Since the 2007 Biennial General Meeting of the Caribbean Council for the Blind, the West Indies Cricket Council for the Blind (WICCB) has been registered as a legal entity in Barbados.
During the period under review, there were two Regional Tournaments. The first was held in Trinidad & Tobago in March 2008, where due to a rain-affected game, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica were declared joint champions.
In the 2009 Tournament held in Guyana in July, Jamaica despite loosing to Barbados, won both the League and Challenge Cups. However, the Barbadians victory over the Jamaicans meant that in the four-year history of the Tournament, it was the first game the Jamaicans lost.
In July 2008, a restructured West Indies Team, minus the players from Jamaica and Guyana who experienced visa problems, visited England. Prior to their departure, they played two games in Barbados against the London Cricket Community Association (now known as Cricket for Change Under 23 Team) which the West Indies won. However, they suffered defeats in the two games played against the England Senior Blind Cricket Team, during their visit.
It is interesting to note that the National Teams have begun to spread the game to the wider community by engaging some sighted teams. Earlier this year, in a game featuring the Barbados Blind Cricket Team against a Celebrity Team, the former won by two wickets. To date, the Trinidad & Tobago Blind Cricket Team has played against the KAYASOCA Touring Team, Wack 90.1 Radio Station and staff of the National Lottery Control Board, winning all three games. The Jamaicans have also been promoting the game and working closely with students of the Salvation Army School for the Blind in developing the youngsters at the school. Other encouraging strides have come from Guyana where an Outreach Programme is taking the game to the different Administrative Regions. There have also been some activities in Grenada where a Coach trained with assistance from the St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association, is now hard at work in motivating and encouraging potential players. Additionally, there has been some activity in St. Vincent and The Grenadines. The support given by the Barbados and Trinidad Blind Cricket Associations towards the development of the game in the Windward Islands has earned recognition and appreciation from officials in the Windward Islands.
Unfortunately, a Training Programme scheduled for the Leeward Islands in January 2009 was not undertaken due to financial constraints; while a similar Programme planned for Grenada and St. Vincent and The Grenadines in March 2009 also suffered from a lack of funding.
WICCB Executive Members, Clevedon Mayers (President) and Bhawani Persad (General Secretary) participated in the past two Annual General Meetings of the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC). Of major concern at this time, is the issue of Sight Classification which will again be the focus of the upcoming meeting of the Organization scheduled for Barbados in November 2009.
At the Annual General Meeting of the West Indies Cricket Council for the Blind (WICCB) held in Guyana on July 23rd 2009, the following Officers were elected.
President: Clevedon Mayers.
Vice-President: Anthony Avril.
General Secretary: Bhawani Persad.
Assistant Secretary/Assistant Treasurer: Emily Lynch.
Treasurer: Theresa Pemberton.
Public Relations Officer: Toussaint Gardner.
Regional Cricket Development Officer: Vivalyn Latty-Scott.
WICCB’s relationship with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), during the period was somewhat low-keyed given a number of problems including staff changes and the Board’s own problems. This is expected to change, shortly.
Funding continues to be a major problem, but we owe much thanks to the Caribbean Council for the Blind and Sightsavers International for their support of our activities, thus far. A document is now being formulated to be submitted to the Secretary General of CARICOM, requesting some financial support. The Board will also be exploring every opportunity to have its say in the Regional Sports Policy currently being formulated by the Ministers of Sports in the Caribbean Region.
Indeed, we are excited by the prospect of a major Fundraising and Awareness Campaign between Sightsavers International, The Caribbean Council for the Blind and The West Indies Cricket Council for the Blind, for which a Concept Note has been submitted to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for their consideration. If the Note is approved and a full Project Proposal requested, the proposed events will coincide with the ICC Twenty20 Tournament scheduled for April 2010 in the Caribbean.
West Indies Cricket Council for the Blind (WICCB).