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Keith Holder

Inside the Elite Division

with Keith Holder

Date Published: 2020-05-12 

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Elite Division

BCA Top 40: 1987 Revolution - Remember the names Leslie Reifer, Delbert Griffith in historic Court case

Bridgetown, Barbados, May 12 - (www.bcacricket.org) - This year, 2020, marks the 40th in which Keith Holder has been compiling statistics on the premier Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Championship.

Formerly known as the First division since 1892, it was rebranded as the Elite division in 2012 - three years after the promotion and demotion system was introduced.

To mark his four decades of keeping track on the performances of all the teams and players, Holder will ultimately feature a BCA Top 40 in batting, bowling and fielding (most runs, most wickets etc).

Over the next couple of months, he will be highlighting the leading performances in each season.

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Police recapture title in controversial end to season

Remember the names Leslie Norman Reifer and Delbert Griffith forever in the history of Barbados Cricket Association Competitions.

As captains of the much vaunted Police and clannish St. Catherine in 1987 - two teams which generally enjoyed a wonderful relationship - Reifer and Griffith made “sporting”, yet very controversial declarations at Bayfield on the very last day of the First division Championship - rain having washed out play on the first two days - which led to a highly publicized Court case and eventually a “revolution” to a key part of the BCA Rules.

Reifer, a big, serious police officer, batting stalwart and aggressive skipper, whose son Leslie St. Auburn also played for the Weymouth club at the highest level of the local domestic Competition and is now an international umpire, and Griffith, a school teacher, stern-looking middle order batsman, true St. Philip and committed St. Catherine man (a few years later he took up residence in the Cayman Islands), whose son Jason Jordan represented Combined Schools South and St. Catherine in the Division 1 Competition as well (co-incidentally Leslie Reifer Jnr and Jason Jordan are products of The St. Michael School), had left the cricketing fraternity dumbfounded by first innings declarations after just one over.

Sensationally, pre-series title outsiders Police, the most celebrated team of the 1980s with four Cups including a hat-trick, pulled off a five-wicket win to recapture the title after just one season, by a single point over favourites BCL, who were held to a draw by Empire at Bank Hall.

It was a day that should NEVER be forgotten in the history of the BCA.

Going into the last round, as was the case the previous season, four teams were battling for the Cup - BCL led with 36 points, defending champions Banks and Wanderers were in joint second position on 33 and Police were fourth on 32.

BCL, under the captaincy of left-arm spinner Noel Broomes, were playing against eighth-placed Empire at Bank Hall, Banks had an appointment with rock-bottom Combined Schools at the Foundation ground, Church Hill, Wanderers were facing 10th-placed Carlton at Black Rock (now Desmond Haynes Oval) and Police were being entertained by St. Catherine, then ninth.

For the records, though of academic interest, the other matches were: Spartan v Maple at Queen’s Park and YMPC v Pickwick at Beckles Road.

Rain had affected play in all of the matches from the opening day and with not a ball being bowled on the first two days at Bayfield, the general expectation was a draw or no-result, once there was play.

As it turned out, while there were four draws and one no-result, there was an outright result at Bayfield as Police triumphed by five wickets after winning the toss in sunny conditions.

Sent in, St. Catherine declared on 10 for one off the over from Kenrick Marshall. Police responded with 11 without loss from Roger Blades’ over.

St. Catherine were then bowled out for 75 in 21.1 overs. All-rounder Blades, again opening the batting, hit the topscore of 38 and Griffith made 15 at No. 5 before he was run out.

Marshall grabbed six for 24 off 10.1 overs and fellow pacer David Springer, two for 17 off five overs.

Set 75 to win, Police scored 75 for five off just 11.2 overs as Sylvester Louis, then better known for his fast bowling and now Assistant Commissioner of Police, lashed 39 at No. 4. Fast bowler Neville Mason took four for 34.

So Police gained the maximum eight points and captured the title with 40 points, BCL finished second on 39, and it led to an historic court battle, which resulted in Police being confirmed as champions.

The summarized scores of the matches featuring the other teams in contention for the title were:

At Bank Hall:

Toss: BCL. Day 1: Empire 78, BCL 102-1. Day 2: BCL 145-4 declared, Empire 74 without loss. Day 3: Empire 208-4 declared, BCL 3-0.

At Church Hill:

Toss: Combined Schools. Day 1: Banks 132-9 declared, Combined Schools 61-5. Day 2: Combined Schools 82-7. Day 3: Combined Schools 94 all out, Banks 92-6 declared, Combined Schools 11-2.

At Black Rock:

Toss: Carlton. Day 1: Wanderers 109 all out, Carlton 31-2. Day 2: Carlton 191 all out, Wanderers 19-2. Day 3: Wanderers 234-6 declared, Carlton 24-1.

That was 33 years ago and I still remember the proceedings of the last series like yesterday.

I covered the match at Bank Hall and can recall a stunned BCL dressing room with Owen Linderson “Nobby” Estwick, who wore quite a few cricketing hats (he was the then BCL president, team manager, selector, a member of the BCA Board of Management, a cricket commentator for the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation and indeed a very successful Barbados first-class team manager) apart from his professional job as a Government Permanent Secretary, expressing his great disappointment at the outcome of the Championship, on radio.

At one time, as he paced up and down, I swore my dear friend Mr. Estwick put in a few Latin and Greek words under his breath, especially as one coming from a background at The Lodge School.

Coleridge Street became busy after the BCA felt the match at Bayfield wasn’t played in the true spirit of the game. Ultimately, with Police confirmed as champions, by the next season the BCA was forced to change its rule and the awarding of points relating to play on the last day of a match if there was no play on the first two days.

Under “Matches Reduced to One Day”, it stated: “Where the first two days in a match scheduled for three (3) days have been completely lost due to adverse weather conditions or for any other reason whatsoever, the two teams involved shall play a One Innings match, provided that play is possible before the tea interval on the final day.

“In all such matches which have been reduced to One Day, play shall commence at 12:30 p.m. or 12 noon whichever is applicable, and the following system for the award of points shall apply:- The team winning the match - Five (5) points; the team losing the match - Zero (0) points; No decision - Two (2) points; Tie - Three (3) points.

As far as individual performances were concerned, Leslie Reifer amassed the most runs for the third time in four seasons. In an aggregate of 683, he had a wonderful average of 62.09 and also boasted of the most centuries (three) in a total of 16 - four more than the previous season.

Three other batsman passed 500 - opener Michael Inniss of Empire (539; ave: 31.70), his team-mate, leg-spinning all-rounder Sherlon Greaves (511; ave: 30.05) and prolific Banks opener Arnold Gilkes (504; ave: 29.64).

It was a fine all-round season for Greaves as he also took 41 wickets (ave: 14.41) and held nine catches.

The bowler with the most wickets (57; ave: 12.28) was Richard “Cargoo” Holder, the Banks medium-pace all-rounder, who for the second straight season sent down the most overs (283.5) after a marathon 314 in which he had picked up 47 scalps.

Wanderers fast bowler Milton Small snatched 50 scalps (ave: 14.44) to be the only other bowler in that special class.

Thelston Payne of St. Catherine was the leading wicket-keeper with 26 victims (25 catches and one stumping), while the award for the fielder with the most catches (14) was shared by Rommel Brathwaite of BCL and Wanderers’ Paul Singh, a Guyanese.

Police team (with matches in brackets) - Leslie Reifer (captain), Geoffrey Mapp, Cameron Gibbons, Nigel Johnson, Kenrick Marshall, David Springer, Dave Cumberbatch (11), Lawrence Maxwell, Sylvester Louis, Emmerson Clarke (8), Norman Puckerin (6), Curtis Alleyne (5), Mervyn Greaves, Carl Marshall, Ferdinand Thorne (3)

FINAL POINTS

Police 40, BCL 39, Banks 36, Wanderers 34, Pickwick 29, Maple 27, Spartan 25, Carlton 24, Empire 23, St. Catherine 21, YMPC 18, Combined Schools 13.

BATTING                                         MT     I     NO      R        HS       Ave

Leslie Reifer (Police)                         11   16      5     683     153*    62.09

Michael Inniss (Empire)                    11   18      1     539     117      31.70

Sherlon Greaves (Empire)                 11   18      1     511     140*    30.05

Arnold Gilkes (Banks)                       11   18      1     504     102      29.64

Cameron Gibbons (Police)                 11   17      2     429     104      28.60

Maurice Taylor (Maple)                      11   20      5     428      52*     28.53

Richard Armstrong (Wanderers)          9    14      3     403    102*     36.63

Paul Singh (Wanderers)                    11    16      2     396      93       28.28

Rommel Brathwaite (BCL)                 11    14      2     384      79       32.00

Roland Holder (Schools)                     9     17     2     377      60       25.13

Geoffrey Mapp (Police)                     11     14     2     368     152*     30.66

Ryle Stuart (St. Catherine)               11     18     4     361     58        25.78

Thelston Payne (St. Catherine)         11     18     3      361    117       24.06

Jeremy Alleyne (Empire)                  11     18     6     346    109*      28.83

Stephen Lorde (YMPC)                      9      13     1     326      73        27.16

Anderson Cummins (YMPC)              11     17     0     324      63        19.05

Lewis Spooner (Banks)                    10      14     2    323      68*      26.91

Roy Alleyne (Spartan)                      11     15     1     319     49        22.78

Orlando Greaves (Empire)                11     18     1     319     67        18.76

Wilbur Bruce (Carlton)                     11     14      1     313     59       24.07

Pearson Best (St. Catherine)            11      17     3     307     83       21.92

Kenrick Marshall (Police)                  11     15      1     300     63       21.42

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BOWLING                                     MT        O         M       R        W        Ave

Richard Holder (Banks)                  11      283.5    70     700      57      12.28

Milton Small (Wanderers)               11      234.2    38     722      50      14.44

Allison Johnson (BCL)                    10      155.4    33     390      42       9.28

Sherlon Greaves (Empire)              11      210.1    37     591      41      14.41

Charles Griffith (Banks)                 11      220.3     48     566     40      14.15

Winston Reid (YMPC)                     11      216.1    44     600      39      15.38

Kenrick Marshall (Police)                11      252.5     57    705      39      18.07

Stephen Farmer (Wanderers)         10      214.4     60     493     37      13.32

Odwin Gilkes (Pickwick)                 10      181.3     31     523     37      14.13

Henderson Springer (Spartan)        10      172.1     32     436     33     13.21

Joseph Harris (Pickwick)                 11     169.2     25     490     32      15.31

Emmerson Sealy (Schools)             11      184.5    30     573      32     17.90

Peter Thompson (Spartan)              11      167.1    30     462     31      14.90

Noel Broomes (BCL)                       11      158       48     282     30      9.40

Emmerson Jordan (Maple)               11      137.2    23    359      29     12.37

Victor Walcott (Empire)                   11     175.3     50    369      29     12.72

Neville Mason (St. Catherine)           9      129.4     25     373     28      13.32

David Springer (Police)                   11      157.5     31    426      27     15.77

Ray Armstrong (Schools)                 9      135.1      18     434     27     16.07

Sylvester Louis (Police)                    8     140.3       27    331      26    12.75

Elon Jones (St. Catherine)              11     148         29     439      26    16.88

Steve Linton (Carlton)                    11     174.5      40     418      24    17.41

Dave Cumberbatch (Police)             11     118         15    303      22     13.77

Tyrone Knight (BCL)                       11     101.3      28     176      21     8.38

Winston Herbert (BCL)                    11     118.4     31      279     21     13.28

Anderson Cummins (YMPC)             11     119        21     334      21     15.90

Anthony Johnson (Wanderers)         5      101.1      17     297      20     14.85

Peter Bowen (Maple)                      10     123.5      19     331      20     16.55

Vasbert Drakes (Schools)                 9      158.5      28    574      20     28.70

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FIELDING

Wicket-keeper: Thelston Payne (St. Catherine) 26 (25 catches/1 stumping); Ricky Skeete (BCL) 25 (22/3); Hayden Thompson (Carlton) 23 (20/3); Emmerson Clarke (Police) 22 (20/2); Orlando Greaves (Empire) 21 (16/5); Mark Estwick (YMPC) 21 (15/6); Michael Worrell (Wanderers) 20 (18/2); Arnold Gilkes (Banks) 19 (14/5); Wayne Cadogan (Spartan) 14 (9/5); Livingstone Puckerin (Combined Schools) 13 (8/5); Gregory Gaskin (Maple) 12 (9/3).

Other than wicket-keeper: Rommel Brathwaite (BCL), Paul Singh (Wanderers) 14; Henderson Springer (Spartan) 12; Kenrick Marshall (Police), Winston Herbert (BCL), Carl Chapman (BCL), Clinton St. Hill (Pickwick) 11; Feliston Gilkes (Banks), Winston Reid (YMPC) 10; Geoffrey Mapp (Police), Richard Holder (Banks), Richard Armstrong (Wanderers), Ronnie Griffith (Pickwick), Roy Alleyne (Spartan), Sherlon Greaves (Empire), Victor Walcott (Empire), Pearson Best (St. Catherine), Peter Sealy (YMPC) 9; Mark Sealy (Wanderers), Milton Small (Wanderers), Adrian Grant (Pickwick), Joseph Harris (Pickwick), Maurice Taylor (Maple), Delroy Walrond (Empire), Ryle Stuart (St. Catherine) 8.

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CENTURIES (16)

Leslie Reifer (Police) 153 not out v Banks at Weymouth (Series 4).

Geoffrey Mapp (Police) 152 not out v Carlton at Black Rock (now Desmond Haynes Oval) (Series 8).

Sherlon Greaves (Empire) 140 not out v Spartan at Queen’s Park (Series 5).

George Reifer (Pickwick) 135 v Combined Schools at Kensington Oval (Series 10).

Ricardo Harrison (Carlton) 133 v YMPC at Beckles Road (Series 9).

Jerry Kirton (Carlton) 127 not out v YMPC at Beckles Road (Series 9).

Sherlon Greaves (Empire) 118 v Pickwick at Kensington Oval (Series 8).

Michael Inniss (Empire) 117 v Wanderers at Bank Hall (Series 9).

Thelston Payne (St. Catherine) 117 v Empire at Bank Hall (Series 10).

Leslie Reifer (Police) 112 v BCL at Weymouth (Series 7).

Jeremy Alleyne (Empire) 109 not out v Pickwick at Kensington Oval (Series 8).

Cameron Gibbons (Police) 104 v BCL at Weymouth (Series 7).

Arnold Gilkes (Banks) 102 v St. Catherine at The Brewery (Series 3).

Mark Francis (Pickwick) 102 not out v Carlton at Black Rock (now Desmond Haynes Oval) (Series 4).

Richard Armstrong (Wanderers) 102 not out v Carlton at Black Rock (now Desmond Haynes Oval) (Series 11).

Leslie Reifer (Police) 100 not out v Wanderers at Weymouth (Series 5).

Document Author Keith Holder
Date Published 2020-05-12
Division Elite Division
Related Elite Division Articles

Featured in this Article: Leslie Reifer

Historical Batting Stats
Pos. Name (Club) MT I NO R HS AVE 100 50 Division
1. Leslie S Reifer (Police) 4 5 0 83 51 16.60 0 1 2008 First Division
2. Leslie S Reifer (Police) 6 12 0 115 29 9.58 0 0 2007 First Division
3. Leslie Reifer (Police) 5 10 2 113 24 14.12 0 0 2005 First Division
4. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 11 13 3 234 100* 23.40 1 0 2001 First Division
5. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 11 12 2 247 70 24.70 0 2 1999 First Division
6. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 11 13 3 270 71 27.00 0 2 1998 First Division
7. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 11 13 1 355 79 29.58 0 4 1997 First Division
8. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 10 13 1 375 83 31.25 0 3 1996 First Division
9. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 13 16 4 340 67 28.33 0 1 1995 First Division
10. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 12 16 4 517 105 43.08 2 3 1994 First Division
11. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 13 17 1 618 133 38.63 1 5 1993 First Division
12. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 12 14 0 361 76 25.79 0 2 1992 First Division
13. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 13 17 2 726 108 48.40 2 5 1991 First Division
14. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 12 17 2 394 96 26.27 0 1 1990 First Division
15. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 13 22 3 660 111 34.74 2 4 1989 First Division
16. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 9 10 3 341 66 48.71 0 2 1988 First Division
17. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 11 16 5 683 153* 62.09 3 4 1987 First Division
18. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 8 11 4 345 112 49.29 1 3 1986 First Division
19. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 11 18 1 666 106 39.18 1 6 1985 First Division
20. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 11 18 3 638 134 42.53 1 4 1984 First Division
21. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 11 20 4 417 48 26.06 0 0 1983 First Division
22. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 4 6 2 314 107 78.50 1 2 1982 First Division
23. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 10 17 10 165 45 23.57 0 0 1981 First Division
24. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 11 21 4 509 73 29.94 0 3 1980 First Division
Historical Bowling Stats
Pos. Name (Club) MT O M R W AVE BB 5W 10W ER Tournament
1. Leslie N Reifer (Police) 11 1.0 0 4 0 0.00 0-0 0 0 4.00 1997 First Division
2. Leslie Reifer (Police) 13 4.0 0 8 0 0.00 0-8 0 0 2.00 1991 First Division
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