Thu | Sep 19, 2019

JCA heads in war of words

Published:Tuesday | January 15, 2019 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Mark Neita's announcement that he will be contesting the post of president of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) has drawn the ire of its current head, Wilford 'Billy' Heaven.

Neita, president of the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and second vice-president of the JCA, made the announcement at MCC's awards ceremony on Saturday.

Neita said Heaven was invited to the function to give greetings on behalf of the JCA, but instead, he went on to give a political speech about his achievements as JCA's boss.

Neita argued that this did not go down well with members of MCC, so he decided to announce his candidacy for the president of the JCA.

"As a result of him doing this, I was forced to respond and graciously acknowledge him on several occasions during my presentation but also rightfully put myself up to run as president," Neita said.

"Mr Heaven came to Melbourne with an agenda, and as the president of the JCA, and as somebody who we asked to bring greetings, it was absolutely inappropriate for him to embark on a political speech rather than to give what was asked of him."




However, Heaven said Neita's announcement was totally out of place and was not called for at the function.

"Mr Neita's announcement on Saturday about his intention to run, I believe it was inappropriate and a breach of protocol to use the occasion of a recognition ceremony to honour players, to honour members of the club, to announce his candidacy," said Heaven.

"What is even more significant is that this was the first time the president, the executive and the board of the JCA were hearing from Mr Neita about his intentions, and this was done in the presence of the minister of sports (Olivia Grange), the president of the JCA, and other members of the JCA who were invited as guests of the function," he said.

"Any member of the JCA can contest for a position based on our constitution. It is not a two-party democracy, although there has always been a strong opposition," Heaven said.

He is also yet to decide on a date for the elections as the JCA is waiting for its financial committee to sign off on the audited report.