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Players concerned about restructuring to one league

The majority of the Bermuda national team players are apparently not in favour of returning cricket to one league for the upcoming season.

And now after some individuals expressed their reservations over the move during a meeting called by the Bermuda Cricket Board on Tuesday night, the BCB is reconsidering its plan to restructure the league.

The decision to put all the clubs in one league was made weeks ago after feedback was sought by the clubs, but now that decision could be reversed depending on further feedback.

Veteran Bermuda batsman Lionel Cann, who is the player-coach at Warwick where they have a promising youth programme, does not think one league will benefit cricket overall.

“It’s not just Warwick’s youngsters, you can’t look at cricket from an individual club point of view, you have to look at the whole picture,” said Cann, giving his personal view on the matter. He revealed that most of the players in the national team are not in favour of putting all the teams in one league.

“For development, the gap is too big, a big step backwards. At the meeting the other night we all had a chance to voice our concerns and I voiced it to the Bermuda Cricket Board and other people had their turn and I’m glad that they had a chance for the clubs to have a revote on it.

“Five or six clubs attended, the people who obviously had concerns. I think the problem came with the information not getting out to the clubs. It is not the board’s fault in any way, they just went on recommendations they got in feedback from the clubs initially. They are opening it up for the clubs to vote on it again.”

Many are concerned that some teams will not provide reasonable competition for the top teams like Bailey’s Bay, Southampton Rangers, Willow Cuts and St David’s, resulting in a number of one-sided matches and teams fielding weaker teams against lesser opposition.

“My take on it is the gap is way too big, the top teams versus the bottom teams is a mismatch, but you want to create competition and make sure all games are evenly balanced or one team is a litter better and that’s where two leagues come in,” Cann said.

“Then you want to formulate competition where you have promotion and relegation because you want to give teams something to play for all season. You don’t want teams to lose their first three games and can’t win a trophy and then start not showing up or playing their youngsters and the better players are not even playing where they need to be playing more.

“It (one league) is a good idea when you 13 or 14 evenly balanced teams but it doesn’t work with the way cricket is now in Bermuda. Our cricket is in a bad state at the senior level, yes we have to youth programmes and the Academy which is positive, but it is up to the clubs to do their part. Going to one league is three steps back and what you will get is teams not showing up at the end of the season, your top players taking breaks against the weaker teams and there is already a problem now with umpires.”

The new season is due to start in May at the completion of the Division 3 Tournament which begins this weekend, but whether it will be two divisions or one is still unknown. According to Cann, the national team players were off the Island when the matter was discussed at a meeting a few weeks ago.

“Once we heard that there was going to be one league, the national squad players did not see it as a good thing,” said Cann. “Nowhere in the world do the top Associate countries have one league,” said Cann. “I would say ten out of 13 national team players are not in favour of it.

“You are taking away from clubs who worked so hard to get promoted last year. You need to work towards something and this is just not the answer, unfortunately.”

Warwick player-coach Lionel Cann has reservations about returning to a one league structure.

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Published April 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm)

Players concerned about restructuring to one league

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