Premiers of Bermuda and Grenada lined up to talk cricket
The Bermuda Cricket Board will present “The Value of Cricket”, a webinar discussion on cricket, culture and sport featuring David Burt, the Premier, and his Grenadian counterpart, Keith Mitchell, in a panel discussion alongside Arnold Manders, the board president.
The webinar, an idea of Steven Douglas, the BCB’s cricket chairman, will take place on Thursday starting at 6pm on a Facebook livestream @BermudaCricketBoard.
The public are invited to join the discussion at https://www.facebook.com/BermudaCricketBoard/ and to submit their questions during the live Q&A segment. The public can send questions on social media on #TheValueofCricket or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The panel will also includes Ernest Peets, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, with Cal Blakendal, of the BCB, and Gus Logie, a former West Indies Test cricketer and coach of the 2007 Bermuda World Cup team, the moderators.
“We’ll share how cricket and sports is important to a country and look at how it builds a culture and develops good citizens,” said Manders, a former Bermuda cricketer who went on to become the national coach.
Manders, who also played football, opted to go to Alabama A&M University on a football scholarship, rather than to Middlesex on a cricket trial. A couple of years earlier he had gone to Lord’s for MCC Young Professionals coaching, the year after another Bermudian youngster, Clevie Wade, attended the same coaching.
The trip was reward for Wade and Manders being named Junior Heineken Cricketers of the Year.
“We were both there for the Centenary Ashes Series between England and Australia. Actually, we bowled to the Australians in the nets,” Manders said.
“We were there every day, we were like professionals. At 8.30 our Rolls-Royce picked us up and dropped us at Lord’s and we trained from 9 to 5 every day, and played on the weekends.
“Clevie went there first, then we went together and after that I went by myself. Bob Jones was one of our coaches, so we met him before he came to Bermuda to coach.”
Manders added: “I got to travel around the world for both soccer and cricket and got a four-year soccer scholarship. It’s not just cricket but sports in general.
“I had the opportunity to go back to Lord’s for a trial with Middlesex, but I also had the soccer scholarship offer and I went for soccer first. People said ’why would you do that’ but I did it because [in English cricket] they had a rule where you could only have two English players and Middlesex had Wayne Daniels and Desmond Haynes.
“How was this 18-year-old Bermudian going to get into that team before those two? The logic I took was that I needed to take care of myself by having an education and a degree in case this thing doesn’t work out.
“It’s a choice I made and I’ll stick by it!”
Cricket has played a big part in Manders’s life, as the oldest of three cricket-playing brothers.
“Then it’s the things that cricket can do for a country, like when Bermuda qualified for the World Cup,” he said. “During Cup Match, I don’t think there’s more money passing through the banks than those two days.”
Manders also said the webinar will enable Bermuda and Grenada to build relationships. “We’ll have the chance to talk about sport and how it develops character and builds people’s lives,” he pointed out.
Douglas explained how he came up with the idea of the webinar after hearing Mitchell on a talk show. “I had listened to the Prime Minister quite a few times on a show in Barbados called Mason and Guest and he is very passionate about cricket, he and his good friend, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of St Vincent & the Grenadines,” Douglas said.
“I just thought it would be nice if we could have a few words with someone like him. I thought about it last year and thought it would be nice to talk about the value of cricket to Bermuda and the value of cricket to the Caribbean.”