The Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) does not have a cricket development plan. That’s the view of Kamal Springer who is running for the post of vice president of the organisation in the upcoming elections on July 27.
“We do not have a cricket development plan for a cricket organisation. I think that is close to madness. If we have a cricket organisation, how do you determine the failure or success of the board, if you cannot point to an objective that they achieved or not achieved? How do you evaluate the board’s performance if you cannot say you have not done this, but you said you will do it? How do you evaluate us?” Springer told Barbados TODAY in an interview.
“So it is very difficult for companies to be interested, and for the members of clubs to be interested because they cannot definitely say what we are trying to accomplish,” he added.
Springer, who at 25, is the youngest member of the BCA’s executive, said he decided to run for the position of vice-president because there are a couple of things within the governing body of cricket on the island that must be addressed.
“Number one is finance. I think we are in the dangerous position of losing our competitive advantage in the region by losing revenue and not replacing it with new income streams,” Springer said.
“I also think the BCA does not have a good hand on our relationships and doesn’t treat our stakeholders the way that we need to. So therefore we do not have the correct connection with them, and this could cost the BCA. Any entity that has poor relationships doesn’t last very long because it needs others outside of the organisation to help it survive,” he stated.
Springer said that a company needed its customers and the media to see it in a good light, and for shareholders to invest capital.
“The BCA is no different, it needs relationships with external entities in a positive way to help the organisation develop,” he stressed.
The former Combermerian feels the BCA should become more of a stakeholder in West Indies cricket rather than waiting on Cricket West Indies to come up with ideas and send down policies and strategies.
Instead, Springer is suggesting the BCA takes steps to ensure that recommendations and ideas are made to Cricket West Indies to advance the development of the game in the region.
He said his added motivation to seek the second highest office in the BCA, was as a result of seeing the organisation go through errors and similar situations in the past and being unable to solve some of those issues.
“I would not want to publicly state what I think those issues are. I think that the members of the association would be aware of certain issues plaguing the organisation, certainly for the last four years,” he said.
One of the new revenue streams Springer is proposing is for the BCA to engage in online advertising.
“I think that we have a plethora of content, that we can create, manage and sell advertising and get sponsors to come on board with those programmes. For example, If we have our regional games and are able to purchase the rights from Cricket West Indies and stream them on the website, this would allow us to drive traffic to the website. Advertisers could be interested in purchasing time on the website. We could make it profitable for companies to do so, if they are getting their products out there and people are willing to purchase the goods, after seeing them on the website while watching cricket, other businesses would become interested because they see multiple benefits,” Springer explained.
He added: “There are other revenue streams that I do not want to disclose publicly before I discuss them with the board or the members, but I believe that there are ideas out there that we can invest in to make money.”
Springer cited matches between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana as an example.
“Those two countries have a heavy population in Barbados. If we can agree with those countries to have games in Barbados at various points throughout our season, and we market them well enough to get people through the doors, we will earn money from gate receipts and tickets sales. We can negotiate with restaurant chains and companies who will have exclusive rights to sell their products, which will earn us money. If we are broadcasting these matches, potential revenue can be earned from advertising,” he explained.
Springer said that even if broadcasters were reluctant to air these matches, the BCA could create income by streaming them online, and businesses would sign on to such a venture if they were shown the regional niche they could reach.
He stated the BCA was not at the level of thinking that was required to establish the measures he was suggesting.
“Right now, we are focused on putting out a lot of fires and long-term strategic development is not being addressed, and that is no individual’s fault, there is no one person that would have contributed to that more than anybody else. All of us at some point in time contributed to it. What I would like to see change is the overall thinking of the board,” the young candidate said.
Springer has strong views of what must be done to advance the development of cricket in Barbados. He said that sometime in the future professional cricket will be played on the island but before that was done the basics must come into play.
He stated that the foundations of cricket in Barbados were shaky and suggested the relationship between the BCA and the clubs, schools, the Cricket Legends, public, media and corporate entities was not good enough
Springer declined to elaborate on why he believed that the BCA had a poor relationship with business houses.
“I am not emphasising the relationship between the BCA and corporate entities. The relationship I want to place the emphasis on is between the BCA, the clubs, the schools and the Legends. These are the three eminent relationships that we need for cricket to develop before we can look for funding anywhere,” he explained.
Springer was elected to the BCA’s board four years ago and has served on several committees, and is currently the chairman of the Youth Cricket and Limited Overs Committees. He was nominated for the post of vice-president by former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford, and seconded by former senior civil servant Ian Archer.
Roland Butcher, who played Test cricket for England and Calvin Hope, a former Barbados Youth Team captain and a veteran member of the board, are also vying for the position of vice president.