By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Vajendra Baharat was elected the 10th president of the BVI Cricket Association since Carlton DeCastro became the first in 1945, during a general meeting held on Thursday, January 31, then found the association in dire financial straight and with a lack of information. Charlie Jackson is the association’s former president, a post he held since 2014.
The BVICA faced similar issues in during the 2003 elections, after the 2002 season that included the hosting the historic Busta Cup.
“We inherited a board with absolutely no finance; finance will be our biggest challenge to have cricket up and going,” Bharat told Island Sun Sports. “As of the Annual General Meeting, no financial statements were produced; we haven’t heard anything from the past administration in regards to what the BVICA have financially. I was told they have absolutely nothing, from members of the past board. This coming week, I’ll got to the bank to get a financial statement from them to see where we stand. I know we’re in for a challenge and I’m looking forward to it.”
With no BVICA season in 2018, Bharat said as president, his goal is to get cricket back as soon, possibly in late March. He said that they have some work to do on the Greenland Grounds, including netting, fencing, sight screens and a new playing mat is needed.
“I would also like to see the BVI produce a national side again,” he said. “It hasn’t happened for years. Normally, a national side is picked after the local league, so I strongly believe we’ll have a team this year.”
Kiddy Cricket he added is something that has been on the agenda and will be addressed. He said that there’s funding from the West Indies Cricket Board (WIBC) is to reach out to them to understand the status of the funds. If not, he said he will seek local sponsorship to get the program back.
“There was a program several years back, where players from clubs underwent training, they went to schools and trained the kids who were interested in cricket to develop them at a young age,” he noted. “I know the program was there and I would like to see it back.”
Bharat said they will approach the schools regarding having the program at that level and designate players from the different clubs who are willing and are qualified to, train them.
Regarding the clubs affiliated with the BVICA, Bharat said he’d like to see clubs more involved—not just in playing cricket but reaching out to youths from the schools in the Kiddies Cricket Program they’re trying to reintroduce.
“I’ll be asking all the clubs and stakeholders who have a love for the game to assist in any way they can,” he said.
Joining Bharat on the BVICA executive are: Vice President: Neil “Pow” Niles; Secretary: Tameka Johnson; Assistant Secretary: Marcia Fredericks-Nicholson; Treasurer: Jasmattie Yamraj; Assistant Treasurer: Cameron Williams; Public Relation Officer: Daniel Singh; Committee Members: Alvin Africa and Brent DeFreitas.