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Cricket will be dull under one league

The Bermuda Cricket Board has announced that there will be one league this season. Except for watching the National team compete for promotion to World Cricket League Division 2, domestic cricket will be like watching paint dry to put it plain and simple. What would possess the BCB to make such a decision?

One has to wonder if the goal here is to turn our beloved national sport into a recreational sport where winning doesn't matter. Last week our new vice president (Nyon Steede) said, “The main goal is to increase the amount of people who, if they want to play cricket, have the opportunity to play.”

Should the main goal not be to improve the overall standard of cricket in Bermuda, while trying to increase the number of players who participate? Let's take it a step further; do we even have a goal? Do we have a short or long term goal/plan, if so what is it and how will we achieve it by playing one league?

I do not understand how any club could support the one league as those teams that are developing young cricketers will undoubtedly have their confidence crushed, and the already developed teams will not be challenged for most of the season. This is not in the best interest of any of the clubs or cricket as a whole.

Taking the Super 6 away and not have promotion and relegation, which was rather successful last year, seems to be throwing our domestic league backwards. One only has to look at how close the two leagues were last season to see that games were competitive right through to the very end of season. So why change something that in its first year worked well?

I would like to think that the BCB hired coach David Moore to not only do a job, but to leave a foundation in place for us to continue to develop.

During his tenure he has analysed our cricket and implemented the Super 6 league as a way to improve our cricket. The idea was to get the better teams and players playing against each other week in and week out. We cannot keep chopping and changing things before we give them a chance to work.

Are we saying that his professional opinion over his stay has meant nothing? A man who has played and coached cricket all around the world, yet we seem to be turning a blind eye to his advice.

After the money spent to secure his services, surely we shouldn't be reviewing a new format before we have collected all of the pros and cons, and in normal practice this happens after a period of three to five years.

What a nightmare this will be for the players. Are the clubs/boards really that out of touch with the players? Or are the clubs so disorganised that they didn't acknowledge the information sent or worse yet didn't turned up for the vote? Maybe the clubs voted in favour for it simply because they saw potential financial benefits, and not what's in the best interest of cricket.

Realistically there won't be financial benefits because many games will be over by 3pm, before the crowds start turning up. This change in the league structure has prompted a petition in which the national squad players have signed, along with others, in hope to get the BCB revisit/change their decision.

In an effort to be fair to the BCB on their decision for the change, here are what I believe could be the pros, but I will also list the cons as to why it shouldn't happen.


Ÿ Clubs can focus on development without the pressure of relegation or promotion.

Ÿ Young players can play against their role models.

Ÿ Clubs can utilise more players.

Ÿ It would be easier to filter young players into a team.

Ÿ Young players would be given more opportunities to bat and bowl against weaker teams.


Ÿ Too many one sided boring games.

Ÿ Young players could get discouraged by being beaten so badly.

Ÿ Better players will opt to not play some games

Ÿ There will be a lack of training and quality of training for some weeks.

Ÿ Coaches won't have the accountability of making sure they prepare their team properly because the fear of relegation won't exist, nor will they have an incentive of pushing for promotion

Ÿ Spectators will chose to do something else weekends besides watch cricket.

If this is the format that will take place, then the question now is how long is it going to be in place for? I would like to think that there is a strategy behind all of this. If the Board believes that they have a strategic plan for improving local cricket then stick to your beliefs and show us that it can work.

However, if this is just something done for the sake of making a change, then swallow your pride and change it back until a concrete strategy is thought of and analysed comprehensively for the long-term improvement of our domestic game.

If my memory serves me correctly, we did have this format before, and I can recall the reasons why it was forced to change. Aside from the cons listed above, the format gave players a false impression on their game.

Players were getting seven and eight wickets per game, people were scoring 100 runs and demanding a place in the national team even though they were dropped five times, or only got wickets against the lesser developed teams.

Some teams would even let their bowlers open bat and let their batsmen bowl, which devalued the quality of the game. Lastly, after Cup Match cricket died out because unless you were in the top four or five teams fighting for a Belco Cup spot there was nothing else to play for, thus devaluing the game even further.

Maybe to accomplish the development of the younger players, the BCB could follow the BFA's model and run a Player Development League (PDL) on some Saturdays.

There could be an East and a West, Open cricket league, which is an under-23 league, but allowing four to five overage players to play as clubs may not have the numbers to facilitate an all under 23 league.

This would allow clubs to develop their young players and allow fringe players the opportunity to showcase their talents for the push into their respective first teams.

Imagine if the Bermuda Football Association had all one league, what it would do to football in Bermuda. I don't want to name teams, but come on you can imagine how many one-sided games there would be. How can this possibly be good for the sport?

As in life in general we have to realise that mistakes happen and we will not get every decision made right, but we must be man enough to humble ourselves and admit those mistakes.

With the players feeling so strongly about this it is necessary for the BCB to reassess and listen to the players or we may see a player drought like never before this season, pushing us further back on our development and revival of cricket here in Bermuda.

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Published April 19, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm)

Cricket will be dull under one league

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