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New BCB president Arnold Manders determined to get cricket back to 'where we were’

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Arnold Manders, seen here coaching Bermuda Under-19 at Shelly Bay Field in an Evening League match this summer, is determined not to let the grass grow under his feet in his new role as president of the Bermuda Cricket Board (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Arnold Manders knows he has his work cut out for him as new president of the Bermuda Cricket Board, but the former all-rounder who has captained both club and country comes into the job with great experience and passion.

Showing the way forward: Arnold Manders, coach and umpire during an Evening Cricket League match involving his BCB Under-19 team this summer, gives instructions to two of his players at Shelly Bay (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Manders defeated sitting president Lloyd Smith during Thursday night’s annual meeting, ending Smith’s three-year term with an 8-5 vote. He had spent this year thinking about running for president after winning a vote in January to become vice-president in the wake of the departure of executives, including vice-president Mishael Paynter, over reported concerns about Smith’s leadership.

Arnold Manders and Kellie Smith, the new president and vice-president of the Bermuda Cricket Board (Photograph courtesy of BCB)

Treasurer Moses Mufandaedza and assistant treasurer/secretary Lorenzo Tucker resigned at the same time, along with club representatives Clay Smith, Michael Stovell and Kellie Smith. They were replaced in January by Irving Romaine, Dennis Williams and Peter Philpott, who were re-elected on Thursday.

“I decided [to run] when I became the vice-president in January,” Manders said.

“There is a strategic plan that we need to develop, four pillars that I have identified that we need to work on — like growing the game, sustaining and strengthening the grassroots game through our clubs and schools, and producing a winning team. Also delivering a high-performance programme that ensures we consistently win and be the best-run sports organisation in Bermuda.

The new Bermuda Cricket Board executive

“Obviously, we need finances in order to run the programmes, so we need to find stronger revenue streams and commercial partners to underpin our strategy to have a financially sustainable game for future generations.

“We have to go to the grass roots and get more people playing. We need to help improve the coaching in the clubs, so there is not that big a change when the players move into the high performance senior team. They struggle if they don’t have the skill set or the fitness to compete at that level.”

History was achieved in domestic cricket when Kellie Smith was voted in as the first female first vice-president, stepping into the post that Manders left vacant. Paul Ross is second vice-president, Jaymo Durham secretary and Steven Douglas assistant secretary/treasurer.

Andrew Griffith did not seek re-election but remains as treasurer on an interim basis until January 31, 2021, leaving earlier if a new person is appointed.

Smith said: “To have the opportunity to be involved with the Bermuda Cricket Board at an administrative level is one that I most certainly do not take for granted.

“I appreciate the trust shown in me by the clubs and I am very much looking forward to working alongside our newly elected and deserving president, Arnold Manders. I believe my experience with the governing body over the last eight years will be of great assistance in helping to reach the long-term goals for Bermuda cricket.

“Having been a member of the BCB’s executive and having a direct interest in cricket development at the grassroots level, I feel that I have had a holistic view of the sport and the challenges we all need to tackle collectively. It is now about planning for the future, and that doesn’t mean just for the next year or two, but for many years to come to help revitalise the country’s national sport.”

The BCB added in a statement: “The BCB executive and staff would like to thank Lloyd Smith for his contributions. His achievements in cricket during his tenure as president are recognised and highly appreciated.“

Manders served in various capacities at board level — director of cricket, national coach, Bermuda captain, as well as Bermuda Under-19 coach, a position he admits remains close to his heart.

He was both the under-19 coach and chairman of selectors for the senior team when Bermuda qualified in 2005 for the 2007 World Cup and the Under-19 World Cup in 2008 under captain Rodney Trott.

“I’ve been involved for so long, I have a feeling what needs to be done,” Manders said. “I was even a member of the SICL before we changed to the Bermuda Cricket Board, when Jack Burgess and Alma ”Champ“ Hunt were there.

“Cricket has been good to me and I’ve always been putting something back. Now, being at the head, there are things we need to do in the next couple of years to ensure we don’t drop out of ICC funding.”

Gus Logie, the national team coach when Bermuda qualified for the World Cup, is now back living on the island. The board, Manders said, would be open to using his services again in some way.

“That’s something we want to do,” Manders admitted. “The former president spoke to him.”

The longtime former Western Stars captain said: “I want to have a symposium where somebody might come up with something we never thought about. I learnt that as being a captain; you can’t do it all yourself and at every water break, if we were on the field, I would bounce things off the players — ʽwhat do you think’, ʽdo you think we’re all right right now or do we need to make a change?’”

He added: “It’s time now to use some of our younger players with some of our older players, but we have to decide which way we want to go.

“We have to look to the future, but they have to be good enough. There are quite a few talented youngsters who, given time, can improve and become very good players.”

Manders hopes vice-president Smith can help to develop the game for girls on the island. “She’s a good worker. I want her to make sure we get a girls team up and running,” he said. “We want to get more girls playing.“

Manders admits it is a mammoth task, but feels he has much to offer as the new president. “My wife thought I was crazy, but cricket has done a lot for me over the years,” he said.

“I travelled around the world, played against some of the greatest players in the game and I think this is my turn to try to put something in that is going to bring us back to where we were before.

“That’s what I say to my mates: ʽDon’t sit down and complain; come on board and let’s run with it’.”

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Published November 21, 2020 at 8:33 am (Updated November 21, 2020 at 8:33 am)

New BCB president Arnold Manders determined to get cricket back to 'where we were’

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