Jersey Cricket's fresh drive to achieve global goals

JERSEY Cricket officials have set what they view as an achievable target of World Cup qualification by 2026 – with the help of a restructured backroom unit.

Jersey Cricket's new board (from left): John Patterson (deputy chairman), Becky Walters (company secretary), Craig Meredith (chief executive officer), John Harris (chairman), Sarah Gomersall (non-executive director), Philip Norman (non-executive director)
Jersey Cricket's new board (from left): John Patterson (deputy chairman), Becky Walters (company secretary), Craig Meredith (chief executive officer), John Harris (chairman), Sarah Gomersall (non-executive director), Philip Norman (non-executive director)

The local governing body has revamped its internal platforms on the eve of the 2021 season, with incoming chairman John Harris set to help lead a fresh charge for further international recognition.

Long-term strategies will now be separated from the day-to-day operations within Jersey Cricket, which has established itself as a limited company, and there is strong hope that improved governance will eventually pay dividends on the field of play.

The Island’s men’s T20 side has broken into the top 25 in the world in recent years, with the women’s squad making inroads too. They currently sit at 39 on the ICC rankings.

‘We have been associate members of the ICC for several years but as the world moves on we have to demonstrate to the world governing body that our governance and structure is up there with the best,’ Harris explained.

‘It’s not that what was there before was wrong – we’re just building on the great work done in the past by Keith Dennis, Ward Jenner and Chris Minty. There comes a time where success on the field has got to be matched by the administration of cricket and with this new structure we can modernise our project.

‘We’re a small jurisdiction and we can’t bring loads of people in from overseas, so we have to grow our own.’

Discussing the goal of battling beyond the World Cup qualifiers – at T20 or 50-over level – Harris added: ‘We have got a couple of performance cycles in which that could be achieved. We haven’t been that far away before; in the Middle East a couple of years ago we were pretty close to making it through to the final stages of the T20 qualifiers. This is not a pipedream at all.

‘The governance doesn’t get you there – the performances on the field get you there – but the two go hand in hand because if we provide structure it will feed through from the young players right up to the national squad. We want to provide a structure which allows more cricketers to compete at the highest level.’

The JCB are set to receive £300,000 from the Government of Jersey this year to renovate the cricket facilities at Grainville – work which could begin within the next eight weeks.

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