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Chief: BCL still vital

Randy Bennett

Chief: BCL still vital

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It has been two years since the Barbados Cricket League (BCL) has fielded a team in cricket’s highest division.
But that pales in comparison to the 75 years which they have contributed to the development of cricket.
And president Glyne  St Hill believes the BCL still has a major role to play, despite its obvious challenges.
“The BCL still has an important role to play. When you look through the Elite division (formerly First Division) teams, they contain a number of guys who started at the BCL.
“So that goes to show that some of the best cricketers in Barbados have come out of the BCL. Understandably, when they start to develop they will attract the eyes of the bigger clubs, but I think you can pretty much say that the BCL is a breeding ground for talent,” noted St Hill, the president for the last 11 years.
Taking in some of the action at the Blenheim playing field, where two BCL teams were playing a Twenty20 match last Saturday as part of its yearlong celebrations, St Hill told MIDWEEK SPORT that one of the major challenges which the league was facing was a lack of sponsorship.
He said funding was needed if advancements were to be made, stressing that some plans were on the cards, once sponsorship was achieved.
“Right now we really need some sponsors to come on board. There are some much needed improvements that need to be implemented, such as an increase in prize money, which would satisfy both the players and their respective clubs.”
St Hill said he was hoping that within the next two to three years, the BCL would be promoted to the top flight.
For this to happen, though, he insisted that they needed to keep their core group of players.
“The first season we were demoted we were pretty hard hit as we ended up losing six players. Most of the guys who have replaced them, though, are still here, and that is what we need.
“But we are always going to be fighting against the bigger clubs, once our players start to perform creditably, and that is where the difficulty in keeping them comes in,” he outlined.
The veteran administrator also revealed there were plans to have a regional Twenty20 tournament in September or October, and that talks with potential sponsors had so far been encouraging.
St Hill admitted that interest in the league had been dwindling, and this had been manifested in the lack of umpires for the domestic season.
He said efforts had been made to minimize this by providing training courses for interested people, but this had not attracted enough individuals.
As part of the celebrations, there are plans to host a football match, a lecture at the Errol Barrow Centre For Creative Imagination at the University of the West Indies, a bingo night and a pork lime.
There will also be an appreciation dinner towards the end of the year, to honour at least 75 former BCL players.