By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Sportscaster Charlie Jackson was elected the 10th president in the storied history of the British Virgin Islands Cricket Association, after defeating challenger Sean Rose, garnering the majority of the club votes for an 8-2 margin, during the association’s Annual General Meeting on Jan 13.
Shan Mohamed, who ascended to the presidency in 2010 when Jackson stepped down, did not seek re-election.
Ivor Fraser is the new Vice President after turning back Rose and former Vice President, Leighton Wright after a 4-2 advantage over both respectively.
Elected unopposed were Secretary Tamika Ollivierre; Assistant Secretary, Kevin Joseph; Treasurer, Alvin Ramnarain; Assistant Treasurer, George Ramsammy and Sean Rose, Public Relations Officer.
Committee members Vaden Walker and Jadid Khan received eight and six votes securing the two spots on the board ahead of Brent DeFreitas who had two.
“I was elected president about four years ago and I stood down for work reasons when I had started doing the sports reporting so time was somewhat different,” Jackson said. “From what came out of the meeting last night, the teams and players want more cricket. Rather than relying on one tournament—as great as it might be and as successful as it has been—we need to add more components to the season. That’s the first thing we’ll be looking at to see how we can increase the length of the season.”
It was noted Jackson said that if they are trying to return to competitiveness on the regional stage then a longer version of the game must be played and not relying on Twenty 20 cricket to get them up to the standard. He said they’ll have to look and see how they can get the better players playing longer and more competitive cricket amongst themselves as opposed to some of the weaker teams that currently exist.
He noted having a regulation field is a challenge since the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds, which hosted the sport for 36 years became unavailable in 2004.
“Another area we can look at is how we can utilize our partnership with the U.S. Virgin Islands who as an American country has a very nice cricket facility,” he noted. “Maybe one of the areas we’ll look at is how we partner with them going forward and utilize what they have in terms of the (Addelita) Cancryn Grounds which is up to first class standard. I know in a couple of weeks time, Leeward Islands Cricked Board will be going there to look at the grounds to see whether or not they can host one the regional matches between the Leewards and Trinidad.”
In the past, the BVI and USVI fielded a Combined team in the Leeward Island tournament. Jackson said it’s something they’ll have to sit and discuss before even pitching the idea to the USVI, but noted many of the new board members won’t have much knowledge of the history of the Virgin Islands Cricket Association and they might have ideas of their own.
“A combined team I wouldn’t say is perhaps the best solution but possibly the most expedient solution towards getting regional representation,” he explained. “When we were the Combined Virgin Islands, it was a team that made the semifinals of the One Day Tournament, but obviously, it shows that combined can be more competitive than going independent.”
Regarding youth development he said any sport that want to be considered seriously must have a Primary School program of some description. He said while they can’t match what’s happening in soccer, they can utilize Kiddy’s Cricket with the plastic balls. He said there are six schools on Tortola and three on Virgin Gorda already involved in a program and they’ll look at how they can form them into a school league later this year.
Another area Jackson said is tape ball cricket, which is popular in the Eastern Caribbean, has been suggested as a way of getting the slightly older 16-17 kids transitioning into the game.