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No concerns with Bermuda’s Associate status, says ICC boss Vieira

Martin Vieira, the ICC Americas Regional Development Manager, said cricket’s governing body “have no concerns with Bermuda’s Associate Membership status at this time”.

Doubts had been raised in an article (ICC status under threat, Thursday, November 10) in last week’s

The Royal Gazette concerning Bermuda’s compliance with the ICC Associate Membership Criteria which clearly sets out what each member must have in place.

One of the requirements for Associate Membership is for member countries to have at least 16 senior teams affiliated with their respective national bodies competing in either league or cup competitions. However, of Bermuda Cricket Board’s 16 affiliated senior teams only 14 actually took part in the Board’s sanctioned leagues and Lindo’s Twenty20 competition last season.

At last check Vieira said Bermuda was compliant with the Associate Membership Criteria as it specifically relates to the minimum amount of senior teams countries must have in their domestic program.

“The total amount of teams (senior) that Bermuda reports is well in excess of 16,” he said. “Teams do not have to be all in one league.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s never been a concern to us that they are even close to not making it because they have reported an excess of 30 or 40 teams. But if we do get evidence from the proper sources we would first ask the BCB to respond to any suggestion that they are non-compliant and then we would go from there. That would be something to look at.”

“If the ICC had concerns with Bermuda’s membership status this would be raised with them. And despite some recent BCB changes, which ICC is aware of, we have no concerns at this time.”

Vieira said only the senior teams that play in the BCB sanctioned leagues or cup competitions count towards the ICC Associate Membership Criteria.

“Teams must play in leagues that come under the auspices of the National Board,” he added. “We have situations in both Canada and the USA where a large number of teams are not counted because they are not members of their National Board.”

Last week a BCB spokesperson said that Commercial League and Evening League teams “qualify under ICC regulations”. However, outgoing Commercial League president Armell Thomas and Evening League president Stephen West said their respective associations are not affiliated with the BCB.

“The Commercial League has never been affiliated with the BCB,” Thomas said.

West added: “The Evening League has never been affiliated with the BCB, we run our own program.”

However, yesterday, the BCB issued a strongly-worded statement in which they dismissed the issues raised in the article as ‘patently untrue and very disappointing’, while West said his statement had been taken out of context.

"The article makes a number of insinuations and claims regarding BCB matters that are patently untrue and very disappointing,” Reggie Pearman, the BCB president. “Having to read this mischievous and irresponsible nonsense is very frustrating. This article is highly disingenuous and unpatriotic. The Bermuda Cricket Board is investigating all remedies available to it and will pursue them to the fullest extent.

"This article is damaging and untrue. It is even more disturbing that this deceptive reporting was done willfully by the reporter. The reporter emailed the Board seeking clarification on this matter and he elected to ignore the response to enable him to write the nonsense that he did. I recognize the unnecessary harm done to the BCB's reputation by this atrocious reporting and I expect full restitution.

“In the minimum the Royal Gazette should issue a full apology with equal prominence as the original story, the BCB will lodge a formal complaint with the Media Council and any other avenues available to the BCB will be pursued."

Stephen West, the Evening Cricket League organizer, said: "I am very upset by this method of reporting. I was asked by the reporter if we were members of the BCB to which I replied no. However, the Evening Cricket League recognizes the Bermuda Cricket Board as the sole governing body of cricket in Bermuda and has a great working relationship with it. The Board assists our league in ensuring that grounds are available for our fixtures, we collaborate on the eligibility of players, a BCB U15 team plays in our second division and our members receive full access to all the educational courses that the BCB organizes.

“We are proud of the role that we play in providing cricket opportunities for people in Bermuda and to continue our country's rich tradition of love for our national sport."

"I am totally saddened how this reporter ambushed me last week and used my comments completely out of context in an abysmal and inexcusable manner to help create this outrageous article. I fully encourage the Bermuda Cricket Board in taking all measures to correct the damage this underhanded piece of so-called reporting has caused."

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Published November 16, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated November 16, 2011 at 8:06 am)

No concerns with Bermuda’s Associate status, says ICC boss Vieira

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