Conde Riley is the new president of the Barbados Cricket Association.
The veteran cricket administrator defeated challengers Deighton Smith and Erskine King in a landslide victory when the governing body of cricket in Barbados held its elections at the Hilton Barbados Hotel Thursday night.
Riley, a former senior banker, received 284 votes, Smith the former first vice-president who acted as president for the past two years, received 80 votes and King, a long-time sports administrator, garnered 85 votes.
An elated Riley told the media afterwards that he was surprised but not displeased at his overwhelming victory.
“I am very surprised at the number of people who voted for me. I have served on the board of the BCA with my two opponents and I know their ability, “ Riley said.
The newly elected president said one of his first priorities would be to tackle the issue between the BCA and the Barbados Association of Secondary School Principals. In May the final of the Everton Weekes Under-13 Championship between Combermere and Foundation was abandoned after the schools were withdrawn by their respective principals.There has been a long-running dispute where principals have objected to their best players not being allowed to play for their own schools but mandated to play for the combined schools’ team.
“We cannot afford to have a situation that is affecting the nursey of our cricket,” Riley said Thursday night.
Riley previously contested the presidency in 2014, challenging cricketing great Joel ‘Big Bird’ Garner, but lost on that occasion. He has also served as a director on the West Indies Cricket Board. The administrator was also appointed three years ago to oversee the Barbados franchise competing in the Professional Cricket League Regional Four-Day Tournament.
Garner, the previously elected president, is now the senior West Indies cricket team manager.
Meanwhile, attorney-at-law Calvin Hope is the new vice president. He received 170 votes and in the process defeated Roland Butcher who got 118 votes, Maurice Gaskin who received 107 votes and young Kamal Springer who tallied 37 votes.
“I am elated and honoured that the membership of the BCA has put this faith in me to be the vice-president of the association,” Hope said.
He added that schools’ cricket would be a major focus. “That is where our cricketers will come from, therefore it is a key area in the development of our cricket.”
Hope has been associated with the game for several years both on and off the field of play and as a member of the BCA. He is a former Barbados Under-19 captain and a stalwart of domestic cricket.
A large number of members turned out to cast their vote Thursday night, among them were National Hero Sir Garfield Sobers, former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons, Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley, Attorney General Ariel Brathwaite, entertainer Richard Stoute and chairman of the West Indies selectors, Courtney Browne.