Questions remain over BCB’s team claims
The number of senior teams Bermuda Cricket Board submitted in its annual report to the ICC does not reflect the amount that actually compete at that level domestically.
It has emerged that the BCB reported to the ICC earlier this year that as many as 40 senior teams are represented in their various league and cup competitions.
“The total amount of teams that Bermuda reports is well in excess of 16,” commented Martin Vieira, Americas Regional Development Manager. “They have reported an excess of 30 or 40 teams.”
The BCB did not respond to a request from The Royal Gazette for a copy of the list of senior domestic teams it reported to the ICC yesterday.
Doubts have been raised concerning Bermuda’s compliance with the ICC’s Associate Membership Criteria, which clearly sets out what each member must have in place.
Among the requirements for Associate Membership is for member countries to have “a minimum of 16 “ senior teams competing in a structured competition or competitions. Of the BCB’s 16 registered clubs, only 14 were represented in the Premier and First Division last season.
The number of teams in the top flight fell from 16 to 15 after Police Recreation Club disbanded at the end of the 2009 campaign. And that number was further slashed last season after Young Men’s Social Club withdrew because of a player shortage.
The Lindo’s Twenty20 competition featured 14 BCB affiliates. And even though a representative from the Commercial Division competed as well they are not affiliated with the Board.
Vieira stressed that only teams that come under the BCB’s umbrella count towards the ICC Associate Membership Criteria, meaning Commercial and Evening League clubs are excluded.
“Teams must play in leagues that come under the auspices of the National Board,” he said. “They must come under Bermuda Cricket Board auspices, they can’t be like a league that doesn’t report to them.”
Both the Commercial and Evening League teams are not required to pay annual membership fees to local cricket’s guardians nor are their cricketers eligible for national team selection.
Past Commercial League president Armell Thomas and Evening League president Stephen West have already stated on the record that their associations are not affiliated with the BCB.
Yet despite doubts concerning Bermuda’s compliance with the ICC Associate Membership Criteria, Vieira is convinced that the Island is up to par. But he warned that the BCB could be come under the scrutiny of the ICC if proven otherwise.
“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,” he said. “If that is the situation then our Members Support Compliance person would question the numbers when they receive them.
“But as of now they (BCB) report so many teams that is not a concern to us.”