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Mascelles Bailey -- Cricket Hall Of Fame Inductee

By S. Ali
Oct. 9th, 2008
The dedication and unrelenting efforts of Mascelles Windsor Bailey, current president of the New York Metropolitan and District Cricket Association (MCL), has been renowned. Consequently, Bailey was recently presented with the highest accolade that can be awarded to any cricketer -- being inducted into the United States of America Cricket Hall of Fame. At the 27th Hall of Fame Awards ceremony, Bailey's tireless efforts over the years as a player and cricket administrator in the United States were placed in its deserved category, that of true ambassadors of the game who have contributed immeasurably to promoting cricket in the United States, the New York Region, and especially the Metropolitan Cricket League.

Mascelles Windsor Bailey

The boy whose love for cricket was developed at an early age and planted on the green lawns of Kingston in his native Jamaica would later have his skills refined through the years at the Richmond Unity Youth Club, and in the Hewson Shield competition of the Civil Service. Bailey acquired his early education at the private high school, Waulgrove College. After leaving high school, he spent four years in the Jamaica Civil Service, serving first as an Executive Assistant in the Accountant General’s Department and later, as a Cooperative Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands.

In 1968, Bailey’s quest for a better life in the U.S. did not diminish his passion for the sport as he immediately explored the possibilities whereby he could maintain his culture and continue to play the game he so loved. In his initial years, while working for the Corporate Trust Department of Chemical Banking Corporation, Bailey spent five years pursuing his academic disciplines earning a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration (BBA) from Baruch College of the City University of New York and the professional designation of Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) from the American College of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Bailey later moved to New York Life Insurance Company as an Agent and soon after was promoted into management moving through the ranks to become a Senior Partner. When he left New York Life in 2004, to pursue his own Financial Consulting business, Bailey had not only built a successful career for himself, but had also laid the foundation for several cricket organizations which produced some of the fruits that are evident today.

His years at Chemical Bank were well spent bonding with members of a growing influx of West Indians whom had begun to populate New York and the broader tri-state (NY, NJ and CT) area. Several were dispersed within the ranks of several other financial institutions throughout the Metropolitan area. At the time, Bailey was among a group of young men working in the banking industry who saw the need to develop their own Cricket League.

In 1971, the Bankers Athletic Cricket League (Bank League) came to fruition as Bailey together with Lloyd Dixon, Gordon Pinheiro, Derrick Scott, Grafton Cupid, and others were instrumental in structuring the bank league for competition on Saturdays. For many years, the Bank League was a very powerful organization in New York cricket. For his part, Bailey was a perennial member of the All-Star team, plying his trade as a more than useful off-break bowler and hard-hitting middle order batsman.

In January 1977, Bailey co-founded Lucas Sports Club along with well-known cricketers, Victor Reeves, Sonny Armstrong and others, subsequently joining the Metropolitan League. Under his tutelage, Lucas grew from strength to strength, elevating to become one of the few cricket clubs in the area to own their clubhouse. After its formation in 1977, Lucas Cricket Club would facilitate the birth of several other clubs in the MCL by opening its doors to entities that did not have their own facilities. Lucas would eventually become the main artery facilitating organizations such as the U.S. Cricket Umpires Association as well as the illustrious Jamaica Civic Association of New York.

Bailey’s passion for the sport of cricket was demonstrated by his willingness to unite the cricket fraternity, while supporting “the cause” through his own financing. Currently, Bailey serves as the President of Lucas Sports Club of Brooklyn and a Director of the Roy Sweeney-led United States Cricket Promoters Association, serving on the Planning Committee for all functions and events, inclusive of the Mayor’s Cup and the recent West Indies Cricket team’s visit to New York. He has also served on the board of the New York Cricket Region of United States Cricket Association, the governing body for cricket in the U.S. Bailey also serves as a Member of the Board of the Jamaica Civic Association of New York.

Bailey’s allegiance to the Metropolitan League, which is the oldest having been founded in 1879 and one of the largest cricket leagues in the United States with a current membership of 22 clubs, was underscored by his influence in orchestrating League access for full use of the Lucas’ facilities over many years and currently serving as the League’s headquarters. Bailey, who has been associated with the MCL for more than a quarter century as a more-than-useful cricketer and vibrant administrator, served the organization in various capacities since 1980 prior to his two stints as President from 2002 to 2003 and again from 2006 to the present.

As president of the MCL, Mas (as he is affectionately known) has without question revised the vision for the MCL and refined the methods to fit a new “day” by insisting on raising the standard of operation and the need for total involvement of its entire membership. Over the years, he has distinguished himself as a forthright and uncomplicated leader and has earned the respect of his peers as a true statesman. Mas has also worked diligently to scale the many hurdles along the way be effecting meaningful progress and restoring the values of respectable discourse among the League’s constituents. Through his resilience, the MCL has once again elevated to new heights, leading the way and setting the standards for other leagues to follow. Bailey currently sits on the administrative board of the New York Cricket Region in his capacity as President of Metropolitan Cricket League.

Prior to his acceptance speech at the Hall of Fame ceremony, Bailey was introduced by the longstanding cricket administrator, Roy Sweeney, President of the USA Cricket Promoters Association. Bailey expressed his appreciation to the Hall of Fame for bestowing the prestigious honor upon him. He commented that he was humbled by the gesture while highlighting the friendship that cricket fosters among players and non-players alike. Bailey urged all to become more active in promoting the sport, while maintaining a true sense of brotherly love and working together to foster a better cricketing community. Bailey is the proud father of Vivienne, Shawntey and Ethan with whom he shares his honor.

Members of the 2008 MCL champions, Cosmos Cricket Club, joined the membership of the Metropolitan Cricket League in articulating their admiration for Mas Bailey in his time of honor as the first president of the Metropolitan Cricket League to be adorned with the singular distinction on such a historic occasion -- the accolade awarded to him of being INDUCTED INTO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CRICKET HALL OF FAME. Cosmos members also wished Mas well in his endeavors as he continues to work for the greater good of cricket by keeping the flames of progress illuminated.

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