By Orin Davidson
Ineptitude is occurring with such frequency in United States cricket it is similar to assaulting your nerves like a stuck record does.
If it’s not the national ruling body’s cricket committee, it is the selectors who cannot seem to resist opening themselves to ridicule with appointments and selection choices for national teams or otherwise.
Hot on the heels of the Under-19 squad’s management team fiasco, the selectors have since stunned the cricket fraternity with omissions from the squad named to train for upcoming competitions.
A document sent to the United States of American Cricket Association (USACA) Board members listed 28 players for a camp from which the touring squad would be selected for the ICC Americas championship in Bermuda next month.
A shocking omission is Akeem Dodson and to a lesser extent Gregory Sewdial and Dennis Evans, who were also surprisingly overlooked.
Unless disciplinary action has been taken against Dodson, of which there is no reason to and for which the player knows nothing about, his omission is a preposterous act that goes against the grain for everything that development stands for in the United States context.
Dodson is one of the best wicketkeepers in the country and a better batsman than all, except the nation’s first choice Carl Wright.
And to deem him not good enough for a squad of 28, not one of 18 or 15, would make any casual observer feel those selectors need to have their heads examined.
That is if you are not aware of the real cause for this act, which amounts to nothing less than blatant victimization.
You do not have to be Grade A analyst to figure out that Dodson is feeling the repercussions of criticism his father leveled against the national team’s management during its failed campaign in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup qualifying competition earlier this year in the United Arab Emirates.
Dr Linden Dodson, objectively critiqued the team’s management policies and the process used to arrive at its composition in a recent newyorkcricket.com article.
And as soon as one can say “bowled down” Akeem Dodson was booted from the national team’s plans.
This is only weeks after he was part of the camp squad this year and following his selection in the party that toured the West Indies to compete in its limited overs championships in late 2008, following which he was in the 14 for the Americas championship.
America is considered the bastion of free speech, but this petty act by the selectors is an outrageous transgression in a country where one is free to air their views without fear of victimization.
USACA is trying its darndest to sell the sport to mainstream America, sponsors and the world at large, but the continued primitive behavior by components of the national ruling body would kill its best efforts to so do.
You have to wonder whether these individuals think that promoting victimization would please the International Cricket Council (ICC) which is going the extra mile to push development here, which its wild card entry to the T20 qualifiers implied.
It sure would do the opposite and add fuel to the fire for other Associate member nations who feel America is being treated preferentially, to bash this country.
And Dodson is the ideal prototype player to spearhead the selling of America’s cricket.
He is a very good young, born and bred American who learnt and played his cricket here.
The wicketkeeper/batsman also went as far as securing an English league team contract last summer to aid his development which no other American player has ever done.
So, what message is these selectors sending to the 23-year old player?
Do they want to frustrate him into switching his interest to another sport or activity for which the options are limitless in America?
The same type of frustration can be attributed to Evans, a young enough and outstanding player who has been dumped after playing for the national team in the said West Indies tour and is continuing to pile up the runs in the Metropolitan League. He was also part of the victorious New York Eastern Conference team.
A threat made by a high ranking national team official to the player, that he would not play for America, because he spurned an offer, would be the only explanation for his omission.
Such is the depraved thinking of people in high places in America’s cricket, it is embarrassing beyond comprehension.
Sewdial’s case is one of extreme shortsightedness.
Here is a proven promising young player who has obviously lost his way following disappointing showings in recent international competitions including the ICC Under-19 World Cup earlier this year in New Zealand. As a result he should’ve been in the camp squad because he badly needs working on to take his game to the next level.
Sewdial is still a teenager and at this stage of his career needs maximum training and supervision to build a foundation for the future. He is a no different to fellow teenagers Andy Mohammed, Ryan Corns, Saqib Saleem and Mohamed Ghous whose selections in that training camp squad are fully justified.
Instead he has to deal with armchair selectors who are clueless most of the time and make no attempt to do a proper job.
Case in point, not a single panel member attended the just concluded Sam’s Foods T20 tournament to note the high class displays of 18 year-old batsman Fahad Babar or make a determine on the valuable performances of Vejai Seonarine.
By now USACA should realize it is going nowhere fast with this selection panel and its cricket committee.