Wainwright voices concerns with Premier

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  • Premier Paula Cox talked with Hall of Famer Dennis Wainwright who has expressed his concern over cricket's decline.

    Premier Paula Cox talked with Hall of Famer Dennis Wainwright who has expressed his concern over cricket's decline.

Dennis Wainwright is so fed up with the decline in Bermuda cricket that he’s raised his concerns with Premier Paula Cox.

The Hall of Fame cricketer revealed how he approached the Premier, who he said was keen to engage in further talks with him in the future.

“The discussions I had with the Premier were informal, but I made her aware of things that are happening in our cricket and she suggested that we need to sit down and talk more about the present state of our cricket which is deplorable,” Wainwright said. “There’s no reason why our cricket should be in the state it is.”

Wainwright said much of the discussion he had with the Premier centred around the apparent disconnect between Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) and its member clubs, the Board’s handling of the sport and the lack of discipline, respect and commitment being shown by players.

During a wide-ranging interview with The Royal Gazette, Wainwright took issue with clubs for not being more involved and for allowing the sport to deteriorate and said one of the biggest mistakes they made was electing Lloyd Fray as BCB president at the Board’s 2011 annual general meeting.

“I think one of the biggest mistakes we made was electing the president we have because he doesn’t have the experience to start with,” he said. “Just because he’s the CEO of a company doesn’t make him a good administrator in cricket.

“It’s unfortunate we didn’t get the person who has been there with the experience and had our cricket at a high standard and that was Mr Ed Bailey.”

Wainwright also took issue with the low profile Fray has kept since being elected as president.

“He should be more visible and you should hear more from him, he needs to speak up,” he said. “I don’t think the president is running the Board and it seems as though CEO Neil Speight is calling the shots because Lloyd doesn’t express his authority. I don’t even know why we have a CEO that you hardly hear from or see.

“The last time I spoke with Lloyd he promised to have a think tank with former players and administrators to talk about Bermuda’s cricket and I’ve yet to hear anything from him.”

Last week The Royal Gazette revealed that the BCB spent more than 40 percent of their total expenses on staff wages and benefits last year. According to the BCB’s annual report, local cricket’s governing body splashed $614,798 on staff in the year ending December 31, 2011, representing roughly 43 percent of total expenses.

Given the current state of the sport, Wainwright believes the BCB should not be spending that much on staff.

“I see no reason why we should be spending out that type of money on administration fees based on the performance and the declining standard of our cricket,” he said. “I think some serious questions need to asked because I’ve seen past administrations get more done with smaller budgets and volunteers. I don’t see any improvements yet we are spending all this money which we can be using elsewhere.”

He also took aim at those at Board level who are “afraid” to speak out in the interest of the sport out of fear of reprisal.

“I spoke with a former national team player recently and asked him how could you allow this situation to go on with our cricket knowing we are going in the wrong direction,” Wainwright said. “And his answer was that if we say anything we get black balled and this seems to be the problem with our cricket. Fellows are afraid to speak out and if people are standing in the way of our progress then we have to take a stand and move them.”

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Published Dec 11, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm)

Wainwright voices concerns with Premier

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