On Wednesday at The Oval, Surrey and Glamorgan met in a CB40 over game, that was dedicated to the memory of Tom Maynard. Tom played with great passion for both clubs, and it was fitting to see both teams carry his name on the back of their shirts.
However, only one of the teams played in a manner befitting his memory and it wasn’t Glamorgan. The Welshmen were thrashed in a performance that can only be described as abject.
If they didn’t have Tom’s name on their backs, then you could dismiss the poverty of their display as that of a team with nothing to play for. But by agreeing to remember Tom, they committed to having a cause.
A cause is a powerful motivator that binds a team together. It means that everyone is playing for something greater than themselves. It should naturally lift performance levels, as the cause gives an emotional focus, that allows the group to tap into greater forces and power than normal.
Glamorgan may have worn Tom’s name on their back, but regretably weren’t able to rise to the occassion. They were seen to be a team whose weaknesses could not be hidden. They had a cause, but played without one!
This happens when individuals put their own needs before that of the group. The cause cannot hold, because the connective glue is not in place. That is the glue of playing for and serving the team, rather than oneself. Qualities that Tom Maynard had in abundance.
Three years ago, under Matt Maynard and Jamie Dalrymple’s astute leadership, Glamorgan were a hungry emerging team. Then misguided and ill-judged decisions at the top aborted all the progress the leadership team had made. Now the Welshmen are directionless and weak. (Matt Maynard subsequently went on to become South Africa Coach Of The Year)
It was perhaps appropriate that their meek capitulation at The Oval was witnessed by a large crowd and TV audience. For the truth can no longer be hidden. This is a cricket team going nowhere. And unless the management are smart unless to realise this and make tough decisions, this aimless drift will continue.
Of course mediocrity may be acceptable at Glamorgan CCC. That means that players and management can under-deliver without consequences. Mediocrity allows the staus quo to continue without anyone rocking the boat.
But if Glamorgan really wanted to honour the name of Thomas Lloyd Maynard, they would use the capitulation at The Oval as a starting point to put some pride and honour back in the name of Glamorgan cricket.
Whether they will or not, depends upon how genuine they are in their aspirations. For to change a status quo requires tough leadership, and an ability to make difficult uncomfortable decisions. Qualities that right now seem to absent from Glamorgan CCC.