Now, you can get all the USA Cricket updates via Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter via @dreamcricket
By Peter Della Penna (on Twitter)
Friday afternoon at the IPL, the Mumbai Indians team was on its way to defeat at the hands of the Pune Warriors when sideline reporter Shibani Dandekar pulled aside Mumbai Indians head coach Robin Singh, who also sometimes acts as USA’s “coach” and other times their “technical advisor”, for a brief interview in the 10th over of Mumbai’s failed chase.
After Dandekar got a few questions out of the way regarding the state of the match and the quality of Mumbai’s fielding unit, she threw in a question about USA cricket, which may have caught the eyes and ears of viewers in America.
“A little birdie told me that you also coached the US Women’s team for the qualifiers,” said Dandekar, referencing the squad that competed in November at the 2011 ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh. “What was that experience like?”
“Well that was pretty bad,” Singh blurted out. He may have been candid but he was also quite ungracious. However, the worst was yet to come.
“I think it was the first time I was doing women’s cricket,” said Singh. “It’s very very different. I mean, you have to drop your mental standards with them. It’s a total change. It’s absolutely different.”
Dandekar then tried to offer a chance for Singh to perhaps take back some of what he just said. “But you enjoyed it…” Dandekar responded back to him.
Singh took a few moments before offering a half-hearted and utterly unconvincing, “Yeah….” mixed in with a shoulder shrug. “I mean it’s different. You have to rethink how you strategize and so forth.”
Maybe it’s time for USACA to have a rethink about how to strategize their use of financial resources towards a “technical advisor” or “coach” who doesn’t sound terribly enthusiastic about being involved with US cricket and is ready to insult the intelligence of female players with what can only be characterized as sexist remarks. Singh saying he had to drop his “mental standards” when dealing with female cricketers implies they are intellectually inferior to male athletes he coaches.
I wonder what the female players and supporters of United States cricket have to say about that. It’s a cheap, pathetic statement one would expect out of someone living in the 1950s. The only amusing part about it is that it’s coming from the guy who sources have indicated was the brains behind sending Abhimanyu Rajp in to bat at number three against Ireland last month at the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in Dubai.
Let’s look at Robin Singh’s track record so far in US cricket:
- 1st place finish (out of six teams) with the USA U-19 team at the 2011 ICC Americas U-19 tournament in Florida. The standard of competition was scraping the bottom of the barrel at that event.
- USA U-19 is swept in a four-match series by West Indies U-19 in Florida last July.
- 7th place finish (out of 10 teams) at the 2011 ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifier in Ireland. USA fails to qualify for 2012 ICC U-19 World Cup.
- 8th place finish (out of 10 teams) at the 2011 ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh. USA fails to qualify for 2013 ICC Women’s World Cup.
- 12th place finish (out of 16 teams) at the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in the UAE. USA fails to qualify for 2012 ICC World Twenty20.
Singh claims that he had a “bad experience” with the USA Women’s team, but on the evidence above, it looks like USA Cricket as a whole has had a very bad experience with Robin Singh. Why does USACA continue to let him fleece their tiny bank account if he’s having a “bad experience” with US cricket?
Image (right) - Robin Singh [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket]
He blames his experience with the US women’s team on having to drop his “mental standards” when coaching them. However, he also said that he had never coached women before. Clearly, this is an admission that he was unqualified and unprepared for the duties he was assigned to carry out in coaching the USA Women’s team in Bangladesh, yet he had no issues swooping into Dhaka like a vulture to snatch a paycheck from USACA. It’s also interesting to note that after Singh’s “bad experience” with the women’s team in November, he didn’t have any issues parachuting himself into the men’s touring party in the UAE last month to collect another easy paycheck as a “technical advisor”.
Let’s look at the results again: one success against substandard competition followed by four overwhelming failures. Each failure was worse than the previous one. Singh has shown no interest in coming to help players with practice and training on US soil prior to entering tournaments. Rather, he conveniently shows up on site as a tournament is about to get underway for a shameless cash grab.
Muhammad Ali once said, “The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” Conversely, Singh and USACA’s administration feel they can cut corners to achieve success by sending teams to show up at tournaments with little or no preparation beforehand and just expect them to win. What was that again about dropping mental standards?
[Views expressed in this article are those of the author. If you have differing views or opinions, we respect those views and urge you to provide your feedback - both positive and negative - in the comments section.]