The semi-finals of the Barbados Cricket Association’s Republic Bank-sponsored RightStart Everton Weekes Under-13 Competition are slated for tomorrow. Ellerslie take on Alexandra at the Lodge School, while Combermere battle against The Lodge School at Ellerslie. But the games will go ahead amid some controversy.
Barbados TODAY understands that concerns have been raised with the BCA about the re-scheduling of the games which were, reportedly, made without consultation with the four coaches of the respected schools. This has resulted in a situation tomorrow where one or more of the schools could turn up to play without their respective coach. At least one coach confirmed today†that he would not be attending his school’s semi-final as a mark of protest.
The semi-finals were originally to be played last year but were put back. This rescheduling reportedly coincided with the unavailability of players representing Combermere and Alexandra.
A source at one of the schools who agreed to be quoted but not identified told Barbados TODAY that the decision of the BCA to play the semi-finals so close after Christmas and New Year celebrations was “unrealistic” .
“Some boys have played no cricket or practised since the quarterfinals were played on December 7. This is still the vacation period and there is no reason why the games could not be scheduled for later into the start of the term,” he said, noting his school had to engage in a mad scramble to locate players to be available for tomorrow’s game.
However, the official maintained that his main peeve was that the coaches of all four schools should have been consulted by the BCA before a rescheduled date was reached.
Barbados TODAYwas able to access correspondence from the BCA’s chief operations manager, Rollins Howard, in which he stated that the dates arrived at to conclude the tournament had been provided to the BCA by the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools. Howard suggested that concerns related to the re-scheduling should be raised with BAPPS through the respective principals.
“I would think that having provided those dates BAPPSS would ensure that all facilities would be made available to the competing schools to bring a successful conclusion to the tournament,” Howard said.
But the sports official was adamant that the cricket coaches should have been part of the process and noted that, in some instances, the principals played no part in the cricket and had offered negligible support in getting the rescheduled date re-examined.
He said what was particularly amusing was that the BCA had scheduled a coaching clinic to take place from January 7 to 11 for the youngsters which would necessitate them missing classroom time but was unyielding with respect to pushing the conclusion of the tournament into the restart of school.
“The long and short of this is that tomorrow we will be entering the semi-finals of a prestigious tournament with a number of boys who have not had the preparation that they should have had,” he said.
Efforts this evening to reach Howard were unsuccessful.
The final of the competition is slated for Saturday. (WG)††