Hilaire: BCA leading way
Barbados has always boasted of a rich cricketing history.
Yet there is another key role for Barbados, one which may hold the key to the resurgence of cricket in the region.
“The Barbados Cricket Association is at the forefront of the re-emergence of West Indies cricket,” chief executive officer of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Dr Ernest Hilaire told those gathered at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Thursday night.
Speaking on the topic Making West Indies Strong Again, Hilaire, the main speaker at the BCA’s 2011 awards ceremony, insisted that the BCA had continued to show its commitment and dedication to ensuring the development of its players.
This, he said, could be seen through the elevation of players such as Kraigg Brathwaite, Kemar Roach, Dwayne Smith, Shane Dowrich, Jason Holder and Fidel and Kirk Edwards from the national side to West Indies duty at the junior and senior levels.
All the while, Hilaire added, Barbados had been performing creditably during this developmental stage, sharing the Regional 50-over title in 2010 and reaching the final of the Regional Four-Day Tournament this year.
In addition they were also the reigning Regional Under-19 50-over champions and competed in the final of the last edition of the Caribbean T20.
“And let it not escape us that Kirk Edwards is the West Indies Test vice-captain, an achievement for which all Barbadians must be proud,” Hilaire said.
“Those achievements must be coupled with the substantial investments that the BCA has made in recent times to cricket development in Barbados. It leads me to believe that the BCA rejects the notion that winning and development cannot co-exist.”
Hilaire added that along with the BCA, it was also important that the other territorial boards worked in collaboration with the WICB to help develop the players.
Without this partnership, West Indies cricket could not return to its glory days, he stressed.
“The BCA and its sister boards across the region are not just pivotal to the success of West Indies cricket but are central to it. Indeed, the territorial boards are the lifeline of West Indies cricket.
“West Indies cricket cannot succeed without the territorial boards providing the players. The age-old question of the purpose of the territorial boards is perhaps being settled here in Barbados, where the soul of West Indies cricket resides.”
The CEO said that this partnership stretched far beyond just the playing arena, highlighting that there was a need for the WICB and territorial boards to establish a framework of operations.
He said steps had been taken in this area, including the bidding of rights to host the Caribbean T20 tournament, but that a memorandum of understanding between the WICB and the various boards also needed to be established.
“We cannot continue to rely entirely on the looseness of tradition as we seek to professionalise our operations at all levels. It is this faulty thinking and unwise reliance which caused our cricket to plummet to the depths which caused us grief and hurt.
“We presumed then that we will continue to unearth phenomenal players who simply need to show up to have the opposition defeated.
It was untenable thinking then, as it is untenable thinking now.”