Dolphins in chaos

2008-04-10 00:00

RECENT developments and a string of poor results have shown quite clearly that all is not well in the Dolphins camp.

The latest news regarding talented youngster Jonathan Vandiar indicates that KwaZulu-Natal cricket is in a shambles of its own making. Vandiar, arguably one of South Africa’s most exciting young cricketers, has indicated his intentions to play for the Lions.

While the administrators and coaches have been concerning themselves with matters other than cricket, Vandiar has apparently received little recognition for his efforts and has battled to establish where he fits into the team’s plans for the future.

The fact that Vandiar’s talent could be lost to the Dolphins, while selection chief Jay Naidoo and coach Yashin Ebrahim have pursued average players from other franchises, is unforgivable.

If Vandiar signs for the Lions it will not be for financial reasons. He was very successful playing for SA U19 under Ray Jennings, now coach of the Lions, and it is clear Jennings has shown interest in Vandiar as a player and person.

It is so important for youngsters trying to become professional cricketers to feel valued and appreciated. Naidoo and Ebrahim have obviously not provided this type of encouragement and should Vandiar sign with the Lions, they will be kicking themselves for losing such a talent.

One wonders then how the other players in the Dolphins franchise must be feeling. Successful teams in the franchise system such as the Eagles are made up of players who, even though they may not be overly blessed with talent, manage to play above themselves.

They have the support of the administrators and coaches, and also a very clear idea of the role they have in the team.

The Dolphins, on the other hand, seem disjointed with little team spirit and Naidoo and Ebrahim proffer pathetic excuses for their team’s woeful performance. Admittedly they have won a handful of games but hardly enough to turn fortunes around.

What concerns me is that if the Dolphins are prepared to let Vandiar go so easily, who will be next? I hope that they will do their best to look after other players like David Millar, as they certainly can’t afford to lose him as well.

The Dolphins camp appears chaotic, with youngsters confused, and it would not be surprising if other players leave.

Serious questions have to be asked. How is it possible that this state of affairs has been allowed to develop and how can young cricketers’ careers be determined by coaches and administrators who have insufficient knowledge of the game or experience of playing it at a professional level?

Vandiar is probably on the verge of making one of the biggest decisions in his cricket career — one that could see him leaving behind friends and family, but hopefully also one that will see him grow as a cricketer and develop his great potential.

I feel sorry for the players he may be leaving behind — those who have no offers to play elsewhere and who will be forced to endure the prevailing chaos.

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