‘This month busiest ever for cricket in Guyana’ Singh
GCB’s development plan taking shape
By Sean Devers
While the structure and success of Trinidad cricket should be an example for other Regional Boards, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) is working feverishly to arrest the steady decline of the game in Guyana.
The GCB yesterday told the media at a press conference at Bourda that its development plan, which will cost $20 million, is taking shape and will be completed even if the money for the budget is not raised through the Board’s fund raising drive.
GCB President Chetram Singh said that never before in the West Indies has this much cricket been fixed for one territory in one month but was confident that Guyana has the capabilities, human resource and the experience to successfully organize regional tournaments here.
Apart from the Neal & Massy 1st division cricket Final on Sunday from 14:00hrs at the Stadium under lights, the GCB’s 20/20 cricket Festival is fixed for the Stadium on Friday October 23 and Saturday October 24 while the Regional One-Day series starts on October 28.
Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados and the United Chargers of the USA will be involved in the 2-day 20/20 competition which culminates with a Chutney/Soca concert at the Stadium from 12:00hrs to 02:00hrs after the Final on October 24 and Singh disclosed that the respective Boards of the teams involved has confirmed their team’s participation.
“Jamaica and Barbados will arrive in Guyana on October 21 while the USA side, which will be captained by former Guyana youth player Steve Massiah and Coached by former Guyana and West Indies player Clayton Lambert, will be here on October 22,” Singh informed.
This year’s Regional One-Day competition will see the 6 traditional Regional teams along with CCC and the TCL sponsored West Indies under-19 team, and Singh said that never before has four senior regional matches been played on the same day in the same country.
“The West Indies team to tour Australia will be picked on October 31 at the end of the preliminary rounds of the Regional One-Day competition and Singh assured that everything is in place for the smooth running of the Regional competitions.
“We are aware of some concerns with the outfield at Albion and the pavilion at Enmore but we (GCB) have been assured that these problems will be rectified in time for the competition.
“I know there is an activity planned for Albion this weekend so I plan to make a trip to Berbice on Monday or Tuesday to inspect the Albion ground.
Guyana play matches at both of those out of town venues and we want to make sure everything is in order since we are treating these tournaments as if they were International matches,” Singh disclosed.
Singh said security will be very tight without any hassle for the spectators and revealed that the GCB has acquired 6 new covers to complement what they already have.
The Neal and Massy Final on Sunday has been set for the Stadium although the Finalists are 2 Berbice teams (Albion and Rose Hall Town Windies Sports) but Singh explained that the GCB now sets all of its finals at Providence to give the players a chance to perform at Guyana’s premier cricket facility.
Also Singh reminded that the Stadium is the only venue that can accommodate a match of this level under lights which was another reason the game was played there even though a bigger crowd might have turned up at a Berbice venue.
Marketing Manager of the GCB Ramsay Ali added that the sponsors had already planned to have their staff attend the game.
Ali reminded that fans can watch Sunday’s Neal & Massy Final free while adding that prizes will be up for grabs for the Man-of-the-Match, the Play of the day and lucky spectators can also win prizes, while Comedian Chow Pow will mingle with the crowd.
The opening game of the 20/20 Festival starts at 14:00hrs between Jamaica and the United Chargers on October 23 while Barbados play Guyana from 18:00hrs the same day.
The next day, the 2 losers clash from 14:00hrs in the 3rd place game before the final starts at 18:00hrs. The concert will close off the fund raising event and will include Trinidad’s Ricky Jai along with local singers Shelly G and Adrian Dutchin among others.
Admission for the 2 matches on the 1st day is $1,000 while fans can watch the 2 matches and party until 02:00hrs at the concert for just $1,500. All funds raised will go towards local cricket development.
The GCB also announced that the national 3-day cricket competition will start in Demerara and Berbice on October 24 and will be played on Saturday, Sunday and the following Saturday. The Essequibo zone will commence sometime soon.
Matches will start at 10:30hrs and conclude at 17:15hrs with a minimum of 90 overs mandated to be bowled in a day’s play.
After the 14 teams in Demerara, 13 in Berbice and 8 Area Associations in Essequibo battle each other in their respective counties, the winner and runner-up from each county will advance to the national play-off.
One team will draw a bye to the 4-day final while the other 2 will meet in the semi-finals and the GCB will pay all expenses including those incurred for Lunch and Tea for all of the preliminary matches and the semis and final.
Singh said that transportation is the only cost clubs will have to pay since balls and umpires’ fees will be paid by the Board.
The GCB head said that his Board feels that 3-day cricket is very important in developing proper players and cautioned that while 20/20 cricket is very popular young players must understand that they can adjust to 20/20 once they have a sound foundation in 2 innings cricket and not the other way round is seems to be the case presently.
Competitions Committee Chairman Carl Moore stressed that a player can only play for one club in the competition and must play all national competitions for the club he first played with at a national competition.
Competitions Committee member Colin Europe said that the under-15 Secondary Schools competition is close to completion in the 3 counties and that the Inter-District stage is fixed for November 17. The coach of the winning District will be appointed national under-15 Coach for next year’s regional U-15 competition.
It was also disclosed that the Girls U-19 schools competition will start shortly and conclude early in the next term. This competition, which attracts 40 teams, 10 more than last year, will be used to select the Guyana team for the next Regional under-19 Female cricket tournament.
The senior Women’s cricket 40-overs tournament will commence mid next month and will feature 10 teams; 4 from Demerara, 3 from Berbice and 3 from Essequibo.
The competition will be played with coloured clothes and white balls and 2 teams from Demerara and once each from Berbice will advance.