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Richardson is the right man to run BCB

While we sit and discuss who will be the Bermuda Cricket Board's next president and vice president in my opinion more importantly we also have to think about what the future holds for our sportsmen.

Two issues this week caught my interest, one about Allan Douglas discussing the presidency, and two, the idea regarding me running for the role of vice president as Allen Richardson runs for the presidency.

As a cricketer and as a coach I have always been very fond of Allan Douglas. He is very knowledgeable and loves to discuss cricket, just like his brother Steven Douglas.

However, to hint that Allen Richardson may not be the guy to lead Bermuda Cricket forward as president is unjust. He is passing judgment on someone who has not even had a chance to run things using his own initiatives.

As first vice president I am sure there are a number of ideas and plans that Allan Richardson would love to implement, but can't because he gets out voted or his suggestions get ignored. Having been a part of the coaching panel and technical committee, I can say Allen Richardson has helped implement some crucial elements, which were desperately needed.

To name a few

n Over the past year or two the clubs have been meeting more regularly to discuss various aspects of our game, both positive and negative.

n Also, the umpires were brought in to share their views and issues, with the clubs, coaches, and captains all present so we could all be on one accord.

n A technical committee was introduced to hone in on the strengths and weakness of Bermuda cricket, which brought a wide variety of ideas.

Let me stop, I can go on and on saying what Allen Richardson has already done from just being in the vice president's position, so my point is, give the guy a chance. Allen has been on the inside, learned the system of how the Board works and now is ready to make some major changes.

He knows what works and what doesn't work, and I believe that he is the man to help make changes. On another positive note, over the last two years he has been undoubtedly the most visual of all the Board executives, frequently attending matches of all sorts.

I want to be clear here, because no one man is going to do this alone. Allen has to surround himself with people who have cricket's best interest at heart, people who are passionate about cricket.

This is where I say to Allan Douglas stop shooting from the mouth and join the Board and be part of the solution. If I didn't know any better, from reading that article, Allan Douglas seems like he wants the position himself.

If that is the case come forward and say so. Allan versus Allen! Truthfully I am joking about that race. However, from my perspective, Allen Richardson deserves a chance. Anyone who has talked with him will recognize that he has Bermuda cricket's best interest at heart. He knows the challenges that lay before him, and the importance of a committed and competent support staff.

This brings about the second issue concerning me possibly being vice president. Have Allen and I talked, yes. Am I interested in the post? Allen Richardson knows my position on this and I do not believe that it needs to be made public knowledge.

I must say I had to smile at the comment alluding to the fact that this was not the right time for me. Maybe because I am not hitting the age of sixty when I have become disqualified to run. The reality is, regardless of who decides to make themselves available for a post on the Board, they must understand the magnitude of the challenge, as it is enormous.

Now let's talk about the future of our sportsmen. Malachi Jones is no stranger to Bermuda cricket and recently I received an email from him concerning his position with Bermuda cricket.

Sitting and debating about who will be in office leading our cricket in the future we must also consider what avenues will open up for the young cricketer as there is life after cricket. After reading this email it will show you just one reason why those in charge of running Bermuda cricket have a daunting critical task.

The words of Malachi Jones:

“When it comes to the Island's elite cricketers do you think the Government cares for us, as they should?

Even the Board having said that... From late 2006 when I was still in high school, I was asked to represent the country, and not once thought twice about it. If I was available, I was going.

“I was promised an education paid for if I committed two years over the World Cup campaign and I have yet to receive anything, five years later. So my question stands, is our country more focused on cricket results or helping build a future for our special athletes while they are representing our country?

“It's a lot of things we can say like “we don't have any money”, “was it spent in the right areas? “Do certain people deserve the opportunity just because they are good players?” “Are we punishing individuals for other peoples actions in the past?”

“We continuously sacrifice a lot of time at training (in not the best training facilities) and a lot of time away from our families, which can take a toll after a while. But for the individuals who continuously put their hand up, year in, and year out, what is it that we are really getting out of it? It's life after cricket. Are we jus getting a pat on the back, as if to say well done, better luck next time? We travel for free, is that enough? We take a lot of slack publicly, and really, me personally, I don't have to play because I'm trying to sort my life out, and cricket takes up a lot of time.

“At the end of the day, if we cricketers or any other special, gifted athletes don't get a fair opportunity at life, we should all ask ourselves, is it really worth the time, pain, stress and heartache?”

Those comments are truly food for thought. I want to thank Malachi for his words.

Bermuda, our young players are not only looking to play cricket/sports these days, they are also planning for their future. Those in charge of cricket have a challenge on their hands to make the game more purposeful and meaningful, as there is life after cricket.

Clay Smith believes Allen Richardson (left) should be the next president of the Bermuda Cricket Board when current incumbent Reggie Pearman (right) steps down later this year.

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Published August 26, 2011 at 11:00 am (Updated August 26, 2011 at 11:06 am)

Richardson is the right man to run BCB

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