We must make change with a purpose in mind
Since I have been elected to the Bermuda Cricket Board as a club representative I have been doing nothing but talking to friends in other countries, trying to find ideas on how we can improve our cricket.
It is of no secret that our cricket needs an overhaul to some extent, but it has to be done tactfully and with a purpose. The question is where do we start?
In recent weeks we have heard Janeiro Tucker and Lionel Cann, two senior players, voicing their concerns about cricket in Bermuda. Both players had some very interesting topics that they talked about. Janeiro, focused on youth cricket and bringing back the old school mentality of cricket, while Lionel talked about the small pool of players that we have to choose from, and the lack of resources.
I have no doubt that the issue of resources is a vast concern for cricket, along with other sports from what I read in the papers lately. With other sports suffering too you have to ask, is it the sport that's the problem or is it the mentality of the athletes that play these sports? Or is it both?
Bermuda is a wealthy country and in most cases our children don't need for much. However, this mentality rubs off on our young ones because cricket, and sport in general is just a game to them. In other countries children view sports as a pathway to a better life.
When you go to various countries and children are playing day in and day out, non-stop, it is because they view cricket as a way to earn a living. Children in Bermuda are so comfortable that if cricket isn't there it doesn't matter, but that's just a small part of the problem.
Bermuda has to be the only country in the world that I know where players do not value playing for their country, or understand the importance of playing for their country. If you do not know the value of playing for your country, then if you win or lose it really doesn't matter much, especially if you are only playing the game because you like it.
It is obvious that the focus must be on grassroots and building for the future, but I am a strong believer that they must have something to strive for. Does it make sense investing in grassroots if when they get to a certain age there is nothing in place for them to aspire to obtain?
Things obviously have to be reconstructed and changed for the betterment of the sport, and I am sure it will be done slowly, but surely.
However, clubs have to be more upfront and buy into what is being put forward. Clubs have to be the Board's support base, and reiterate to their players the importance of what is being introduced.
Clubs have to look to be willing to think outside the box to offer things that will interest parents and young ones to gravitate to their programmes.
Take North Village for example, they just improved their infrastructure which will benefit the children within their programmes, both socially and academically.
This is something that will interest parents as their children can not only develop their sporting abilities, but can also get assistance for their education. Cricket needs clubs to brainstorm and think of ways to entice children and parents to want to be part of something new and refreshing.
We know there is a lack of finance now, especially since we dropped down a division. So how do we sustain and even look to improve what we have? We can't just rest on our laurels. We have to find ways, and think of ways, to improve the product that we have.
New ideas, along with club and player buy-in is the way forward. Nothing is impossible, but we must be willing to change, and work hard if cricket is to ever flourish again.