Fontein Group: The chairman replies
CricketEurope has received the following e-mail in response to our article regarding the meeting on 22 May between the working party established under the chairmanship of Mr Maarten Fontein and representatives of the Topklasse and Hoofdklasse clubs. We are happy to publish this as a clarification of the Fontein committee’s view of the developments at and background to that meeting.
Dear Mr. Lyall,
Until now I did not have the pleasure of meeting you, however you have been able to submit an article in Cricket Europe on 25th May referring to a brainstorming meeting on Tuesday 22nd May between a number of clubs , the KNCB and the Fontein committee, a meeting which you even did not attend.
However despite your absence at this meeting it disturbs us that you are using statements ‘Fontein's approach,with its substantial degree of mission creep’ and ‘according to Wories , the Fontein group proposed simultaneously that the Netherlands should be pressing hard for rapid advancement to Test status’ are qualifications which you have not checked with any member of the Fontein committee or KNCB.
I take the liberty to clarify the situation from our perspective, which you may wish to check with other members of the group and/or the KNCB:
1) In September, 2011 we were approached by the KNCB to help to identify candidates for the KNCB Board. Up to that moment their efforts to replace two members of the Board were without success (it would be interesting to understand why it is so difficult to appoint Board members of the KNCB !).
2) Before accepting this role we have forwarded the concept of first establishing whether the new candidates would continue the current vision, strategy and policy of the KNCB or whether change of direction was required,to be confirmed by the General Assembly,as it may require different profiles of the candidates.
3) This approach and the process was accepted, which resulted in a first brainstorming session on 22nd May to discuss the major problems and challenges of Dutch cricket and possible directions for change. The objective was to learn the views of several clubs before continuing our work. No proposals were put forward, concepts for change, however, were presented for the discussion as a base for further development.
4) Unfortunately one member of the clubs started immediately to reject and comment on the whole process before any presentation was made. ‘NO CHANGE was needed, everything goes well and all is based on accepted vision and policy ‘were his words.
The entire session can best be characterised as an unpleasant and sometimes uncivilised meeting, although the purpose was just to brainstorm together about the future of cricket in the Netherlands (in particular on Youth Education and Development, the low number of juniors, quality of the coaching , which are the key Pillars and challenges for Dutch cricket and for our group the key fundamental requirement for the survival of Cricket in the Netherlands). Unfortunately we were not given the opportunity during this meeting to have a proper, civilized debate on these issues.
As the group of clubs decided that no change of vision and/or policy is needed (I ask myself whether this forum could take that decision), but particularly due to the hostile atmosphere , the Fontein Group decided to return the request of the KNCB for proposing new candidates for the KNCB Board.
With this e-mail I have at least given our perspective of the process and the brainstorming meeting of 22nd May, and hope that you will publish this as well,