Bailey drops election bid
The race for the Bermuda Cricket Board presidency took an unexpected turn at the weekend after Ed Bailey pulled out of the running to replace Reggie Pearman.
In a surprising move the veteran lawyer pulled the plug on his re-election bid after objecting to the BCB’s plans to hold their Annual General Meeting amid Government’s ongoing Commission of Inquiry into the millions they have invested in the sport in recent years.
Bailey highlighted his concerns in a letter addressed to BCB secretary Cheryl Ann Mapp and copied to Sports Minister Glenn Blakeney and appealed to local cricket’s governing body to defer the AGM until after the Commission of Inquiry’s findings have been reported and reviewed by all of cricket’s stakeholders.
“I write with great concern and dismay that the BCB management committee has circulated an official notice for an Annual General Meeting scheduled for 29th November, 2011 despite the honourable Minister of Sports’ ongoing Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of the sport of cricket,” Bailey wrote.
“As a club representative and a possible presidential candidate to fill the office which is being vacated by the retiring Reginald Pearman, I take the view as a matter of principle it would be prudent and respectful for the Annual General Meeting to elect a President, Treasurer and other officers to be scheduled after the Minister’s Commission’s findings have been reported, circulated and discussed by all cricket affiliates with a view of reaching resolutions for the good of the sport.
“No doubt it would be beneficial and honourable to receive the Commission’s findings with an open mind to be a beacon or compass for the way forward for Bermuda cricket. Our sport of cricket is at a very critical stage and it is very important that all areas which have been identified to have weaknesses must be addressed with measured and informed decisions. Not withstanding my wish and hope to make a positive contribution to the improvement of cricket to an acceptable level/standard, I profoundly regret after great consideration I have to withdraw from participating in the election process under these circumstances.
“It is my sincere hope that the BCB management committee would reconsider their decision to defer the AGM until after the Commission’s findings have been received and discussed. It would surely be the right action to take for the good of the sport of cricket and not for any other ulterior motives.
“Best regards, Ed.”
When contacted on the matter Sports Minister Blakeney didn’t object to the BCB holding their AGM during the ongoing Commission of Inquiry that is due to submit their report to his Ministry today.
“I do respect Mr Bailey’s decision based on his rationale because that’s his decision and that’s his opinion that he is entitled to,” Blakeney said. “But I don’t know what the big deal is and what difference would it make with regards to the process being adhered to.”
Bailey’s decision may come as a surprise to some given he had been considered among the favourites to succeed outgoing BCB president Reggie Pearman.
Former BCB secretary Charlotte (Molly) Simons formally approached Bailey’s club, Willow Cuts, in the hope of encouraging the MCC member to mount a comeback for the Board’s presidency which he eventually decided to do after much consideration.
After announcing his candidacy Bailey’s campaign was endorsed by former West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts and local greats such as Cal (Bummy) Symonds who felt that he was the best man for the job.
The former ICC Eligibility Committee Chairman’s withdrawal, from what promises to be an intriguing race, has left current BCB executives Allen Richardson and Lloyd Fray and former national team skipper Clay Smith to face off for the top post in his absence at the Board’s upcoming AGM to be held at their new headquarters at Charities House.