By Sham Ali
“Our main reason for coming here is trying to get to Division Two and other than Howard Johnson’s age, if he’s up for trials or selection, he can walk into the team,” said USA head coach Clayton Lambert as was reported by Peter Della for dream cricket. That has to be a double dose of stupidity that sprung from the mouth of the USACA coach. It is hard to imagine a more limited and irresponsible representation by someone in charge of a national team. It was no surprise that the USACA cricket team instead of playing cricket; they showed up for what turned out to be a game of bingo. Here are the numbers L-0, R-0, S-7, O-5, R-0, U-0, A-0, and H-0 see if you have the winning card COACH!
HELLO COACH! Every team in the tournament is there to win and for that to be your justification for the inclusion of Howard Johnson into the USA team over the youngsters Durale Forrest, Ryan Corns and Muhammad Ghous is just wretched. That clearly indicates a willingness to compromise the integrity of the national team. The thinking certainly not with one’s head and that confirms how unqualified you are as a coach. Regardless of the outcome of the tournament, not much can be expected in the future, you should be fired on the spot, then again who would do that this is the GOOD OLD USACA.
Cricket can be a cruel game. You can be on top on one day and at the bottom on another and team USA has had their share of both. But when injustice, such as that perpetrated in this tour, is being weaved into the team with reasons as preposterous as that which the coach has stated “Other than Howard Johnson’s AGE, if he’s up for trials or selection, he can WALK into the team” is just sickening. That clearly sells the coach’s intentions even before the act. There may be some truth to the statement though, he can only walk INTO A USA CRICKET TEAM, and yes he can walk because he just cannot run and play like the youngsters who are watching such a distasteful behavior showcased right before their eyes.
To have the youngsters sit and watch the assistant coach, Howard Johnson (about 46 years old), slide into the team through the slippery fingers of a selection panel is really inflicting a blatant insult to the good nature of these young players on the squad. Perhaps, that tactic was on the cards even before the team was selected as insinuated in the coach’s statement, and perhaps that is why he was named assistant coach so that some other eligible player would short changed on the original squad.
It begs the question though was he on the roster as a player in the tournament as required by the ICC? Well, that may be answered by the in short order. Now, where are the well meaning individuals who are leading the national organization and are focused on moving the game forward in the United States, that a barefaced act such as this is displayed for the world to see. If Howard Johnson’s inclusion into the team had anything to do with the team’s chemistry that stifled their performance, then the huge total of 44 runs scored in the match IS JUSTIFIED, and Howard Johnson’s two wickets in the match really sums up the ability of the coach Clayton Lambert as someone floating in turbulent waters clinging on to two stumps in open seas.