Sports Minister to meet GCB executives today
GCB head not opposed to external scrutiny
By Sean Devers
Allegations have been flying left, right and centre regarding what some Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) officials feel is a mis-management of the Board’s finances at a time when the local governing body is still torn into two factions.
The internal problems in the GCB are nothing new and worsened during the last GCB elections when former GCB Secretary Bish Panday unsuccessfully challenged GCB head Chetram Singh for the Presidency last year January.
The acid-attack last Tuesday evening on GCB’s Assistant Treasurer Pretipaul Jaigobin at an East Coast ‘rum shop’ which Jaigobin feels was orchestrated by fellow GCB members in an attempt to silence his criticisms of the manner in which the Board’s finances were being handled adds to the unpleasant scenario.
The deteriorating situation has now attracted the attention of Guyana’s Sports Minister Dr. Frank Anthony who has requested to meet with the GCB executives this morning to try and iron out the problems affecting the smooth running of the Board and ultimately Guyana’s cricket.
A usually reliable source informed Kaieteur Sports that if the meeting fails to arrive at solutions the Minister could ask the entire executive to resign and new elections held. The next GCB election is fixed for January next year since a GCB term of office lasts for two years.
Although the Guyana Police Force or anyone else is yet to provide evidence linking the GCB to the acid-attack on its Assistant Treasurer Pretipaul Jaigobin, some, including newspaper stories, continue to give the impression that the GCB is involved.
These stories have already began to negatively impact on Guyana’s cricket at a time when West Indies cricket is at the bottom of the International ladder and Guyana’s cricket is at the bottom of West Indies cricket. It is understood that the GCB has already acquired legal advice on the matter.
While those in the cricket fraternity hopes that the GCB is in no way involved in Jaigobin’s attack last Tuesday evening in an East Coast ‘rum shop’ only a comprehensive investigation by the Police will determined if Jaigobin’s allegations that he was targeted by GCB officials for questioning what he perceived as ‘corruption’ on the GCB is on target.
Until such time, the media should be careful with speculation before doing investigative work without a proper knowledge on the background leading up to this sorry situation which could effectively ‘take bread out of the mouths’ of those Guyanese whose only income is derived from Cricket and are not officials of the GCB.
The Police should be allowed to do their work as they attempt to solve the Jaigobin case and pointing fingers at this stage will be of little help.
However, the accusations of GCB mis-management by Jaigobin and the faction headed by one of the two Vice-Presidents (Bissoon Singh) are serious and must be thoroughly investigated and the findings made public.
If what Jaigobin’s side claim is true then heads will have to roll and corrective measures put in place.
If the findings show that what Jaigobin says is correct then GCB President Chetram Singh and those who contributed to the squandering of GCB funds or any other inappropriate practice counter-productive to Guyana’s cricket, should also be held responsible and punished.
If the findings show that the Board is being properly run and that the allegations are false and were made because of cricket politics and the desire to gain power on the Board, then those who made them should also be dealt with.
Cricket is no longer just a game, and millions of dollars are involved. Some Cricketers, Cricket Commentators, Cricket journalists and Cricket Umpires in Guyana make a living exclusively from Cricket and it is imperative that an external investigation by auditors, the Police and the Sports Ministry be urgently conducted to clear the air since sponsors, the heart-beat of any national sports entity, will be reluctant to be associated with an Organization under the cloud of corruption and terrorism.
The honest, dedicated and committed members of the GCB must also call for an investigation to clear their name since many GCB officials are prominent citizens who make a living outside of cricket.
When contacted yesterday GCB head Chetram Singh confirmed that the Sports Minister has set up a meeting today and added that he is not opposed to external scrutiny. GCB President since 1991, Singh said the GCB has nothing to hide and having all the matters resolved quickly is of utmost importance since a packed second half of the cricket season is scheduled to commence shortly.
Singh chose not to comment on the Acid throwing incident which is under Police investigation but said that he hopes the matter is solved and whoever committed the beastly act be brought to justice and that it is proved that the GCB had nothing to do with it.