Stovell and Fray given break by BCB
Bermuda cricketers who play football have two more weekends of action before having to stop because the team visit Argentina this month for the ICC WT20 Sub Regional Qualifiers.
It will allow Dion Stovell and Terryn Fray, the captain and vice-captain, to be involved in crucial matches this weekend with their clubs Paget Lions and North Village.
The footballers in Bermuda's cricket squad signed an agreement with the Bermuda Cricket Board on Wednesday.
Regardless, Paget had decided they were going to play Stovell in their next two matches.
“Dion's a registered player for Paget, he hasn't been suspended, has no accumulation of cards and we would have played him in those games,” insisted president Mike Stovell, who received the same correspondence yesterday from the BCB.
“There has been no consultation with the clubs where players have dual sports. Everybody is thinking this is something joint between the BFA [Bermuda Football Association] and BCB, but I had to explain to people that the BFA doesn't have anything to do with this statement, that was made by the [BCB] president regarding players stopping football on February 1.
“Paget did write in and put a good case forward. Nothing came officially to Paget Community Football Club, I just received an e-mail stating what transpired last night, but other than that there hasn't been any consultation with any of the clubs involved.
“In conversations with two or three clubs and one of them said, ‘My player made himself available to play this weekend and going forward' and that's the position they were taking. All I can say is Dion is a registered player for Paget and there is no reason why we couldn't play him.”
Others players selected for the tour who also play football are Steven Bremar, who plays for Wolves, and Macai Simmons, of St George's.
England-based Kamau Leverock played for BAA when he returned to the island for the Christmas break. Tre Manders plays for Dandy Town.
The BCB had recently announced that players selected for the Argentina tour from February 26 to March 4 would have to sign a contract agreeing to stop playing football as of February 1 to avoid the risk of injuries.
But now that date has been revised to February 12, which means that Stovell and Fray can play with their clubs.
The team's footballers will then be allowed to play after that tour and until April 2, prior to the second tour, the ICC World Cricket League Division 4 Tournament in Malaysia from April 26 to May 4.
“The revision was made at the BCB executive meeting on Wednesday night following a recommendation from the high performance committee and in consultation with the national coaching staff,” Lloyd Smith, president of the Bermuda Cricket Board, said.
“This is an important matter for many people, and was given careful consideration by the executive last night. The high performance chairman [Gershon Gibbons] and national coach [Clay Smith] presented a well-constructed proposal which was accepted by the executive.
“I also made time to consult with the players to hear their views. We have two important competitions that we are looking for promotion in, so I'm pleased that this process has been clarified, and therefore removed any distractions from our players performing at their best.”
Both Paget and North Village have FA Cup quarter-final matches on February 17 and 18, against BAA and Southampton Rangers, about ten days before the team's first match in Argentina on February 27 against the home side.
“The FA Cup is on the 17th and looking at what they sent out, he [Stovell] will be available for the St George's game and BAA league match,” the Paget president said. “He's been training with us ever since, he would leave cricket training and come and train with us.
“With proper consultation this could have been less complicated. I'm looking at it from the BFA side and he's a registered player. Not taking away participating for your country, we all wish him the best in his cricketing endeavours going forward.”
Cricketers being asked to stop playing football by the BCB before tours has been a regular occurrence over the past couple of decades.