Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), Noel Lynch, is batting for the history of cricket to be taught on both the primary and secondary schools curriculum.
According to Lynch, who spoke during the BCA’s pre-season press conference Thursday at Kensington Oval, cricket has done more for the development of Caribbean people than any other social endeavour and as such Barbadians needed to understand not only what it has done for them but also what it can do for them in the future.
“We are trying to meet with the Ministry of Education because I believe the appreciation and history of cricket should be on every high school and primary school curriculum in this country. Soon from now we are going to forget who is the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers and we need to get it back on the curriculum.
“I am trying to meet with them [Ministry of Education]; I am trying to meet with the Caribbean Examination Council.
“We got to get cricket back into everybody’s face all over again or not we are not going to get back to the excellence that we had because there are just too many competing interests,” he said.
Lynch who took up the post of CEO just over a year ago, explained the BCA was determined to reclaim that cricketing interest that once existed years ago and one way to do that was through advertising.
In addition, he said the aim was to take the sport back to where it all started in the neighbouring communities while noting that Barbados’ cricket had a strong hold on West Indies cricket.
“We recognize that if a younger demographic is going to be attracted again to the sport, we need to do things differently. Our regional competition, the Super50 Cup that was held in Barbados, there were ten day and night matches that were held at Kensington Oval.
“In those matches we had an average patronage, paying patronage, of over 1500 persons paying per night coming into Kensington Oval. And I say on average because one night the Barbados versus Guyana match had as many as three thousand people.
“One of the things we are going to seek to do over the next year and may be the medium to longer term is to ensure we bring people back to cricket and we are not only going to do it at Kensington Oval during a regional match.
“We want to take cricket back to the communities where it started and where it belongs.
“The second initiative is people must come back to watch cricket. I think that Barbadians will agree that when Barbados’ cricket is strong, West Indies cricket is strong.
“We still dominate the ranks of West Indies cricket in terms of the number of people that Barbados provides to the West Indies team. This has been a perennial infusion of talent into the West Indies team.
“There was a period I suppose when there were a number of Antiguans who rose to the fore, there were a number of Guyanese, Trinidadians, but by and large over the span of time that Barbados has been involved in regional cricket or the West Indies has been involved in regional cricket, more Barbadians have dominated the West Indies team than any other territory in this region.
“That is not to put down or speak disparagingly about the other people and their development but I think we have a very comprehensive and structured development programme in the BCA,” Lynch said.
The CEO credited the Everton Weekes Center of Excellence for producing some of the most talented Barbadian cricketers of this era.
However, he said that the downside of that was that the younger generation was not coming out to cricket as readily as people of his age.
“It is our desire to bring them back. We believe that is the only way in which you are going to produce quality global players. Because we still do well at the regional level and if we are able to widen the base of people who are in and around cricket….
“I am saying that unless we once again find every avenue for promoting cricket, we are not going to widen this base enough to be able to get more people interested,” Lynch explained.