BCB prize-presentation was first class
In a week when I was mesmerised by the Bermuda Cricket Board's efficiency to have such a wonderful presentation merely a week after the season concluded, in the same breath I was even more stunned that they would have the audacity to come public with such a statement suggesting that there was no truth surrounding the text message sent to Stephen Outerbridge.
My mission here today is not to slander the Cricket Board but to help us realise that we are only shooting ourselves in our own foot as we try to move our cricket forward.
On a positive note first, I was thoroughly impressed to hear about and see that the BCB had such a fantastic, first class presentation.
The fact that it was merely one week after the closing of the season makes the feat that much more astonishing. The setting was lovely at the Gosling's Wine Cellar and it was well attended with the Premier and other special guest in attendance.
The variety and array of prizes/trophies suggested that it was well thought out and organised.
There were a few special categories that really caught my eye and they were The Groundsman of the Year, The Scorekeeper of the Year, Team Sportsmanship Award and Emerging Player of the Year.
The first two, groundsman and scorekeepers, are normally people who are often forgotten about, but they play such a significant part of the game.
So to see them appreciated and valued was a very good gesture.
The Team Sportsmanship Award couldn't have gone to a nicer bunch of guys, the Somerset Bridge team. They show up week in and week out, playing the game to the best of their ability without any fuss and are worthy winners.
Lastly, the Emerging Player of the Year. This was probably my most enjoyable trophy of all because it highlights a player who has made great strides in the game. Macai Simmons of St George's had an outstanding season with both bat and ball. He was very unlucky not to claim a spot in the St George's Cup Match team. I hope this motivates him to go onto bigger and better things in the future.
The one down side to the presentation was that some players failed to turn up to receive their awards, which to me is a kick in the teeth to the Board after doing such a fine job.
Players often grumble about the lack of appreciation shown by the Board, but then when something elaborate such as this is put on and they don't attend, it devalues their claims.
On to a slightly different but delicate subject, that being the Steven Outerbridge fiasco which has been turned upside down.
In last week's column I stated that I had personally talked to Stephen and he had informed me that he was available for the Dubai tour.
Just prior to my article The Royal Gazette also printed an article from a reliable source saying that Stephen was upset at being notified via text that he was no longer captain of the Twenty20 team, since which the Cricket Board have come public and issued a statement saying that article is “complete nonsense and nothing further from the truth.”
Was it really?
They also went on to say Stephen Outerbridge said: “The reporting from one of Bermuda's leading newspapers was totally inaccurate. The truth is that I have informed the President, CEO and National Coach that I am unable to participate in the upcoming series due to personal commitments.”
However, I beg to differ. It is impossible for Stephen to have made that comment knowing full well that he did receive a text and had informed me that he was available.
Everyone in Bermuda knows that press releases are written for someone or on behalf of someone and half the time the person does even know what's in the statement until it is time for them to read it.
In this case the press release was just sent out to all parties as there was no way Stephen could possibly stand in front of the press and actually say that knowing full well it is not true.
Having said that, again I go back to my column whereby I stated that Stephen informed me that he was available for the tour.
Obviously he has since had a change of heart, probably due to the lack of respect shown towards him.
Here is a guy who is captain of Bermuda and he was going to bend over backwards to make arrangements so that he can get off work so he can play for his country only to be shown this type of treatment, yet we wonder why several players have opted not to play for Bermuda.
So I guess it all boils down to whether the Board actually notify him by text that he was not going to be captain. In one sense Mr Fray is correct the Cricket Board, meaning the executive, didn't notify Stephen by text. However, the national coach did and maybe he was jumping the gun. It happens in business where your right hand doesn't always know what your left hand is doing.
But the coach is an employee of the Cricket Board and upon learning this, Mr Fray should have just left it alone and acknowledged the fact that an error had been made and apologised on behalf of the Board to Stephen and looked to move on from there rather than go public and try to act like it never occurred.
Even though I write about this in a somewhat negative way I hate the fact that it impacts Bermuda cricket as I have Bermuda cricket's best interest at heart.
I want to see the Cricket Board and the team do well. At the end of the day who is at loss with Stephen not making himself available — we are (Bermuda). One of our best player's, no our captain, will not be at a major tournament because of poor communication and lack of respect.
For years we have been finding ways to shoot ourselves in our own foot. We must put an end to this type of treatment of players if we are to progress as a country.
To all parties, I have said it before and I will say it again, the only way to move forward is together. We must all be on one accord.
Again, BCB congratulations on a splendid presentation. Now let's move forward in a more professional, efficient manner.
Quote of the week: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy — Martin Luther King, Jr.