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Paynter quits playing to concentrate on new role

Giving up his bat: Mishael Paynter is retiring as a player to concentrate on his new vice president post at the Bermuda Cricket Board. He says he will only play if St George's are short. (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Mishael Paynter is stepping away from playing cricket next season in order to commit fully to two separate vice-president roles.

The St George’s vice-president has been elected to fill the position of first vice-president with the Bermuda Cricket Board after the resignation of Nyon Steede, making him, at 32, the youngest person to hold the position.

“Helping to redirect the sport I love on a more progressive and positive path prompted me to run for the vacated post,” Paynter said.

He beat out a bid from Allan Douglas Sr, the former Bermuda player and coach, and will serve for a year before the position is challenged again next year.

“I have the full backing of the executive and management officers of St George’s Cricket Club and to use my ability to fully and properly function in both executives,” Paynter added.

“Serving as the vice-president of St George’s has been a great learning experience and it will surely help me in the position of first vice-president of the Bermuda Cricket Board.”

It will be a busy year for the St George’s executives as they prepare to host Cup Match, something that no doubt featured in Paynter’s decision to quit playing, despite regaining a place in the Cup Match team this year.

His knock of 155 runs against Somerset Cricket Club last season was the highest individual score in the Premier Division.

“At the end of last season in front of Neil Paynter, our president, and the rest of my team, I informed them that I was retiring from cricket,” Paynter said.

“Administration is about having a mission or goal and planning to achieve that goal. After that it’s a matter of organisation and execution of that plan and our team at St George’s is pretty amazing at using our varied skill set to host Cup Match.

“Right now, these are my two areas of focus in administration, the organisation I’ve grown up loving and the sport I love the most.”

Paynter will serve under president Lloyd Smith, who was voted in as BCB president last year when Lloyd Fray opted not to seek re-election. Douglas was also beaten by Paul Ross, of Somerset Bridge Recreation Club, who was returned as the second vice-president.

Ross is looking forward to working with the executives next season. “I’ve been there for two years and it has taken me some time to check the landscape,” Ross admitted.

“I love cricket and I think we have a real opportunity to get back to the good old days of playing cricket in the schools and having the national coach coming around. That’s when I enjoyed it, when national coach George Rock was around. He was engaging.

“I think it is a very exciting time for cricket. If you look at cricket worldwide and you see what the ICC [International Cricket Council] is doing, even with the women’s World T20 in the West Indies.

“It takes money to run programmes and Neil Speight [the BCB chief executive] has done a fantastic job for us with the ICC.

“Then we need local sponsors like Hiscox and XL who have supported major cricket events in Bermuda. We need to make sure that continues. That means our players have to be on their best behaviour, which is one of my pet peeves.”

Speight is soon to quit his post with the Board, having recently handed in his resignation.

Moses Mufandaedza was voted in as treasurer of the BCB at the Annual General Meeting last week and Lorenzo Tucker, of Warwick Workmen’s Club, as the assistant treasurer-secretary. Kellie Smith, of Bailey’s Bay, and Warwick pair Clay Smith and Mike Stovell were all voted in as club representatives.