Kingston, Jamaica – Outgoing Jamaica captain Tamar Lambert has called on the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) to implement higher standards of two-day Senior Cup cricket in light of the country’s poor batting performance in the just-concluded four-day WICB Professional League.
Jamaica, five-time regional four-day kingpins three seasons ago, finished a disappointing fourth during this season.
This was after recording three wins, two draws, and five straight defeats in the six-team home-and-away round-robin tournament.
The team also failed to see a batsman scoring a century this season.
“I can’t really pinpoint what went wrong exactly, but our club competition has been at a low standard, so that is one thing that we need to build up,” said 34-year-old Lambert, who recently played his final game as captain for Jamaica Franchise against the Barbados Pride at Sabina Park.
“Once we do that, it will result in players coming to the next (first-class) level with less technical flaws.”
The tournament, which saw Guyana Jaguars coming out on top ahead of Barbados and the Windward Islands Volcanoes, saw young Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood, emerging as Jamaica’s top batsman.
He scored 405 runs, inclusve of three half-centuries, and finished with an average of 28.92.
The 23-year-old’s credentials also saw him ending 16th overall in the tournament runs table.
“What we have found is that when players come up to the first-class level, coaches have to be telling them basic stuff,” said Lambert.
“When what it should be is that when you reach at this level, it should be just fine-tuning going into competition.”
The St Catherine CC captain, who intends to play as a batsman only going forward next season for Jamaica, did not put the blame entirely on the lack of proper club cricket infrastructure.
He said players, too, need to shoulder some of the blame.
“We can’t really put the blame entirely on poor club cricket structure,” he said.
“We (batsmen) have to take some of the blame, as it is our career. We need to put our best foot forward, irrespective of challenges, and I don’t think any of the batters really stood up this year.”
The JCA has struggled to stage its two-day Senior Cup in recent years, due to a lack of funding with the competition being cancelled two seasons ago.
The association, however, has plans to expand the competition this season to feature a club and parish association Senior Cup, as well as a season-ending elite franchise two-day league.