Fray joins the battle for presidency
Lloyd Fray will run for the Bermuda Cricket Board presidency on a platform of inclusive and open leadership while highlighting his strong business credentials.
The chief executive of Bermuda Telephone Company and soon to be CEO of KeyTech has announced his intention to run for the post at the BCB’s annual general meeting later this month, where he will go up against Allen Richardson, Ed Bailey and Clay Smith.
Fray, who has spent the past three years serving as a vice-president to the outgoing Reggie Pearman, said that if elected his presidency would be defined by ‘action not talk’ in correcting the ‘disconnect’ that had affected the game on the Island, but warned that the Board could not do it all on its own.
“I intend to go out and talk to the clubs, but it’s not about talk, it’s about execution and that’s my style of leadership,” he said. “We can sit here and talk till the cows come home, you can analyse things forever. But we need to involve others so we can come up with the stratergy that is understood by all, it makes sense for all, and holds people accountable as well.
“There has to be a give and take because the Board cannot do it all on their own, they cannot. It needs the players, it needs the clubs, it needs the community, it needs businesses. It’s the whole thing.”
With a hefty work schedule ahead of him over the coming months Fray said he had thought long and hard before deciding to throw his hat into the ring. Ultimately though his passion for the game and a belief that he could help make the Island strong again convinced him that running was the right choice.
“I have been thinking about this for quite a long time,” said Fray. “I’ve been weighing my options, however, that’s why I am in the position I am in because I’m a good multi-tasker as well.
“My passion is cricket, I’ve had the experience over the years in my leadership position of maintaining two of the most successful telecoms companies in Bermuda, at one time. For me to take this stance now I am sort of putting myself out on a limb to say ‘we need to believe and certainly get others to believe that cricket needs to be enhanced’.
“That’s why I’m throwing my hat into the ring, because of the experience I have garnered over the years by being in administration and I am very thankful for the opportunity that the clubs (gave me) when they elected me to do that. I think I owe it back to them as well.”
While possibly not as high profile as presidential rival and fellow vice-president Allen Richardson, Fray has worked behind the scenes to deliver some of the BCB’s targets in recent years.
“There have been a lot of things that I worked on the back side in terms of the administration and the function of the Board,” he said. “I ran a lot of the stratergy stuff for the Board, I was instrumental in the hiring of David Moore as head coach. I led that committee and we invited people from the sporting fraternity and the business fraternity to be a part of that committee to get all their views.
“And that is my approach to things now. Leadership isn’t knowing all things, that’s why I always be open and inviting to others.”
Fray believes the two biggest issues facing cricket over the coming 12 months will be; in trying to fill the void that exists between the Board and the clubs, and bridging the gap between the funding the BCB gets and what it needs to regain its ICC High Performance status.
The BTC boss doesn’t believe that he has all the answers, but he’s confident that he knows how to find them and that his long-standing relationship with Bermuda’s business leaders can produce the kind of agreement for cricket that recently saw re/insurer Catlin pump a ‘solid five figures’ into the Bermuda Football Association’s National Academy.
“I am well known in the business community,” said Fray. “It is something that the Board, we haven’t really developed those commitments, things have been allowed to slip in the past. The focus has gone away from that and we need to put it back.
“A funding committee is certainly something that needs to be put in place, again we would have individuals who are in business and have influence. That’s a big part of it, and that’s the stamp of approval that you would look for, certainly in terms of funding, but also it helps to market your product as well.”
Marketing cricket effectively is something the BCB have been accused of failing to do in the past and Fray said enhancing the ‘cricket product’ was essential to improving the game on the Island. To do that however he believes the relationships with clubs, businesses and players also have to be improved so that the enthusiasm for the game is rekindled.
“You’ve got to have the relationship, but you’ve also got to demonstrate ‘this is what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and here’s the result’,” he said. “Everything is result orientated, so my approach would be to create this road map for the next two or three years for cricket, with the measurements and methods that will be applied.
“Not just from winning, but what have we done internally in terms of the domestic game, player improvement, mentally, physically, and tactically.”
Ultimately improving performance will improve the product and attract the interest and potential investment to make the game stronger domestically and internationally. At least that’s how Fray sees it and the central tenet of his election campaign is that all those involved in cricket in Bermuda have to work more closely to solve the problems plaguing the game on the Island.
“I think we’ve become disconnected and I think that’s the issue,” said Fray. “The game of cricket really hasn’t changed, what has changed is the approach to cricket.
“We’re part of the ICC, it’s a business environment, the players that we are trying to encourage there are things we have to do that would be incentivising them.
“That would be a lot of my approach if I was to take this, and that would help with some of the enhancements. We have to go back to the grass roots, certainly in the schools to make sure the standards . . . we can’t stay small and your product is only as good as your marketing, and how well you do with it.”
While much of the focus in recent times has been on the national team Fray believes that changing the way the Board is run will lead to the improvement at internationally level the Island demands.
“In order to attract a level of enthusiasm you have to take that product and expand on it, and that’s cricket, we need to expand on that,” he said. “We can’t expand on the international level if we don’t get it right at home.
“We have to work closer . . . and I start with the administration. That’s the Board, who are we, what is our mandate, what are our objectives, are our objectives clear, are we appraochable and transparent, are we fair and accountable, do we need change. That’s the things I would start with.
“But to have that within a format where we work with the clubs and the schools, where they become a part of the process. I think it’s important, you sit with clubs and you sit with officials, there seems to be this void, and I think this void comes from a lack of buy-in or a lack of understanding.
“I think the Board has improved somewhat over the last year or so, but I believe it needs to do a lot more where it really garners those individuals that we depend on, that is going to make this a success, because that’s the part that’s missing.
“Those are the things in my mind that we have to focus on. We have to get the domestic cricket where it needs to be, the junior and National Academy programme that we have, we need to enhance that even more. I believe that is where a lot of stuff is missing, and I will tell you there is a lot of things that the Board has done (right), but we haven’t marketed it that way.”