The Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) is in the process of rolling out a new development plan that will cater to the women’s side of the game as well as communities across the island, says, president Conde Riley.
The BCA president said that as a result of the lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic and more recently the volcanic ashfall from St. Vincent and the Grenadines eruption, they were forced to put this new development plan on hold.
“We are in the process of rolling out a new development plan. But we had to put it on hold because of COVID and more recently the volcanic situation, as well as money that is owed to us by Cricket West Indies, as well as the government,” Riley explained.
During a telephone interview with Barbados TODAY just before he attended the monthly BCA board meeting, Riley stated that this new development plan will focus on the expansion of the women’s program. In recent times the BCA has been criticised for not doing enough for women’s cricket. But Riley countered by saying the BCA was doing a lot for the women’s sport.
He added that has been evident over the last two regional tournaments where Barbados was victorious in the T20 and Super 50 tournaments. He noted that the talent was there and the results spoke for themselves.
“Apart from doing enough for women’s cricket, every year for the last two regional tournaments, we have loaned the Leeward Islands girls so that they can make up a team to compete,” he added.
The BCA boss admitted that as a result of COVID-19 and the lockdown, their revenue had dropped. Therefore, in the coming weeks and months, the local governing body for cricket in the country will be looking at its finances to plan the way forward.
“We are hoping that we can get some money and then we will roll out some new development plans which have some significant part to do with women’s cricket as well as cricket in the community.
“What happened was that as a result of the lockdown through COVID, our major revenue stream which is the lotteries, a lot of their arcades and so on were closed and our revenue went right down as a result,” Riley said.
The BCA continues to work on and implement plans to boost the viability of cricket in the island. Just in October 2020, the BCA announced a marketing campaign under the slogan This Is We to rally its members, cricketers and clubs to be proud of their cricketing image and legacy.
“While cricket has a tremendous societal and development impact on our society, there are also economic considerations that the BCA has been mandated to steward. We will continue to expand our revenue generation efforts and this will see new products and services being developed in the months ahead. Central to this has been a strategic, all-encompassing assessment of the content generation capabilities of the Barbados cricket experience. Through multi-tiered sponsorship opportunities, new subscription services, the development of innovation, interactive apps, and a wide range of creative merchandising, the BCA intends to enhance its revenue-generating capabilities,” Riley said at the time.
Since the government granted permission for the association to resume training, players both men and women have been training hard at Kensington Oval with BCA coaches Richard Clarke, Sulieman Benn and Ryan Hinds. According to Riley, a number of the senior players from the men’s team are preparing for a training camp starting Sunday, May 9, in Trinidad and Tobago.
But Riley said that the BCA is currently looking for a window to have their regular season at the end of July. But that he noted will be up for further discussion when the board meets.
While uncertainty looms with regards to the 2021 season, Riley explained the possibility exists where the BCA will host a 50 over tournament for Division One and Elite, and a 40 over for the Intermediate and Second Division Clubs.
“We are looking for a window to have our normal BCA season. We would not be able to have it like in the past because normally we would have started around April, May. But because of the COVID lockdown and volcano dust, the earliest we can have a season is at the end of July.
“But then the Australians and also the Pakistanis are coming, so we will have two international teams in Barbados at one time. So, we are trying to put all of that together to work out a season. In the meantime, we have our senior guys and girls in training at Kensington Oval starting this week,” the BCA president said.