Cricket

No time to celebrate - Cricket Association’s new CEO

BY SANJAY MYERS OBSERVER STAFF REPORTER myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 28, 2014    

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COURTNEY Francis, the new chief executive officer of the Jamaica Cricket Association, says he is happy for the appointment, but he added that the challenges ahead leave him no time to celebrate.

Francis, who headed the cricket operations arm of the JCA for years, had been the interim CEO since late 2013, until the board of directors of the association confirmed his appointment last week.

"I'm happy and elated that the new administration has seen it fit to put me in such a position of leadership," he said, referring to the move by the Wilford 'Billy' Heaven-led administration.

"The work starts now. I'm taking the challenges a day at a time to see how best I can continue to contribute to the development of cricket in this country. I personally have a number of things I'd like to see done, but they have to be in sync with the manifesto and the general policy direction of the JCA," said the former national youth player.

Francis told the Jamaica Observer that high on the agenda is to generate income and to get the Sabina Park facility and its operations ready for international cricket next month.

The West Indies will host Ireland in two Twenty20 (T20) Internationals and a lone One-Day match at Jamaica's premier cricket venue. The T20 matches will be played on February 19 and 21, respectively, while the 50-over match is scheduled for the 23rd.

Sabina Park Holdings, the entity -- made up of Kingston Cricket Club and JCA members -- which manages the venue and its facilities, has long struggled with aspects of its upkeep, particularly a spiralling electricity bill.

Francis said the association will also need to get its business in order for the first-class competition which is expected to commence in March.

He added that his office has already been working to ensure the streamlining of the national selection policy, the implementation of work

e-mail accounts for staff and the advertising of vacancies within the JCA before going outside.

The JCA, for several years wallowing in financial doldrums, has been without a CEO since early 2011 when Robert Bryan, after less than a year in the job, handed in his resignation to then president, Paul Campbell.

Lyndel Wright led the association between 2011 and 2013 without the help of a corporate executive, but after he stepped down and Heaven swept to presidential victory in November last year, the latter made it a priority to appoint a CEO to run the JCA's business.

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