President of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Conde Riley says he is not expecting a backlash after the BCA declined Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) offer to host Zone A of the Regional Super50 Tournament.
“I don’t think there should be any backlash. The final of theSuper50 is on the first of December and normally the Independence Parade is held on the 30th of November at Kensington Oval. We were supposed to host Zone B, which would have been the Zone with coverage from ESPN, but we had to get clearance from Government that they will move the Parade,” Riley said.
He said that when the BCA finally got the word from the Government that the parade would be moved from the Oval, they went back to CWI and told them that Government would move the Parade.
“They informed us that the decision had been made to move the Zone to Trinidad and offered us Zone A. The BCA’s Board held an emergency meeting and based on the amount of money owed to us by Cricket West Indies, we concluded that hosting Zone A would have no economic value for us because if you are owned over a million dollars and you host Zone A where there will be no economic impact to the country, we will be spending two million dollars to host that zone and the country will be getting nothing,” Riley told Barbados TODAY.
He explained that during the English visit to the Caribbean earlier this year the bulk of the money made on the Barbados leg of the tour went to CWI. He added that even though the money the BCA received from the governing body of regional cricket for hosting the first Test and two One Day Internationals reduced their debut to the BCA, a substantial amount of money was still outstanding.
“The Board made its decision and we advised Cricket West Indies that we were not prepared to add another two million dollars to the sum already owned to us. We had hosted the Australian versus the West Indies Women in a Twenty20 series a few weeks earlier and there was a cost to hosting those matches. The money we received from CWI amounted to half of the cost we spent for hosting the series. Therefore we would have been compromising our ability to have our various programmes that are vital to the development of Barbados cricket by adding debt on top of debt. So the Board took the decision and declined the offer to host Zone A. I do not expect any backlash over our action because we are still owed money. We will continue to play our part in all aspects of West Indies as a shareholder of CWI but we had to make a financial decision in relation to the Super50 Cup,” he explained
The president said that while there was a payment schedule between his organisation and CWI, the clearing of debt depended on the finances of CWI.
“It all depends on the finances of CWI. We have a payment schedule, but they can only pay us when they get money from media rights and International Cricket Council dividends. If the West Indies continue to keep losing, the value of the rights will go down. When a team is winning the media people will pay big money for the television rights. If a team is losing regularly, the media rights are not as valuable. The West Indies have to do two things. First of all, we have to start winning consistently. We also have to set up academies in the various islands to equip our budding cricketers with the fundamentals of the game. The rebuilding of our cricket cannot start at the top. It has to start at the nursery level in the primary schools throughout the region. The territorial boards must get their Centers of Excellence going to give the boys proper coaching after they leave school, and the club structure must be strengthened,” Riley said.
Riley who is a director of CWI has come under fire recently for publicly disagreeing with several positions taken by CWI. According to him, this has not affected his relationship with his fellow directors.
“I have a very good relationship with my fellow directors, we at the BCA share with them a lot of what we are doing here. I believe the constraint of money is the only reason they have not implemented some of the programmes we have shared with them,” Riley said.