THE SCORE: Making wrong things right


AFTER THE BUDGET, which granted no sporting concessions and made no promises for the improvement of infrastructure, I’m moving into election mode.
My manifesto will be called Changing Cricket From Chaos And Controversy. The aim will be to stop Barbados cricket from becoming weaker.
Thus, I will be throwing my hat in the election ring when the Tenth Special Meeting of Members is held on August 14 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
With the deadline for nominations tomorrow, I’m pleading for a proposer and seconder as it is my intention to serve on the board of directors. Nevertheless, I will start my campaign today to become one of the four board members.
You can rest assured that I would be a very considerate administrator and won’t be insensitive when it comes to schools cricket. My first act would be to postpone the LIME Under-15 semi-finals and final until the Barbados Under-14 and Under-15 teams return from their tours of England and the Regional Under-15 Tournament in St Kitts, respectively.
This would allow the schools that reach the semi-finals to be at full strength with the inclusion of their national representatives, thereby ensuring the best players get a chance to play in the final.
Amend regulation
Next, I would urge fellow board members to amend this regulation governing the playing conditions for school and club competitions: “In the event that any match in the semi-finals ends in a tie or a no-decision, the team which has the better net run rate in the preliminary rounds shall advance to the final.”
The new rule would be that “No team shall advance to the final unless they secure an advantage, either by first innings lead or an outright victory in the semi-finals”.
The objective of this amendment is to ensure that cricket is the winner at all costs and, consequently, matches that are affected by rain or other circumstances will be rescheduled.
My view on the present unsatisfactory method of deciding finalists did not emerge because of recent happenings. About a decade ago I penned the article Hole In The Bowl about the use of net run rate to decide finalists and winners of the regional One-Day competition when matches are rained out.
I have always maintained that cricket winners must be decided on the field of play, and not with the use of calculators, especially when the teams involved play in different zones against different teams, in contrasting conditions and at grounds with dissimilar boundary distances.
The detractors would say that teams are aware of the rules prior to the start of competitions and should not complain after the fact and they should try to boost their net run rate in the preliminaries.
I’m sure all teams do this wherever they can while trying to win matches and top their zone. But should a team really be eliminated from a knockout competition without losing on the field of play? This happens almost annually in all our local cricket competitions, which are usually played in the rainy season, with the consequent unpredictability of the weather.
As a caring administrator, and acknowledging the investment in the Everton Weekes Centre of Excellence, I am hurt to see young cricketers and even men crying when rain decides their fate.
I ask: why should there be a rush to finish this year’s Sagicor General Shield competition in July, when the cricket season for junior teams, who don’t play on Sunday, usually ends in November or December? What is more important, the cost of rescheduling a match or witnessing a contest between two teams to determine the better one?
I’m also hoping to sit on the cricket development committee to ensure selectors are appointed before the start of the domestic season and not towards the end of it, to allow them to observe the players’ performances. Also, concerning appointing managers and coaches for youth teams, I would at least make sure that the appointees work with such teams prior to their appointment, so that they would become familiar with their charges.
Gladly serve
Other committees that I would gladly serve on are those responsible for fixtures and grounds to ensure that there is equality in home and away matches for all teams participating in the Barbados Cricket Association’s competitions.
This would prevent one team from being allocated just three home but six away matches in the rebranded Elite Division, which unfortunately wasn’t named after any of our legends and has not attracted many of our current Test cricketers, who prefer to play with their demoted clubs.  
I would also ensure that no team has to play another two or three consecutive seasons at the same venue.
Talking about venues, I would seek to find out why Windward and North Stars aren’t hosting any matches in the upcoming regional Under-19 tournament?
Additionally, a careful analysis of fixtures would be done to prevent the same clubs from playing against the weakened Barbados Youth side every year when the first-choice players participate in the West Indies Under-19 Tournament.
My remit to all groundsmen, even those undertaking the task at the new “Festival Oval” or “Music Mecca”,?would be that their priority should be excellence in preparing pitches for an even contest between bat and ball, so that instances of several balls keeping low and some rearing from a good length, as was the case during the schools Under-19 final a few weeks ago, would be eliminated.


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