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Twenty20 tournament another BCB blunder

WHEN it comes to preserving the status of our national sport one would expect Bermuda Cricket Board to act with caution. But this has not been the case. Far from it.They have continued to conduct their business seemingly impervious to criticism.Even before the first ball was bowled this season, controversy stirred over the decision to abandon the Second Division and put all clubs in a single league.Despite opposition from leading players, many of whom warned the new format was unworkable, the BCB insisted this was the way forward.Of course, weaker teams continue to get thrashed by the stronger teams and it would surprise no-one if some players and clubs become dispirited and disinterested and fall by the wayside.Now the governing body have got it wrong again.The Twenty/20 tournament has been postponed after a single week such has been its shambolic start.It continues to amaze how the Board hapzardly organise the sport without consulting the very people they are supposed to be catering, the players.Two games into the competition, the BCB realised the use of a red ball under lights wasn't a good idea.The fielders had no idea where it was. And the batsmen couldn't see it coming.Had they taken the trouble to talk to the players they might have determined this was an extreme safety hazard.In their infinite wisdom they then scheduled games at the smallest ground in Bermuda — Devonshire Rec.With a flick of the wrist, players such as Lionel Cann and Janeiro Tucker could comfortably clear the boundary.These days with balls costing anything between $50 and $60, it can quickly become an expensive sport.Any enterprising youngster positioning themselves outside the ground might consider it worthwhile to pocket two or three balls and sell them back to the club a couple of days later.Perhaps that might not promote honesty, but isn't it supposed to be 'finders keepers'? And don't golf ball-hunters do exactly the same thing?The Rec is the only centrally-located ground with floodlights but that doesn’t eliminate the problems it presents.And, of course, the North Field at the National Sports Centre is too expensive to hire.Adding to this Twenty/20 circus has been the no-show of umpires. So far not a single umpire has appeared for the two games. Club officials have had to step up and fill the void.Bermuda Cricket Board of Umpires vice-president Stephen Douglas admitted there had been some 'issues' without elaborating.Could it be the umps hadn't even been informed the games were taking place?There's been a suggestion they hadn't been sent a schedule and only learned of the games by looking at the BCB website.And if all this wasn't enough, Warwick withdrew from the tournament before it started. Player/coach Cann told this newspaper the starting time of 5.30pm (later changed to 6.15 pm) was unreasonable and the tournament was of little use in his effort to develop the many youngsters who make up the team.Commenting on the entire saga, one blogger on The Royal Gazette website said: "It is an embarrassment for this even to be making it to the news. You don't have to know cricket to know that you can't see a dark object against a black background. And you/we expect to be taken serious on the world stage. BCB you continue to make a fool of yourselves."It would be surprising if many more don't express the same sentiments.Twenty20 still hasn't been embraced by cricket's purists, but it has shown it deserves its place.The slam, bang, thankyou ma'am game has proved popular elsewhere.Judging from the handful of spectators who attended the tournament's two opening games, it still hasn't quite caught on here.And until the BCB get their act together, it never will.* * * *FORMER national coach, David Moore, quietly left the Island without fanfare a couple of weeks ago.Maybe that's the way he wanted, or more likely that's the way the BCB wanted.Moore had his permit extended for three months as he continued his work with the Academy. Parents of those attending that academy were so impressed they urged the Board to have him retained.Whether the Ministry of Immigration didn't see fit to issue another permit, or whether the Board couldn't afford to sign another contract, we don't know.Those parents' concerns were never addressed despite questions posed by this newspaper.What we do know is that his departure was kept so quiet that neither the media nor the general public were informed.Nothing was posted on the BCB website.If it was considered the Australian coach did a good job during his tenure, wouldn't it have been appropriate for the Board to have said so?But then courtesy never has been the BCB's strong suit.