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Justin Marville

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Big Bird has been trusted with the new ball again.
Local cricket’s biggest man, Joel “Big Bird” Garner, will continue to stand tall at the helm of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) after he was successfully returned for a fourth successive stint as president at last night’s elections at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
In one of the most eagerly-awaited polls in recent memory, the former West Indies great received a huge show of support from the general body by outpacing his long-time right-hand man Conde Riley by 166 votes to 121.
“I think the members recognize that we have been doing good work but like everything else you face challenges along the way,” Garner said, moments after his victory was announced.
“The clubs also recognize that this is a work in progress and they see that we are there for cricket. I don’t have any personal ambitions at this stage in my life and I am here to serve cricket as I have been for the last 43 years and I will continue to do so until the members believe there is a time for change.”
While the night was one of jubilation for Garner and his many supporters, it wasn’t so kind to Riley, who also lost his position as first vice-president to Deighton Smith by 145 votes to 136 after holding that post for the past six years.
“I’m disappointed of course, but I think that the membership has spoken and the process was very fair so I just have to accept the will of the BCA membership,” said Riley of both defeats.
“I have no position on the board so I will walk away and take fond memories of the last 18 years. I still currently serve on three committees of the West Indies Cricket Board and I will continue to do so and lend my expertise and skill in the interest of West Indies cricket.”
Jason King, a former Division One wicket-keeper, who represented both ICBL Empire and Carlton, is the new BCA treasurer as there were no other contenders for this position when Orson Simpson did not seek re-election.
There is also a new secretary in Anthea Ishmael as Gregory Nicholls, who had held that post, withdrew from the race following Riley’s defeats.
Wendell Kellman was elected as second vice-president unopposed while Maurice Gaskin trounced Pat Greenidge 171 to 77 votes for the post of third vice-president.
Hartley Reid (137), Ikins Clarke (136), newcomer Kamal Springer (117) and a returning Roland Butcher (99) were chosen as four board members, defeating Joseph Tudor (71), Graydon Nesfield (87), Victor Knight (80) and Greenidge (78).
Garner (124) and Smith (95) were elected as the WICB directors while Kellman (65) and Gaskin (53) were chosen as the BCA?representatives at WICB’s meetings.