that he has done for NY cricket, but many can share negative feedbacks as well.
Isn\'t this the same coach who disregarded Andy Mohammed, and Rasheem James from the 2009 NY Regional team, but included players that were not ready for the USA National tournament?
As I recalled, he cried \"foul play\" when the umpires awarded the match to the Atlantic Region. Did he know that rain would play a major part in the match. Off course not!!
Adjustment should have been made in the batting line-up. Players such as Adbullah Syed, and Bridgepaul were neglected during the match. We all know that both youngsters can change a match with-in a few overs.
Is Linden coaching the NY women’s team also?
Wow… He’s a very ambitious coach that wants to coach at all level in NY. It makes me wonder, is it all about coaching??

Posted Youth Cricketer on Feb. 14th, 2010

Okay, \"Mr Youth Cricketer\" you may not \"agreed\" (sic) with the statement that better selected U.S. teams would defeat Afghanistan and Ireland, but you need to get clue-d in where Mr Frazier is concerned. If you did not know, three national junior national titles, two runners up and two senior Eastern Conference titles say a lot about someone possessing motivational skills and cricket knowledge, or not.
And I advise you further, it would be better to broaden your scope about the realities of New York coaching by taking a poll among the many players Frazier has coached, and you will better understand how good he is.
Posted Jack Palmer on Feb.13th, 2010

Well done Doc,very well laid out& to the point.U.S.cricket will go no where with the current people in charge.
Posted Hugh Pitter on Feb.13th, 2010

Well said, Dr. Dodson. I,as a former manager of the 2006 senior team, was dismissed without even being told why. Some of the players who were under my management - your son included - still wonder why I am no longer the manager. I wish I had a credible answer for them, but, sadly, I don\'t. At the conclusion of these two tours, I would expect the BoD to do a critical assessment, and move forward with capable and qualified management personnel, rather than looking at persons whose votes they can count on at the next elections. We have to keep hoping that professionalism will eventually prevail.
Posted Orville Hall on Feb.13th, 2010

“We the people understand that A New York under 25 Team or better still a USA under 25 Team, Coach Frazier (New York) and / or Coach Benjamin (California) with a Manager who can motivate and inspire would defeat both Ireland and Afghanistan.”
I am not sure that all of us agreed with your statement. Let me guess, Linden will always do a better job than any other coaches??
Motivation and inspiration are very important in all aspects of life, but am not sure that Mr. Fraser has any of these qualities. Yes, I strongly believe that we must groom youths, but is Linden the perfect candidate to so??
Discipline on and off the cricket field is very vital for youngsters. A coach should be a mentor, role-model, and very knowledgeable about the sport.
I think most of us love to see US fail so that we can justify why our “friends” would do a better job in coaching and management.
Please calculator the average age of the current Australian team. They have a lot of youngsters, but an excellent system is available to groom the youths. On the otherhand, our youth system in the USA is dysfunctional. Please revisit the results and stats. of the recent US U-19 teams.
Posted Youth Cricketer on Feb.13th, 2010

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