Help needed for cricket clubs
The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) took the decision at its annual general meeting (AGM) on Thursday not to play any domestic cricket for the rest of the calendar year because of the increase in coronavirus cases locally.
However, the association will continue to review the situation on a monthly basis, says CEO Courtney Francis, and, if possible, make changes. He, however, insists that for cricket to restart locally, the Ministry of Health ans Wellness must first give the approval.
“The consensus is, there will be no cricket under the auspices of the JCA for the rest of this calendar year. There will be a monthly review to see when we can start back, and that will be determined by the guidelines set out by the State, as we have to be guided by the Ministry of Health,” said Francis.
“Our protocols were under review, but with the new spike, they (ministry) would be overwhelmed with other things of national importance. It will not be possible for them to give the word to resume under the current circumstances,” he added.
However, Melbourne Cricket Club President Mark Neita says that although he understands the situation, he believes the JCA should have a proactive plan in place for the restart of the sport, to include assistance for clubs and parish associations.
“It is unlikely we are going to play cricket between now and the end of the year, but my biggest concern is when we restart cricket, what shape are the clubs and parishes going to be in? Will they be ready at that time, with no [current] activity? Will they be able to field a cricket team and buy gears? So I hope we are making preparations for the restart, and that should include assistance and support for clubs and parishes to get back on their feet,” Neita said.
“I can’t recall any plan being discussed about how they will reopen and, given the constraints, we don’t even know when we will reopen. But there is no plan and I really hoped the JCA had a plan, and start working on it now,” Neita added.
Francis rebutted by stating that it is not sensible to plan at this time, but said they will monitor the pandemic and make adjustments as things improve.
“We cannot have any (plans). Whatever plans we had before, we had to shelve. The SDC (T20 competition), which is a government competition, has been put off. So it would be unreasonable to think that any gathering whatsoever, based on what is happening, is possible. We just have to be mindful and save lives and people from the health implications,” he said.
Meanwhile, three resolutions were also passed. The board agreed to amend the constitution for the association to become a charitable organisation. It also named Ruddy Williams of Melbourne and former St Elizabeth Cricket Association President Desmond Lewis as life members, in recognition of their contributions over the years. They also took the decision to go over the Don Wehby report on the Cricket West Indies governance structure at their next meeting, with the aim of coming to a consensus.