Fray steps down as president of BCB
Lloyd Fray has revealed he will not be seeking re-election for a third term as the Bermuda Cricket Board president.
Fray will step down from his position at the BCB Annual General Meeting on November 29, citing his appointment as the Government’s chief information officer as the main reason behind his decision not to stand.
Speaking at the BCB annual awards ceremony at Gosling’s Wine Cellar on Saturday night, Fray said he was satisfied with the work accomplished during his six years in office and that he had laid solid foundations for his successor to build upon.
“There’s been quite a bit of work done over the last six years, particularly the last three years, where we’ve started to see a strategy unfold, which involved putting in the academy programme,” Fray told The Royal Gazette. “We’re still working closely with the clubs to get them to embrace and engage with some of the standards that we’re trying to put in, which will take some time.
“Right from the beginning of my tenure I said that it was going to be eight to ten years from a developmental standpoint, and I think we’re starting to see some of that. Is our standard of cricket where we want it to be? No, nowhere near. But I believe what we’ve put in place now sets the foundation for that going forward.”
Although Fray’s tenure has played out against a backdrop of economic austerity, he said he was proud that his administration was still able to secure sufficient funding to maintain and grow its youth programmes.
“One of the biggest highlights has been getting through a very rough and rigorous economic time,” Fray said.
“These programmes require funding to move forward. But based on what’s happening in the economy during the past eight years [when Fray first joined the BCB], the Government has other priorities, which I agree with, and sport, particularly cricket, has taken a step back.
“Funding has been limited, but we’ve done well to maintain our programmes, especially with the help of Neil Speight [the chief executive] and the solid relationships that we’ve garnered over the years.”
On the international scene, Bermuda’s struggles have continued during Fray’s watch, with the team suffering relegation from the ICC World Cricket League Division Three in 2014, and only avoiding relegation to the fifth tier via a superior net run-rate in the Division Four tournament 12 months ago. If Bermuda are to reverse their decline, Fray believes there must be significant improvements made at the grassroots level in terms of coaching education at the domestic clubs and public schools.
“It all starts at the domestic level and that’s where the clubs really play an important and vital role,” Fray said.
“The clubs can be more engaged and adhere to our standards, as Clay Smith [the Bermuda coach] and his coaching staff have come up with a good coaching manual and we want to put our resources behind that.
Fray added: “The one big issue I feel strongly about that we weren’t able to achieve, although we’re getting close, is getting cricket back into the school system.
“School has always been the nucleus of where we get our better cricketers and, of course, the clubs take it from there.
“We’re working with the Department of Education and I met with the sports minister [Zane DeSilva] not too long ago. When I mentioned to him that we had private schools playing more cricket than my public schools, he recognised that was a problem.”
Fray also believes there needs to be greater financial incentives for players representing Bermuda. “One of my pet peeves was that we didn’t have an A and a B team — not professional, but semi-professional — where guys and girls can be compensated,” Fray said.
“Players are giving up a lot of valuable time and today’s economic climate is very difficult. I believe, going forward, that the new leadership need to look at implementing certain incentive schemes.
“The country aspect is still very high and players should want to play for their country, but sports all over the world has moved to this financial model and we need to adapt to that.”
As for Fray’s advice for his successor — well, it is quite simple: “Listen to your members and listen to your clubs,” he said.
“I believe in inclusivity and we’re here to govern cricket and set the standards, but we’re not here to police. Don’t become police.”
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