Says he will utilize the best and
brightest if elected as GCB Boss on Sunday
By Sean Devers
Business entrepreneur Bish Panday continued his intense campaign to win the Presidency of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) at Sunday’s elections at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) when he hosted a press conference yesterday to unveil to the nation his vision statement and answer questions from the media.
While he has done an excellent job in his two terms as President of the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) some in the cricketing fraternity feel that Panday, the Secretary of the GCB, has been using the GCA to market himself for the top position in Guyana’s cricket and ultimately a prominent position on the West Indies Cricket Board.
But Panday, who has been a cricket Administrator for 25 years, says he got involved in Georgetown’s cricket to aid in its development and stressed that his involvement with cricket in the City was not used as a stepping stone to the GCB Presidency.
“I have served Guyana’s cricket for 25 years and I think I have paid my dues so what is wrong if I aspire to be the GCB President? I have served faithfully as a Lieutenant under the current President (Chetram Singh) and I hold him in very high regard. He has provided yeoman service to Guyana’s cricket but the time has come for a new leader with a fresh vision and I am ready to help re-build Guyana’s cricket,” Panday said.
Panday will hope to become the GCB’s first new President since Singh took over from Norman McLean in August 1991.
While Panday did not mention names, he said that the GCB has a lot of good people and many of them are in his slate which will also see new faces.
“I am not about getting rid of everybody and I have the best and brightest on my slate. All I will be doing is giving them a new vision. When I choose my Board I will not only look at who supported me, but more importantly, at competence since cricket belongs to all Guyana. I have spoken to members of my slate and others in and out of the GCB and many have already agreed to work with me for the betterment of the game in Guyana,” Panday said.
Panday said that a lot of good people have been sidelined because of the cricket politics in Guyana and promised to change that if elected.
Panday explained that there are many positives in the present GCB and said one of his main objectives if elected is to ensure the indoor facility is completed at LBI.
“The GCB is presently committed to constructing an indoor facility on the East Coast of Demerara and if I am elected there will be no derailing of that project. In fact I will be setting up various committees, one of which will be dealing with that project,” Panday disclosed.
“There are many good things that we can take out of this present Board. The GCB has a very good structure but we need to get it to work properly. The GCB is also financially stable and has funds for programmes, while one of the biggest positives is the goodwill of the people who are willing to help,” Panday informed.
Panday distributed a 14-page Vision statement and told the gathering that while he has no monopoly on all of the measures needed for the way forward for Guyana’s cricket, the vision statement reflected his vision for Guyana’s cricket.
“I can’t promise a quick fix to the ills that affect Guyana’s cricket but if elected I will endeavor to put things in place in a structured and professional manner to pave the way forward,” Panday added.
Panday disclosed that he spent a lot of time getting the vision statement together adding that it was not produced overnight. “Even if I am not elected this could be of tremendous assistance to whoever comes in,” Panday said.
A former President of City club Gandhi Youth Organisation (GYO), Panday stressed that a vision is knowing where you want to go and trying to find the ways and means to get there. He said his vision will take time and he might not even accomplish all he wants in his first term as he emphasized the need for collective work and commitment to get Guyana’s cricket back on track.
Panday highlighted the organising of several competitions, the playing of over-40 and Women’s cricket, the production of eight city players in Guyana’s last under-17 team and plenty of sponsorship support as some of his achievements as GCA President and promised a replica of the GCA module in all parts of Guyana if he is elected GCB head.
Panday also wants to focus on developing Essequibo’s cricket and will pay particular attention to schools cricket, since he feels that we cannot progress as a national team and produce quality cricketers unless interest for the game is generated by young children.
Panday says that the GCB has spoken about over-40 cricket for the past five years but those deliberations have not borne fruit. He intends to mirror the GCA over-40 competition at the national level.
He also wants to develop cricket in non-traditional areas like Rupununi and other interior locations and hold regular stakeholders’ conferences in the three counties.
“I will involve the Clubs, Boards, Umpires, business people, sponsors, RDCs, NDCs, Regional Chairmen…people who we can bring on board to help us map out a strategy to develop cricket. The Government cannot be left out of this because I see them as an integral part of our plan forward,” Panday revealed.
He said that while the GCB invests substantial amounts of money on coaching, there has been talk that it is not getting value for money and the GCB has been very ambivalent about dealing with the issue of quality coaching.
“I suspect that it is not in the interest of some to rock the boat and maybe lose votes. This attitude must not be sustained,” Panday declared.
Talent spotting, Marketing the game, cricket grounds and pitches, Government involvement, public involvement, the contribution of former cricketers, strong accountability, a cricket academy, working with the media and the use of technology are among the many areas addressed in his vision statement.
Panday also intends to set up a high-powered team to look at the possibility of setting up a professional cricket league in Guyana.
“We continue to lose our cricketers to overseas countries in particular Trinidad and Tobago and we will not be able to develop our cricket unless we can come up with a plan to compete successfully with the overseas attractions. This is something we have to look seriously at,” Panday said.
If Panday fails to win the Presidency on Sunday he will not seek a position on the new GCB executive and will also hand over the reigns of the GCA presidency to a successor.
“If not elected I will not seek election in an executive capacity but cricket is in my blood and I will certainly continue to be involved in local cricket, especially in Georgetown. One of the qualities of a good leader is grooming a successor and competent people to take over and I have no doubt that the GCA will continue to be an example for other associations in Guyana. I did not run the GCA as a one-man show and involved all and had monthly meetings so I am confident the GCA is in good hands,” Panday disclosed.
Copies of his mission statement is available at his Georgetown Office and as Panday himself said, “I have done all I could and its now up to the board members who want to see positive change. It is time for change and I am the change!”
How well he has campaigned and how much support he has will be known sometime just after lunch on Sunday afternoon.
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