Griffith chasing consistency in quest to convert starts into massive scores
By Akeem Greene
Just over 11 years ago, a large portion of the cricketing world became aware of the name Trevon Griffith after he went berserk with a whirlwind 84 off 55 balls in a Group D match at the ICC Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand.
West Indies Under-19s were chasing 298 in their allotted 50 overs and lost by 40 runs. Babar Azam, who registered in the tournament as a 15-year-old, scored 129 for Pakistan in that match.
Some of the players from that tournament who went on to international stardom were Josh Hazelwood, Adam Zampa, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Joe Root, KL Rahul, James Neesham and Corey Anderson.
Griffith’s West Indies Under-19 teammates Jason Holder, Jomel Warrican, Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Evin Lewis, Shane Dowrich and John Campbell have since played international cricket.
So what has happened to Griffith, who ended that Under-19 World Cup with 92 runs from six innings at an average of 15.33?
Based on his numbers at the senior regional level, the same inconsistency has affected him from also reaching the international stage.
To go further back in time, Griffith was the leading batsman in the TCL Regional Under-19 Three-day Cup tournament in 2009, scoring 406 runs at an average of 40. He stroked one century, 104 against the Leeward Islands.
He had a lean one-day tournament, scoring just 77 runs from five innings.
Fast track to 2021, and after 39 innings at the First-Class level, the stylish left-hander averages 17.51 with just has two-half centuries. At the List A level, he has five-half centuries and averages 22.18 after 33 innings.
More often than not, past failures and time cultivate maturity and hunger in professional athletes and now age 29, Griffith is eager to make amends with renewed vigour on consistency.
“It’s about being happy for me; committed, focus and scoring runs,” he related to News Room Sport in a recent interview after he was forced to withdraw from the Guyana Jaguars squad for the recent Super50 in Antigua due to a positive COVID-19 result.
The Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) player, who was part of the then Sagicor High Performance Centre squad for the one-year encampment in Barbados 2012, said he is not burdened by the weight of expectation, given the exposure he has had over the years.
“Expectation is something I pay no mind to; we play a sport whereby we fail more than we succeed. For me, I have been always about going out and focusing on what I have to do and try as much to commit myself to the job at hand.”
Griffith is a curious case; he is arguably one of the fittest cricketers in the country for years, and on face value, has a solid forward defence, but finds it difficult to kick-on after reaching in the 20s-40s, which is indicative of his average.
“Well it’s obvious that I get a lot of starts, but I think it’s something I try and not to think too much about but I know it’s a hurdle I really want to cross but I try my best to just focus on concentrating harder and that’s it,” Griffith contended.
The left-hander was eyeing a return to the Super50 Cup 2021 after last featuring in the October 2018 edition, where he made 235 runs in nine innings.
While there has been no confirmation from Cricket West Indies as yet, it is understood that the Regional Four-Day tournament could be held from around the Easter weekend, possibly in one or just two territories.
Griffith, who was an asymptomatic COVID-19 case, is now fully recovered, and is eyeing the chance of now pressing for a case in the longer format having last played a First-Class match for Jaguars in January 2019 against Leeward Island Hurricanes at Providence.
“Well the goal is always to stay focus, be positive, be committed [and] never lose focus; once there’s cricket to be played then the goal is to be focused on scoring runs and be consistent.”