On September 22nd 1996 the WBCC was founded. The recent meeting of the Council held in Capetown, South Africa, sees the beginning of our tenth year. Our second decade will begin with the Third World Cup of Blind Cricket to be held in Pretoria in December 2006.
It was a landmark meeting for a number of reasons.
With blind cricket now being played internationally or developing in as many as twenty-five countries around the world, we were able to hold our largest meeting at the wonderful Western Province Cricket Association Ground, overlooked by Table Mountain.
Delegates from nine nations attended including new member West Indies (see below) and emerging nation Zimbabwe.
The Core Documents that govern the WBCC were agreed and ratified, thus providing a firm foundation upon which the game can evolve in the future.
As well as re-electing the current main officers, in Peter Donovan (Chairperson), Tim Guttridge (Vice-Chairperson) and Geoff Smith (Secretary General), two new members were elected to the Executive Committee.
Alistair Symondsen, from England, will help to seek and develop sponsorship opportunities as well as raising the media profile of WBCC. He has the commitment and expertise of many years as a cricket journalist, publisher and communicator as well as a huge love of the game. Murli Ranganathan, from India, has been involved with WBCC from its inception and has first hand knowledge and experience of organising and delivering the first two WBCC world cups. We are lucky to have him taking on the important Treasury portfolio.
The meeting also provided the chance to create a detailed Calendar to smooth the way for the Third World Cup next year. It is planned to have a nine country, “Round Robin” style competition at the first round stage from December 2nd. This to be followed by two semi finals and the final on December 16th.
Handosn Gambinga, represented the emerging nation of Zimbabwe at the AGM and stated that he felt confident that, they too, will be sufficiently well advanced in their development to take part in the Third World Cup. Secretary General, Geoff Smith was able to travel to Mutare in August to help initiate the development of Zimbabwe as a blind cricket playing nation and Handson felt 75% certain they would; “Come to the party! ”.
Blind Cricket South Africa (BCSA) are striving to put all the elements in place that will provide the biggest ever stage for international Blind Cricket and gave a very positive report outlining their progress to date. BCSA are also to be highly commended and thanked for their organisation and energy on putting on this most successful AGM.
Welcome to The Windies.It was with great pleasure and an enthusiastic round of applause that West Indies were officially welcomed into the World Blind Cricket Council as full members at the Capetown AGM in October 2005.
West Indies became the eighth full member of WBCC, after unanimous and wholehearted approval came from the other Council delegates during the meeting at Newlands Cricket Ground on 30th October.
A huge amount of work has brought the newest member on board and they are now in a position to take part in their first WBCC World Cup next year. Daemion Mclean, representing West Indies, warned those present that they could all expect a competitive side to arrive in Pretoria next year. He paid tribute to many colleagues in the Caribbean, as well as to the WBCC Regional Development Director, Tim Guttridge, who can take many of the plaudits for his vast efforts over the last three years in the region.
During that time Daemion and his colleagues, including the other West Indian delegate, Vivalyn Latty-Scott, have worked closely with Tim in his carefully thought out and very successful building program in three of the island nations of the Caribbean.
But as well as direct development work in Barbados, Jamaica and latterly Trinidad and Tobago, Tim has also been able to provide coaching and practical stimulus to the growth of the game of blind cricket in several other countries in the region including, St Lucia, Dominica and Guyanna. In September a very successful coaching week was held at the Frank Worrell Cricket Centre in Couva, Trinidad and it is to be hoped that efforts like this will further encourage the development of the game in the West Indies.
WBCC 8th November 2005.