BCA historic move
FIFTEEN BARBADIAN cricketers have bumped into Santa Claus early.
In keeping with the practice of its parent body, the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) has offered one-year retainer contracts to 13 men and two women for the first time in its history.
BCA president Joel Garner explained yesterday that move was aimed at offering players a sense of security and taking the game locally to a more professional stage.
Speaking to NATIONSPORT after making the announcement at the BCA’s annual Christmas luncheon at the Accra Beach Hotel, Garner said the decision to offer contracts to local players also stemmed from a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) proposal a few years ago to implement territorial contracts.
“Over the last year or so we have been talking about how we can improve our cricket. We think that by having cricketers who are constantly training and in practice should develop a more professional approach,” he said.
“It is not only about a more professional approach but it is also giving those players the opportunity to play cricket non-stop and do all the things that are necessary to bring the skill level to what we would want for cricketers going forward.”
In offering the contracts, the BCA used criteria that included cricket skills, attitude, potential for further development and marketability.
Once all aspects of the arrangements and finalised and the contracts are signed, the BCA will make public the names of the players offered contracts.
NATIONSPORT understands the male players offered contracts are Ryan Hinds, Dale Richards, Tino Best, Dwayne Smith (Grade A), Jonathan Carter, Kraigg Brathwaite (Grade B), Rashidi Boucher, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Kenroy Williams, Javon Searles, Kyle Hope and Miguel Cummins (Grade C).
Five Barbadians currently under contracts with the WICB were considered. They were Sulieman Benn and Kemar Roach, who both have central retainer contracts, Kirk Edwards and Kevin Stoute, who possess developmental contracts and Deandra Dottin, who is one of six West Indian females on retainer contracts.
Garner revealed that the BCA contracts, which would be retroactive to December 1, was not substantial, but was a step in the right direction.
“We are trying to let the players know that they are thought about. The level is not great, but at least a player lives comfortable, knowing that he can play cricket and earn a living from it. We are trying to bring a different thinking,” he said.
“The gesture alone in starting it is to give the players a sense of security. A lot of players don’t work. If it is a burden in getting to practice and training … you usually hear the players complaining. We are trying to negate a lot of those things.”
As is the case with the WICB retainers, the players under contract with the BCA will be required to make themselves available for the duration of the period.
Additionally, the BCA will also try to assist in the personal development of the players and expose them to coaching credentials.
“The players will have to train, practise and play local cricket. We will also train them to become coaches and train them to deliver,” Garner said.
“It is a way we can assist the National Sports Council in delivering their programmes to the primary and secondary schools by having those players who are in the retained system delivering coaching to the younger players and being role models along with the other benefits.”