Former BCB president Smith hails ‘successful year’ amid trying times
Lloyd Smith, the outgoing Bermuda Cricket Board of Control president, touted last season “a very successful 2020 year” despite the lack of cricket played because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Smith, beaten by Arnold Manders in an eight to five vote on the night that he presented the board’s Year in Review document to the club at November’s annual meeting, was referring to the success off the field during the difficult year which saw the season reduced to just the Twenty20 competition.
None of the popular competitions like Cup Match and the Counties were played as David Burt, the Premier referred to this year “as the most destructive year for Bermuda’s culture and lifestyle in our long history” in his opening remarks in the 32-page document released by the board.
“The Bermuda Cricket Board had a very successful 2020 year when you look at what has happened to cricket worldwide, and even other sports in Bermuda, with having to adapt to the new Covid-19 climate,” Smith said.
“As the 2020 cricket season planning phase was beginning, we were hit with a global pandemic, Covid-19,” Smith wrote. “We had to quickly adjust our outlook, reorganise and readjust how we would play cricket this season.
“We held regular executive meetings and the cricket committee provided many out-of-the-box ideas. In April, while having discussions with a Minister, it was suggested that BCB present a document to Government, outlining how we would foresee cricket being played with the Covid-19 restrictions for clubs, players and fans.
“We were only given two days to develop this plan and have it ready to present at a meeting with the Government. I called the executive director and the cricket committee chair immediately and we started researching what other countries had put in place.”
Smith continued: “We were able to draft our ideas into an unprecedented proposal to the Minister to present and receive approval on our behalf from the Government. The document was later used by the Ministry of Health to propose how other sports would play their sport during Covid-19 in Bermuda.
“I would also like to mention that the BCB is the only cricket board in the world to play with fans during the Covid-19 pandemic. Congratulations to the executive, administrative staff, clubs that hosted the games, clubs that participated and their players.”
Off the field Smith’s executive formed new relationships and signed memorandums of understanding with local cricket organisations, including the Eastern Counties Cricket Association, Western Counties Cricket Association, Evening Cricket League and an international MOU with the Leeward Islands.
“We have improved international relationships with Cricket West Indies and Canada,” Smith pointed out while also highlighting new relationships with Omtex, a clothing manufacturer and cricket academy training facility in India, cricket academy CricKingdom and Sanjay Farm cricket academy and training facility.
A MOU was being drafted with the Uganda Cricket Association.
Smith also spoke of an increase in funding under his presidency in the financial report.
“While it has been a tough year for fundraising and sponsorship, I am happy to report that we only lost one sponsor during Covid-19, and we also had sponsors allow us to use their donations earmarked for programmes to go towards our administrative office expenses.
“The ICC has seen the progress BCB has made via the hosting of the ICC Americas tournament in 2019 and our good governance via our annual audit. Due to this, we have been elevated from Tier 2 status to Tier 1, which will provide us with multiple programmes such as strategic planning, field curator certification and online coach.
“The significance of this strategic planning partnership will see the ICC work directly with BCB to pilot a strategy framework that will chart the way forward for BCB as of 2021 to 2025.”
Under the incentives subtitle, Smith spoke of the challenges facing the game in Bermuda with the global pandemic, popularity of other sports and the access to training facilities during the winter months.
“To combat these challenges, we have worked as a team to provide cricket to Bermuda’s club players and spectators,” the former president said. “We are in the process of having an ICC grassroots development programme presented to schools and clubs to showcase new learning techniques, training programmes and fun developmental games to excite our young boys and girls.
“We have had discussions with our stakeholders and look forward to seeing cricket return to our high schools for both male and female players. We are also discussing permanent training site options with the Government.
“Also, I would like to mention that we have had discussions with [former national coach] Gus Logie, as he is back on island for a period of time. We are hoping that he can act as a consultant to the BCB with the help of CWI, Bermuda Department of Immigration and the Department of Youth and Sport.“
Smith’s last function as president was the BCB Awards ceremony in October, an outdoor event at the National Sports Centre which was also the first official cricket event for Dr Ernest Peets, the new sports minister.