It is the intention of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) to have two female cricketers assigned to each team playing in all primary school competitions held under its auspices.
This was revealed by the president of the BCA Conde Riley at a luncheon held in the presidential suite at Kensington Oval this afternoon in honour of the Barbados Women’s Cricket team that won the regional Super50 Cup and placed second in the Twenty20 Blast which were both recently held in Jamaica.
Speaking before an audience that included cricketing knights Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Wesley Hall, Sir Charles Griffith and former Barbados and West Indies opening batsman Desmond Haynes, the president said a special development system for women has been included in the BCA’s Development Plan.
“As we move forward this year, we are about to unveil our cricket development plan 2018 to 2022. In that plan, we are going to have a special development system for women’s cricket, I know that we have six or seven players who are currently members of the West Indies team, I also know that we have several players on contract with Cricket West Indies. We are looking at a programme in conjunction with the Ministry of Education where, in each primary school, two females will play in each team taking part in any tournament held under the auspices of the BCA,” Riley said.
The president explained this programme would continue until a talent pool of about 400 female cricketers were developed.
He wished the Bajan players who are members of the West Indies team good luck in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Twenty20 Tournament which takes place in the region later this year and lamented that none of the matches in the tournament would be held in Barbados.
“It is unfortunate that Barbados did not put in a bid to host any of the matches, but this is not the fault of the BCA. We thought that with several Bajans being members of the team, it would have been a foregone conclusion that a bid would have been made to host a zone and the semifinals and the final of the tournament, but that was not to be,” the president said.
Riley added that at the start of the tournament in Jamaica, he felt that the Bajan ladies would have won the Twenty20 Blast and the Super50 Cup but the team lost the final match in the Twenty20 Blast to Jamaica and rebounded to win the Super50 Cup.
“I want the young ladies to continue to work hard and make full use of the Centre of Excellence, I want to stress that it is our intention to have a total development of women’s cricket on the island, congratulations, I am looking forward to supporting you in the future,” Riley told young cricketers.
In delivering the vote of thanks, BCA’s director of cricket Steven Leslie said the presence of the three cricketing knights at the luncheon was an indication of the importance of winning the Super50 Cup.
The director said there were many opportunities for female cricketers and reminded the members of the victorious team that so far Barbados had produced only one female commentator in Donna Symmonds.