In like manner that Brazil exports its footballers across the globe, Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) board member Timothy Boyce believes the island can develop its cricketers independent of Cricket West Indies (CWI) to tap into overseas cricketing markets.
Boyce, who chairs the BCA’s Membership Committee, told Barbados TODAY the BCA was now at the crossroads and there must be a concerted effort at developing cricket along business lines. Indeed, he stressed there was a need for a change in the constitution of the association.
“The BCA is virtually at the crossroads in my view. The crossroads meaning that cricket has now moved from being a sport to a business and we are still operating with the constitution we have had for several years. I strongly believe that we now have to approach cricket as a business. The current board has started to move it in that direction. Once we are reelected, the directors are going to recommend to the membership that the constitution be changed to operate the BCA in a more business-like fashion,” he said.
Boyce added: “I think that Barbados has reached the stage where we can make cricket an export over and above what Cricket West Indies is doing. We have enough cricketers here and we spent enough money that we can get a return on our investment by mass-producing cricketers especially for the Twenty20 market which should give us a good return on our investments. We can do that outside of the CWI.”
Boyce, a member of the BCA’ Board since 2007, is seeking to be reelected to the executive at the 17th special meeting of members which takes place at Kensington Oval on August 29. He noted the time was ripe for the BCA to move domestic cricket to the stage where the Elite Division becomes a real elite cricket division and professional cricket was played within that division.
“My committee has been attempting to create a youth arm of the Board since February this year. Not a youth arm in terms of playing cricket, but a youth arm in terms of administration. The world has turned upside down where young people are in the vanguard of decision-making, therefore we need to have a youth arm that functions just like the BCA’s Board. The youth arm will meet like the Board and pass resolutions which will be discussed by the directors. Those resolutions will allow us to see how the youth are thinking. Coming out of this exercise will be the future leaders of the BCA,” he said.
Boyce stated he understood the importance of cricket not only to Barbadians but to West Indians generally. A former First Division cricketer for Maple and Empire in the 1970s and 1980s, he said those who benefited so much from the game should really be giving back to it as much as they could.
“I benefited from cricket tremendously even though I never played the game at the first-class level. When I was a young man and went to get a mortgage, the loans officer knew I played first division cricket which influenced him to grant me the money to build my house. So I understand the importance of cricket. That is why I want to go back on the Board. I have been there for while, but if I am re-elected, I want to see two things done before I leave; the creation of the youth arm and a mentorship programme between the youth arm and our Cricket Legends. The Membership Committee with the blessings of the Legends has divided the membership into five houses which carry the five names of the legends on the stands at Kensington Oval. It is our intention to divide the membership into those five houses and have internal competitions among our members such as indoor games and meet and mingle evenings. Each house will have a youth arm attached to it. We hope through this mentorship programme our younger and older members will learn from each other,” Boyce said.
Boyce, who has held executive positions in the hotel and real estate sectors, and has brought marketing, finance and management skills to the BCA Board, also suggested that directors of that organization should receive a stipend similar to what government pays to the directors of its statutory corporations. While stressing it was still voluntary service directors were giving if they received a monthly stipend, Boyce explained it would still be a pittance for the contribution made by the members of the board’s executive.
“ I do believe the time has come that an amateur approach and status cannot fully develop a professional sport. The board members of the BCA do not meet for monthly and general meetings only. Any director who is appointed to chair a committee has to plan the meetings of that committee and do some serious work behind the scenes. Sometimes you use your own stationery and resources to get things done. I have told my fellow directors before and I will say it publicly now, I think each board member should be given some kind of stipend at the end of month that is consistent to what government pays to board members of statutory corporations. This will be a small incentive for the effort the directors have contributed to the functioning of the organization,” Boyce said.