The impasse between the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (BAPPSS) must be sorted out immediately, says newly elected president of the BCA, Conde Riley.
On May 25, BAPPSS boycotted the final of the Sir Everton Weeks Under-13 Limited Overs Tournament, after the BCA revised its 2017 promotion rules to prevent other schools from joining Combermere and Foundation in the Division One Competition.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY late Thursday night after assuming the office of BCA president, Riley said the issue had to be solved as a matter of urgency.
“There is an impasse with the schools that must be sorted out immediately. I have my views. As soon as we have our first board meeting, I want to address that issue and get it settled,” Riley said at the Hilton Barbados Hotel.
The new head of the BCA disclosed that he addressed BAPPSS two weeks ago to give them his thoughts on the future.
“I certainly believed that we cannot have a problem with our major nursery which is the secondary schools, and I am willing to sit with them as soon as possible to resolve the issue. You know the impasse has to do with Combermere and Foundation being promoted and their best players not available to play for Combined Youth.
“My belief is that this situation is not difficult to solve. We do not have the sponsorship for Combined Youth anymore. I believe that we can take the Combined Youth out of the Elite Division. If all twenty school teams can come into the Elite and First Division, it means that our club cricket is not as strong as it should be if your school teams are beating the clubs. I think it is very difficult for a school to try to reach the top and is then asked by the BCA to give up their leading players. They will be demoted. This is a time for clear thinking and understanding, I certainly hope to work with BAPPSS to solve the problem,” Riley said.
Another of Riley’s priorities will be to ensure clubs have the infrastructure to receive the young cricketers who are graduating from the Everton Weekes Centre of Excellence each year.
“We spend about $1.2 million on the Centre of Excellence, every year we put out about twenty or so players. I want to have clubs with the infrastructure to have these players, otherwise this investment in the Centre of Excellence and by extension our young players would be wasted,” Riley said.
In an interview withBarbados TODAY, Calvin Hope who was elected vice-president, said he and Riley had been discussing the state of cricket in Barbados for over twenty years.
“My thinking is to support the board and keep it on its feet in relation to corporate governance. Thinking out of the box in terms of how we get B arbados and West Indies cricket competitive internationally and setting up programmes to assist us in achieving this.
“A lot has changed over the years. I have heard a lot of discussion over the years, people have ideas but one has to network these ideas. We have to use our stakeholders’ relationships to build on these ideas and research the issues in our cricket and face those facts,” Hope said.
He agreed with Riley that schools’ cricket must be the number one priority.
“That’s the cradle of Barbados’ cricket, it is where our cricketers come from to go to the West Indies team or trade their skills internationally. We must solve any issues that we have with the schools and find a way to get cricket coaches into them. Cricket is a serious economic vehicle for Barbados. It is not only an economic vehicle but a social development tool. When you think about our young people, cricket keeps them off the streets on Saturday and Sunday; its impact on our society is clear,” Hope said.
He also stressed on the impact cricket has on the tourism industry.
“It is hand in glove with tourism in generating for foreign exchange for the country. Any board of the BCA must pay attention to these two vital roles cricket plays in our society,” Hope said.
The other officers elected are Gregory Nicholls, secretary, Jason King, treasurer. The five directors are Timothy Boyce, Winston Stafford, Roland Butcher and Evril “Betty Lewis Browne.