The opening of the Barbados Cricket Association’s (BCA) 2015 domestic season could be marred by a pull-out of all school teams from their games tomorrow.
This is as a result of an impasse between the BCA and the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (BAPPS) over player eligibility for their individual schools and the Guardian General Barbados Youth.
A BCA Board of Management decision has mandated that the best team must be selected for Guardian General Barbados Youth before the two school sides in the First division –– Caribbean Alliance/Akobah Gardens Foundation and Nicholls Baking Combermere –– pick their individual squads.
However, having gained promotion to the First Division, this BCA ruling will mean that both Foundation and Combermere will be stripped of their best players to accommodate the combined youth squad. Neither Foundation nor Combermere have as yet announced their teams for the opening round of the Sagicor General Twenty20 Championship tomorrow.
Foundation won the Intermediate division title in 2013 and were promoted to the First division in 2014, while Combermere were the Intermediate division champions last year, thus joining Foundation as the second school team.
Barbados TODAY understands that after an approach was made by BAPPS to the BCA about maintaining the strength of the two promoted teams, a compromise was made that would have seen no more than two players selected from Foundation and Combermere to represent the Barbados Youth in the Elite Division and none at all from those schools to play for Barbados Youth in the First Division.
However reports are that the BCA has reneged on the compromise and has stuck to its original mandate that the selection of the Barbados Youth squad takes precedence over the other teams.
The BCA’s position was reiterated in correspondence from cricket operations manager, Rollins Howard, which indicated that where a player was selected to represent the Barbados Youth in any BCA-administered domestic competition but instead played for his school, all points gained by the school in that series would be forfeited.
It was also stressed that only those persons representing the Guardian General Barbados Youth teams in the local competitions would be eligible for selection to the national teams to participate in regional competitions.
Rollins advised that the BCA’s dictates should be noted carefully, as well as the implications which they would have for the school cricketers if not complied with.
However BAPPS head and Combermere principal Vere Parris, in correspondence sent May 5 to his members, stated he had received word from Rollins that the BCA Board had not accepted the proposal and the agreement that had been made with the BCA committee. Parris stressed that the schools had to stand their ground on the issue.
BAPPS’ main bone of contention with the BCA mandate is that under the present system the schools have no control over how many players are recruited into the Barbados Youth squad. Parris indicated that BAPPS and the schools’ coaches were walking hand in hand on the issue.
He noted that when individual schools did well in competitions and were promoted to a higher division, which of necessity would be more demanding, and then had to give up a number of their best players, they ran the risk of being demoted the following year because of losing players who facilitated their promotion.
If the school teams pull out of tomorrow’s matches it could lead to postponements and/or forfeitures and further sanctions by the BCA.
Also see: COLUMN – BCA, BAPPS in showdown