Roland Butcher, the head coach of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), does not think the decision of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) to accept a proposal from the UWI to alter the status of the university to a club will change the criteria for selection to the university teams playing in the BCA’s Elite and Division One competitions.
The BCA’s board of management recently accepted a request from the UWI that they be classified as a club.
“I do not think the change of status to that of a club would change the concept of students at the campus being selected to play for the UWI. I still think that being a student would be the basis for selection,” Butcher told Barbados TODAY.
He explained that the UWI submitted the proposal to the BCA requesting to be classified as a club in 2015.
“Our proposal was submitted in time to meet the 2016 season but nothing was done at that time. Eventually, the change in status was granted to meet the 2017 season,” Butcher said.
He disclosed that the UWI made the request to change their status to a club because they were admitted to play in the then First Division competition of the BCA as a developmental team.
“Right now I am not sure what that means, the UWI has been developing players and will continue to do so. We do not have the same developmental status as Barbados Youth who cannot be demoted from the Elite Division. We wanted to become a club like any other club,” he explained.
In 2008, the UWI was admitted to play in the BCA’s First Division competition which at that time was the premier cricket division on the island. Their admission to the Division’s competition was a contentious issue for several cricket clubs.
Already, there have been rumblings from some clubs over the UWI’s change in status.
According to Butcher, the classification as a club means the university will now operate on the same basis as the other teams.
“The other teams can only have three overseas players. We have always been restricted to three overseas players also, from that perspective there would not have to be too many changes. I would expect our membership base to expand,” the head coach said.
He added: “Members of the alumni along with other Barbadians can now join the UWI Club, in the same way they can become a member of Empire or Spartan.”
The UWI cricket teams compete in the BCA’s Elite, Division One and Intermediate competitions.