Inside the Elite Division
with Keith Holder
Date Published: 2020-07-20
The BCA Top 40: “Dark day” for YMPC as three former captains leave Beckles Road club
Bridgetown, Barbados, July 20 - (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.
Reid, Lorde, Estwick join Banks after dissatisfaction with administration
One of the darkest days in the history of the BCA premier division Championship was in 1998.
Three YMPC stalwarts including the incomparable left-arm spinner and Barbados first-class player Winston Reid parted company with the club over dissatisfaction with the administration.
Reid, batsman Stephen Lorde and wicket-keeper Mark Estwick, all resigned and joined Banks.
All were former First division captains and between them had more than five decades of experience at the Beckles Road club.
Differences between the trio and the YMPC management surfaced in August 1997 when Lorde, who had been president since 1990, was replaced by Paul Bridgeman in controversial circumstances.
By early September, relations soured after Reid and Estwick were banned for a couple matches following YMPC’s forfeiture of a crucial mid-season Division 1 match against eventual champions St. Catherine at Bayfield. YMPC were unable to field a team.
Several meetings followed with a few of the club’s hierarchy of yesteryear being involved in an effort to thrash out the differences but Reid, Lorde and Estwick decided it was time to move on after helping YMPC, founded in 1934, to become one of the top teams in the previous ten years.
“There is a lot of conflict with the present administration and I have lost all confidence in them,” Reid told this reporter.
“I don’t think I will be comfortable at YMPC any longer so I will keep away from them, added the then 35-year-old who joined the club in 1979 as an Intermediate division player before making his Division 1 debut two years later.
Reid was the First division captain in 1986 and 1987.
Lorde, then aged 41, moved to YMPC in 1978 after a couple seasons with St. Catherine, having represented the Barbados Youth team in the mid 1970s.
“Things have deteriorated at YMPC. I don’t think the club is being run in the proper way at the moment, but I do not want to go into details,” Lorde said.
Lorde was captain of the YMPC team who won the First division title for the first time ever in 1988. He also led the side in 1983, ’85, ’89 and ’90.
Estwick, 31 at the time, and who joined YMPC in 1985 and captained the side for seven seasons prior to the highly publicized affair, also made no bones about his feelings.
“I am not happy with the way YMPC is being managed. I am leaving with sadness but my principles dictated I could not be part of what is happening at the club now.”
Under Estwick’s captaincy, YMPC shared the 1991 Division 1 title with Empire and won the 1995 Barbados Fire Cup limited overs Championship.
Bridgeman, a former Barclays Intermediate division captain and batsman, who teamed up with YMPC in 1993, declined to comment on the matter.
Reid, like Lorde and Estwick, left with some sadness, especially since the team for the 1998 season was being captained for the first time by then Barbados and West Indies opening batsman Sherwin Campbell.
“I wanted to play all of my club cricket at YMPC. I feel sad because there are some good fellows around and I wanted to play with Sherwin as captain, but he understands my position. But I still think the team will do well,” Reid asserted.
“The younger fellows don’t feel the same way as me. I know when things were rough at YMPC and what I had to go through. My move may be good for (leg-spinning all-rounder) Terry Rollock. He now has more responsibilities.”
Reid said it may have been a surprise to some fans that he was turning his attention to Banks, who finished very low in the table for the previous six seasons.
“Banks have not been performing well and people say they don’t have discipline but I think I can help them. They have a good history and I don’t think they should just die.”
Reid hauled in 802 wickets at 12.84 runs apiece in 17 seasons of Division 1 cricket for YMPC. Of those scalps, he took 529 (ave: 11.14) in the decade of the 1990s and was the only bowler who finished with more than 50 wickets in each season since 1990 with a then record of 84 (ave: 7.77) in 1995 before burly Police fast bowler Sylvester Louis upstaged him in 1998 with 87 (ave: 8.12) in helping to spur the Leslie Reifer-led team to the title.
A left-hand batsman, Reid also showed that he was no slouch by scoring 3, 036 runs.
Lorde, a stubborn batsman, amassed over 4 000 runs, while Estwick took 243 catches along with 66 stumpings in the First division Championship.
Campbell also had a say on the matter.
“I talked to all three of them before they left and they told me the reasons they had to leave. Each man has to know for himself. If that’s the way they feel, no one can question them,” Campbell said.
In relation to Reid, who virtually carried the club on his shoulders since the turn of the 1990s, Campbell said: “His going is a big loss for us. Reid took a lot of wickets every year for us and his experience shall surely be missed. But this is a chance for leg-spin bowler Terry Rollock to step up and make a name for himself.”