Sat | Feb 16, 2019

‘We have lost our way!’ - JCA vice-president Neita questions Senior Cup structure

Published:Monday | February 4, 2019 | 12:22 AM
Melbourne Cricket Club’s Christopher Lamont (centre) celebrates a wicket with his teammates during the Senior Cup final against UWI at Sabina Park on April 28, 2018.
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President of Melbourne Cricket Club, Mark Neita, is calling for greater emphasis to be placed on the Jamaica Cricket Association’s (JCA) Senior Cup.

Neita, who has made clear his intention of challenging President Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven in the upcoming elections, said the season is way too short to facilitate any development.

“There are only four rounds of cricket in the Senior Cup and if someone does not get to the quarter-final, it means that the season is over.

“It cannot be development of our programme when an entire season consists on only four matches,” Neita explained.

The competition, which is set to bowl off on Saturday, will be played by 24 teams this year as The Mico University College has been approved by the JCA’s board of directors to participate in this year’s staging.

“The Senior Cup remains our National Championship, because all the clubs and parishes play in it. Therefore, a huge focus must be on Senior Cup,” he said. “The teams that get to the semi-finals have to fund the matches themselves. The JCA is not offering funding for that and we have lost our way when it comes to what our priorities are.”

The JCA vice president said the money allocated to each of the teams to fund their participation is inadequate.

“We have 24 teams getting mobilisation fund in total of $4 million. In franchise cricket, there are six teams and they are getting almost $17 million, which works out to $2.5 million per team, and so there is a big disconnect for me where that is concern,” he said.

He continued: “Is the Senior Cup a gateway to the national programme? It should be, but in its current format it’s not.”

‘The teams that get to the semi-finals have to fund the matches themselves. The JCA is not offering funding for that, and we have lost our way when it comes to what our priorities are.’