Elliot Wilson leaves position as Bermuda director of cricket
Elliot Wilson has left his position as the Bermuda Cricket Board’s Director Of Cricket after just a few months in the position.
Wilson, a former first-class opening batsman with Worcestershire, had big plans for the role after his appointment and was instrumental in the hiring of Niraj Odedra as the new national team head coach.
But in the week in which the BCB announced that the island had been chosen as the venue for the ICC T20 World Cup Regional Final and the impending return of Odedra with the aim of world cup qualification, it has been revealed it has lost one of its senior officials.
In a statement released exclusively to The Royal Gazette, Wilson cites differences of opinion on the direction of Bermuda cricket and possible personality clashes as the main factors behind his decision.
Wilson’s statement reads: “I joined the coaching staff of the national men's team at the start of the 2022 summer and then took on the role of part-time Director of Cricket a couple of months after that. I stepped down from all roles in mid-October.
“During this time, I obviously got a privileged insight into on the field and off the field matters as well as attending an entire domestic cricket summer (except when on tour with the national side). I have relayed all of my ideas on how Bermuda cricket should move forward to the President Arnold Manders.
“Outside of cricket I have a full-time job and a very young family. Being involved both at training and administration was too much (but very interesting). I have a strong personality, which is a good and bad thing! and how I think things should be structured differed on a couple of fronts.
“I certainly don’t want to burn any bridges with the BCB and cricket, or, anyone on island. I’m open to talking cricket to any aspiring cricketer and to helping cricket in the future, which I think I have already done by introducing the island to the very talented national coach Niraj Odedra. Did you know he has just coached his Indian first class side to the national one day competition?
“If we listen to his coaching and youth development suggestions over the coming years Bermuda cricket will be enhanced. He and others at the BCB also have me as a sounding board if they ever want it.”
In response, Cal Blankendal, executive director of the BCB, was keen to thank Wilson for his efforts..
“We want to thank Elliot for the time that he served on the Bermuda Cricket Board,” Blankendal said.
“He did three and a half months of a six-month contract that was due to be reviewed at the end of the year. During this time he was passionate and gave a lot of feedback on our current strategic plan and about how we can achieve our goals and objectives in a practical manner.
“It’s sad that it ended prematurely but we have to acknowledge that his biggest contribution was having introduced us to our head coach Niraj Odedra, who we are finalising work-permit arrangements for. Having brought him to us will keep us in good stead for many years to come as long as we can be successful on the field.”
Blankendal is also eager to point out that differing opinions are to be expected at senior levels of sport and that the decision to depart was solely Wilson’s.
“In modern-day management, you have coaches, administrators, executive members and some people can have different opinions,” Blankendal said.
“At the end of the day, you have discussions and people move on but after reading his statement and his wish for a family life, time management and everything, he made the decision it was in his best interests to move on but there are no negative feelings from our side.
“We certainly didn’t request for any ending of the agreement. We would have reviewed it at the end of this year but that is not taking place as the agreement is null and void due to his departure. There are no bad sentiments and he has said he is willing to engage in the future. We hope he will continue to give feedback if he is asked by anybody in Bermuda.”
Decisions have yet to be made on whether Wilson will be replaced as director of cricket.
“As is stands, the role he was carrying out has been absorbed by two or three other persons and the workload has been spread out.” Blankendal said. “At the moment we are managing with it and coping with it but as we get busier, we would probably wish to have someone.
“But in this amateur environment and trying to compete in the professional world, it all comes down to dollars and cents. We need to make sure we can meet our obligations first on the field with travel and if there is any funds left in the budget we will look to hire someone.
“If there is anybody who wants to offer their services to a volunteer charitable organisation and maybe do it out of the love of their heart like 98 percent of the others are doing, then we will take a look at that person based on their qualifications as that’s the only way that we can survive as an international sport. A lot of people here are doing out of the love of their heart and the love of the game.”