New wine in new jars, Dougal
Dougal James
On Target
September 8, 2023

New wine in new jars, Dougal

The almost unanimous support given to Dougal James at last Tuesday’s Annual General Meeting of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association Inc., that ushered him in as the organisation’s newest president, has to be a signal of the confidence the affiliates have in his leadership.

When the ballots were counted at the President’s Suite, Arnos Vale, the venue for the AGM, James received 49 votes compared with his nearest challenger, but by some distance, Roland Wilkinson, who got 14. Also in the mix were Roxell John who managed 3 votes and Courtney Joyette 4.

The rest of the Executive are Kaschaka Cupid – First Vice President, Parnel Browne – Second Vice President, along with Samuel Holder- Secretary; Cleton Burnett – Assistant Secretary/ Treasurer and Jenry Ollivierre – Treasurer.

Four Committee Members – Samantha Lynch, Elron Lewis, Rawdon Bentick and Jerome Dick, complete the elected officials.

So as James embarks on his new position, he brings with him many years of Cricket and sports administration under his belt.

He is a past Committee Member and Treasurer of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association Inc. Additionally, James has served as Treasurer of the then Windward Islands Cricket Board, since rebranded as Windwards Cricket Inc.

A former St Vincent and the Grenadines Under-19 selector and team manager, James had a stint as

President of the Marriaqua Sports Association, as well as an executive member of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF).

He also chaired the finance committee of the Local Organising Committee of the SVGFF.

A business consultant, James is a member of the board of directors of the National Lotteries Authority and that of Winlott.

Apart from his personal acumen and years of service, James has with him a mixed bag of executive members to buttress his tenure.

Hence, he will be surrounded by a few who have been in the trenches of national Cricket administration for a number of years.

Chief among them is Holder, who has served as Secretary for more than two decades, while Burnett and

Ollivierre are adding more terms to their service, likewise Lewis and Lynch.

Ideally, James and company, like previous configurations possess a wealth of expertise.

However, the varied talents must be reflected in the way the sport is administered, commitment to the cause of development.

Therefore, James has to, from the get go, take charge of his executive and ensure that everyone is on board with his vision.

Work on building back the image of the sport, not only the glamour of the Vincy Premier League(VPL) that has seemingly taken a big chunk of the outgoing executive’s time and energy.

Focus thus has to shift to development at all levels and both genders.

Undoubtedly, this is the most critical of all the immediate needs of the sport.

And, this work has to start now, as regrettably, there was no sustained and structured approach towards development of young cricketers, especially at the Under-13 and Under-15 levels.

As such, the Lennox John Cricket Academy has to be restarted, whilst support must be forthcoming to those coaches who have been working tirelessly in their communities, to advance the skills of young, budding cricketers.

At the other end of the spectrum, a steroid injection is wanted for the national Cricket competitions, as they have lost ground and flavour overtime.

In fact, the most recent engagements, specifically the Premier Division, have been farcical.

In short, it is a poor but true reflection of the state of Cricket. Few clubs train; for most it is just a run of the mill, as cricketers participate for participation sake, whilst administrators simply do their part in ensuring that the matches are convened.

Hence, Cricket all round has to get a new lease of life across St Vincent and the Grenadines; corporate involvement has to be reignited and revisited, so too is public confidence in the administrative personnel called on to serve the sport.

Admittedly, there is the public perception that the Cricket executives of the recent past operated similar to a lodge and a boys’ club.

This perception thus must change through inclusion and devoid of nepotism.

All in all, the SVGCA Inc. must reset itself, its image, its focus and purpose of existence.