World Economic crisis affecting West Indies Cricket Council for the Blind
Guyana to host regional Blind tourney in July
By Sean Devers
The financial melt down now gripping the world, has had a negative impact on activities planned for the first three months of 2009 by the West Indies Cricket Council for the Blind (WICCB) which was formed in Jamaica in 2005.
According to WICCB Public Relations Officer Harrilal Kissoon, the first activity to be affected was a training programme for coaches and players mainly in the Leeward Islands. This programme was scheduled for St. Kitts from January 4-10.
“This programme was unfortunately cancelled because funding for the WICCB coach to travel was no longer available. It is hoped by some miracle that this project can be resurrected later this year once a sponsor is forthcoming,” Kissoon lamented.
The other event was a similar coaching programme for persons in Grenada and St Vincent scheduled from March 2-10, but because of funding for the facilitator it has been cancelled. It is hoped that this activity will be held later this year once a sponsor is found.
Meanwhile, other activities to be undertaken by the West Indies Cricket Council for the Blind for the second half of 2009, includes the regional tournament scheduled for Guyana in July, a tour by Pakistan in Early August and the hosting of the 14th annual general meeting of the World Blind Cricket Council in late October, early November 2009.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Blind Cricket Association (GBCA) confirmed that all plans are in pace to host the five-team competition in July and GBCA Treasurer Teresa Pemberton said that finance should not be a major worry since the individual teams are required to stand the cost of them participating in the competition.
“Usually the Sports Ministries and the Caribbean Council for the Blind help to fund the various teams when they travel for regional competitions and the main responsibility of the host country is to provide internal transportation for the teams and organise the tournament,” Pemberton informed.
Joint defending Champions Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica along with Barbados, the Windward Islands and host Guyana are scheduled to participate in the competition which was last held in Trinidad last year.
“We are presently organising fund-raising activities and preparing documents to send to prospective sponsors. Letters will also be sent to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the Guyana Cricket Board seeking their assistance,” the GBCA official explained.
A 22-member Guyana squad is presently in training for the competition and Guyana and West Indies Blind Cricket Coach Bharat Mangru said he was satisfied with the practice sessions which are held every Tuesday and Thursday at the GYO ground in the City.
“We will select the team by early July and since we began at this level three years ago the level of improvement among the players has been tremendous. We finished behind Trinidad and Jamaica last year and I am confident that we can do even better this year on home soil,” said Mangru who is also a Level 2 cricket coach for sighted players and an International cricket scorer for Radio commentary.
Mangru said a lot is expected from the younger players and says the strength of his team is the ability of the B1 (totally blind) players.
Oliver Kerr, who this year received a National Award from the National Sports Commission, Ganesh Singh and Patrick Howard are the players in the Guyana Squad who were members of the West Indies Blind team which toured Pakistan for the Blind Cricket World Cup last year.