Inside the First Division
with Elvis Howard
Date Published: 2009-05-02
Summary: A look at teams in 2009 BCA Div. 1 season
Marlon Graham to captain Carlton with Desmond Haynes as coach – BCA Div. 1 preview 2009
A look at teams in the 2009 BCA Div. 1 championship
Bridgetown, Barbados, May 2 (www.bcacricket.org)
Home Ground: Black Rock:
Captain: Marlon Graham.
Coach: Desmond Haynes.
Position in 2008: 8th in Zone ‘B’ - 42 points.
Matches played: 9. Won: 0; Lost: 0; Drew: 8; No-decisions: 1.
No. of players used: 19.
Highest Total: 370-5 declared (1st innings) v Barbados Youth at Cane Garden (Series 1).
Lowest Total: 107 all out (1st innings) v UWI at Black Rock (Series 9).
Last title: 1981 (shared with St. Catherine).
OUT: Dale Richards, Corey Collymore (both playing in England).
The year 2008 was indeed a struggle for the men from Black Rock and it must have really hit home as they went winless for the nine matches even though they didn’t lose any.
There seems to be more questions than answers for a side which, only three years ago, were the runners-up to YMPC.
Carlton have always attracted some young blood but on the downside the veterans were missing last year for some reason or the other and they could well do without a recurrence of such again in a relegation year.
Amal Nurse came over from Barbados Youth and created a favourable impression with his medium-pace, which earned 25 wickets - the most for his side. His batting, however, was a disappointment and that is an area he needs to critically address.
Nurse might again share the new ball with former Guardian General Barbados Youth team-mate Trevor Ifill, who has bowled with some speed despite minimal success.
Leg-spinner Dario Vaughan had a reasonable time and should be looking to take on the role as the leading spin bowler. Off-spinner Alex Bridgeman was steady without being spectacular. This season will be paramount for the pair, as it is spin that normally does the trick at the local level.
The batting carries the familiar look with the likes of Carlo Morris, Shirley Clarke and Kirk Gibson, along with national opener Dale Richards. Richards missed all but one match last year due to a contract in America and now he will also miss the start of the season due to West Indies duties on tour of England for both the Test and One-Day International series. Also missing will be fast bowler Corey Collymore, who is on a county contract with Sussex in England.
Marlon Graham, the former Barbados under-19 captain, takes up the post of captaincy in what could be a serious year for the club. He has an important role, more as a motivator who can bring the best results out from his players. The off-spinning all-rounder had an outstanding season in the Sagicor General knockout but will be hoping he can transfer it to the longer version.
“I think we are in a position to do very well especially early in the season when a lot of guys are missing. That will not be the case with us. Richards and Collymore are not here but we usually start without them and the rest of the guys are still around and it is a chance for us to go high in the standings,” Graham said.
About the previous zonal format, Graham remarked: “I thought the format used in the first year when YMPC played Carlton in the final was a good one and they should have stuck with that. That format was very competitive. Afterwards I thought they tried to do too much to the format and as a result it ended up lacklusture.”
As far as promotion/demotion is concerned, Graham said: “I understand what the BCA is trying to do to get to ten teams but I don’t know if they are going about it in the right way. It will start a downward spiral for the clubs. I think it could well see the end of some clubs around the island.”
Last season, one of their most reliable players, Gibson, was confined to five matches due to a car accident and made 209 runs. His sure-handedness in the field and his flamboyant batting are key elements in his side’s schemes of things and they are sure to be happy to have him back.
Carlton’s bowling is crying out for dire help as was shown when there was only one five-wicket haul for the season.
Former Barbados captain and star West Indies opening batsman Desmond Haynes is the new coach.