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UWI Cave Hill standing their ground


The Student’s Guild of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus is prepared to go down swinging in their proposed fight against the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA).
Coming hot on the heels of an announcement by the BCA that new rules will stipulate that players will no longer be able to play for the tertiary level institution for more than five years, Guild President- Damani Parris is crying foul.

In a media briefing yesterday at Cave Hill, the recently-elected Parris explained that these new rules were inconsistent with the university’s policy, which gives maximums of six years and eight years respectively for full-time and part time students to complete their undergraduate degree programmes. Adding that students who wished to broaden their horizons with post-graduate studies would not be able to continue playing for the duration of their tenure, Parris stated there was significant dialogue conducted prior to implementation of the rules and despite the university’s state discomfort with the rule and the ramifications it would have on playing students, the BCA held strong to their position.

After dominating the domestic cricket landscape in recent years, Parris described the blow to the Cave Hill team as “a brutal defeat in the boardroom” and called on the BCA to have the rule struck. “It is at this time that I am sure that the creation of the BCA rules had only the purest of intentions but in implementing this rule, they have succeeded in defeating out four-time defending champions not on the field, but in the boardroom in the most unsportsmanlike manner. I therefore call on the Barbados Cricket Association to rethink its position on this matter as a matter of urgency. To remove this reminiscent atmosphere of the 1980’s or 90’s when West Indies cricket was at the forefront. When we were dominating in international cricket and the ICC sought to change the rules for the restriction of the West Indies team. It shudders me to think that we would, after having suffered that in our history, create a situation locally that would be reminiscent of it.” Parris said.

Parris went on to call the move a threat to student rights and made it known that in his capacity as Guild President, his job was to ensure that all enemies and allies that wished to do harm to the university would be dealt with duly. “I think that it is a direct threat to us and if the BCA decides to stand firm, serious moves will have to be taken and though I will not go into details as to what those moves will be now, the BCA can be assured that this is not an empty promise and I only make promises, not threats.” he said.

Captain of the Combined Campuses and Colleges and UWI teams, Kyle Corbin was also on hand at yesterday’s conference and when asked about his take on the proceedings he said that although it was not the job of players to deal with issues that occurred off the field, there was still a level of concern that could affect his players. “Speaking from student-athlete’s perspective, it is a concern for us as well because at the end of the day we want to perform both on and off the field in terms of our cricket and academics. All of us have been given the opportunity to go and play cricket at the highest level while pursuing a degree. While we don’t want to dwell on that aspect as much, we still want to know that we are comfortable enough to go out and play cricket without having to worry about who would be eligible to play. (MP)

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