Nellisha Peters, James Harris, Colin Campbell and Vaden Walker, were the four new members elected to the BVI Cricket Association Executive Committee, during Saturday night’s Annual General Meeting, held in the Breezeway of the Central Administration Complex.
Only the posts of Assistant Treasurer, Public Relations Officer and Committee Members were contested as the other posts were unopposed.
Vajendra Bharat was re-elected as President for a second term, as well as Vice President Neil Niles and Secretary Tameka Johnson. Peters and Harris were unopposed for Assistant Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Cameron Williams retained his post as Assistant Treasurer by a 6-3 margin over Jasmattie Yamraj, the former Treasurer. Campbell got the Public Relations Officer’s by a 6-3 margin over Gloria Fahie
. With eight votes, Brent DeFreitas stayed on as a Committee Member and was joined by Walker who had four votes. Reno Mettleholzer and Marcia Fredericks garnered three and two votes each.
“Thanks to the teams for having the faith to elect the previous board and we’re looking forward to serving cricket and taking it to the level it should be,” Baharat told Island Sun Sports in an exclusive interview. “It was a decent turnout, I saw nine of the 10 clubs in the BVI were here, that’s good and that’s interesting for Cricket. It’s interesting for cricket when you have proper representation. Good to see the clubs out tonight.”
Baharat said he welcomed the new members to the board and described them as “additional support.”
“Based on what we had going on, we can only go to greater strength,” he said. “Our first approach (for starting the league) is to approach the Ministry of Health and know what we’re allowed to do. We have protocols from the West Indies Cricket Board, and the ICC (International Cricket Council) in general, that set guidelines for cricket in the cricketing world, so that along with the Ministry of Health here, we’ll see what we are allowed to do.”
Baharat said over the last two years, cricket in Greenland shows that if you don’t have a crowd, you can’t pay to adequately administer the sport.
“The gate and the bar help us offset our expenses,” he noted.
Among plans are to get a cricket program affiliated with schools with a grassroots kiddie’s cricket program, starting the foundation and working up from there. To achieve this, he said there’s funding in place from the West Indies Cricket Board, which came through the former Scotia Bank and there’s a new sponsor in place. He said that they were waiting to get elections out the way and now they have to re-approach West Indies Cricket Board, to launch the school and academic program, which they hope to do in March.
Regarding challenges, Baharat said one of the major challenges cricket faces in the territory since the time of A. O. Shirley, who secured the grounds in Road Town that bears his name from the Administrator at that time and was home to the sport for 36 years through 2004, is having its own venue—something every sport needs.
“Cricket does not have a home in the BVI and it’s going to be paramount for the development of cricket for it to have a home,” he pointed out, noting the Greenland field where Twenty 20 is currently played is a small field. “There are options in Virgin Gorda. We went over there last Sunday. They have a decent sized ground there based on the additional land taken in for that ground and we’re thinking we can make use of that ground. We’re going to approach the Recreation Trust, try to work with them to see how much access we’ll have to the ground.”
Former president Shan Mohamed told Island Sun Sports that while the BVICA has done some good work in the last two years, there were some areas lacking and feels the new appointments will remedy that.
“I’m pleased with the direction of new officers and I believe that it’s a step in the right direction and we can only hope for the best,” he said. “Cricket as you know, is always at a crossroads and leadership matters. I think Bharat has a team behind the team and that’s why he’s the better choice for president and he has demonstrated that with a lot of other work on the field other than cricket.”Mohamed noted that while cricket isn’t a BVI sport per say, there’s competition for facilities used throughout the territory. “It’s important that we find a way to make sure that cricket still has a place in the British Virgin Islands,” he said.