Somerset back Fray in race for presidency
Lloyd Fray is emerging as the clear favourite to replace Reggie Pearman as president of Bermuda Cricket Board, with early front-runner Allen Richardson now reportedly struggling to muster much support for his bid.
Fray has the backing of Somerset Cricket Club, who nominated him for the post, as well as several other high profile clubs.
The BTC boss has made a big impression with club officials over the past several weeks and appears to be benefitting from his relatively low-profile, with few people associating the BCB’s second vice-president with the very public problems that the Board have had over money, discipline and internal rows between clubs and officials.
“We did nominate Mr Fray,” said Alfred Maybury, the Somerset Cricket Club president. “We looked at those that were running at the time, and we looked at who we felt was going to advance cricket.
“He (Fray) had a good plan, it was a plan that involved uniting everyone and we thought that was a good plan. We’re committed to working with him or whoever becomes president, but we’re for inclusion and that’s what he was indicating and we (Somerset) thought that was a good idea.”
While a high level of business acumen has helped Fray’s cause, conversely the low profile may yet work against him with some clubs potentially put off by his lack of appearance at domestic cricket during the season.
“I really don’t know if his profile will count against him,” said Maybury. “That’s up to all of the other clubs, they all need to make their own decisions on who they would prefer to vote for. But, based on the presentations that we had (backing Fray) was what we, as an organisation, decided to do.”
Clay Smith could be a surprising second with his straight talking resonating with clubs disillusioned with the way the sport has been run in recent years. However, the former national team skipper has no administrative experience and that may count against him.
“Clay has some good ideas,” said one club official, “but I don’t know how practical they are given the budget the Board has to work under. He hasn’t worked in that environment before, but he might be a good vice-president because he loves the game.”
Richardson’s campaign, meanwhile, has taken a battering in recent weeks and several clubs took umbridge at his performance at an affiliates meeting last week in which the BCB vice-president became angry when doubts were raised about his work for the Board.
According to one club official who was present at the meeting, Richardson threatened to resign from the BCB altogether if he wasn’t made president, telling the meeting that if he wasn’t elected he ‘wasn’t prepared to serve any other position’.
Richardson, though, has since retreated from that stance, apparently telling close friends he ‘would be happy to continue to serve if asked’.
Yesterday, a second club official said that he thought Richardson might be ‘lucky to come third’ while a First Division club, who are supporting Richardson’s bid, expressed their disappointment at the damage he is perceived to have done to his chances of replacing Pearman.
“It’s a little harsh when you’re picking on individuals as people that would no longer be around or be needed, kind of thing,” said one person who was present at the meeting. “He’s not doing himself any favours and everybody was saying ‘you can’t say people aren’t worthy of running just because they haven’t been first vice-president or something.”
On the flip side is the fact that Richardson is the most experienced candidate and his high profile during cricket’s most trying times, and the fact that of all the executives he gets out to see the clubs regularly during the season, means that many see him as their best option.
All three candidates are expected to spend the next 24 hours making their final pleas for support with the AGM due to be held tomorrow evening at the BCB offices in Charities House.