Jan 26, 2009 Sports
..says there will be changes to Guyana’s cricket
By Sean Devers
With the historic Bourda ground as a backdrop, the largest media contingent to cover a local cricket event in recent times converged at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) to witness incumbent Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) President Chetram Singh beat Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) President Bish Panday 15-12 yesterday in a tight race for the GCB Presidency.
President of the Guyana Olympic Association, K. A. Juman Yassin performed the duties of returning officer at the well organized GCB elections, while a who’s who of Guyana’s cricketing personalities were present as Panday challenged Singh for Guyana top cricket position.
The atmosphere was tense as the mid-day sunshine streamed into the upper flat of the GCC pavilion and both Singh, who has been the GCB President since August 1991, and Panday who has served as GCB Secretary since then, looked nervous as they stood at almost opposite ends of the room with their supporters.
While Singh’s victory was predictable, it was slightly larger than the 14-13 margin expected based on the unofficial polls and there was plenty of speculation as to where Singh had gotten an extra vote from.
The Demerara Cricket Board had publicly guaranteed Singh, the proprietor of the Goodwood Racing Service in Georgetown all nine of their votes, while the Berbice Cricket Board of Control (BCBC) were expected to give their nine votes to Panday, the owner of the City based P&P Insurance Brookers.
As was predicted by Kaieteur Sports yesterday, the votes from the ECB proved to be the deciding votes and it is believed that Singh pinched one of Panday’s votes from that county Board which could have voted 6-3 for Singh instead of the 5-4 margin that was expected.
To add to the drama, BCBC Secretary Angela Haniff was taken off the list of delegates by that board at the last moment and was not allowed to vote because, according to inside sources, it was suspected that she would give her vote to Singh.
Recently re-elected Demerara Cricket Board head and East Coast Cricket Board President, Bissoon Singh, nominated his unrelated namesake for the position of President while Fazul Bacchus from the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) seconded the nomination.
David Black of the BCBC then nominated Panday with Edward Skeete of Bartica seconding that nomination to start the voting process.
A secret ballot was done and after the completion of the count Singh was declared the winner to loud cheering from his supporters who rushed to congratulate him. Singh looked more relieved than elated and Panday, who looked visibly disappointed, was among the first to offer his congratulations to Singh.
The re-elected President and his former GCB executive hugged each other and as the photographers clicked away, the gesture brought back memories of times not too long ago when the two stalwarts for Guyana’s cricket worked together in harmony and showed mutual respect for each other.
Bissoon Singh and Bacchus from Chetram Singh’s slate, along with Keith Foster from Panday’s camp, were the three nominees for the positions of Vice-Presidents.
Singh, with 25 votes and Bacchus with 15 were elected as the GCB’s two Vice-Presidents as Berbician Foster managed just 12 votes. Ex-BCBC Head Malcolm Peters and former ECB President Alvin Johnson were the Vice-presidents in the last administration.
Panday’s position as Secretary was taken by West Demerara Cricket Association President Annand Sanasie who was challenged for the position, while Assistant Secretary Ronald Williams was also unopposed as he kept his position.
New ECB President Sheik Ahmad, whom insiders believed was once a part of the Panday camp, supported Singh yesterday and maintained his position as Treasurer unopposed.
Previous Assistant Treasurer Anil Beharry of Berbice lost his position 15-12 to DCB’s Preitpaul Jaigobin as delegates from the BCBC were completely shut out of the race for positions on the National board.
Former BCBC Secretary Carl Moore was reinstated unopposed as Chairman of the Competitions committee, a position he would have also gotten had Panday won.
Marketing Manager Ramsay Ali and Public Relations Officer Terry Holder were both returned to their positions unopposed while the GCB’s Auditors remains PFK Barcellos & Narine.
In his first speech of his new two-year term, Singh thanked everyone who served in the previous administration for their contribution and was high in praise for the work of Secretary done by Panday during his nearly quarter century of service to the GCB. Singh also said it was a time for change.
“We have already started change at the executive level with new faces joining the experienced ones to help move Guyana’s cricket forward and at a time when our cricket is not at its strongest there will be more changes with personnel and the structure of Guyana’s cricket,” Singh stated.
The GCB Boss informed that the various sub-committees will be named on the first Friday in next month when the new board holds it first meeting.
It is believed that Guyana’s hosting of the 20/20 World Cup next year was a huge factor in Singh’s re-election since many feel that his vast experience gained from the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup and the respect he commands at the West Indies Cricket Board level are needed as Guyana play host to the 20/20 event.
Singh said that apart from the staging of the 20/20 World Cup, the completion of the GCB Hostel and indoor practice facility at LBI on the East Coast of Demerara along with the revival of a proper coaching programme at the school level are high on the agenda in his new term of office. It is understood that the recently graded level 1 coaches will be sent into the schools to try and revive the interest and standard of play among young students.
New GCB executive
– Annand Sanasie
– Ronald Williams
– Sheik Ahmad
– Preitpaul Jaigobin
Public Relations Officer
– Terry Holder
Competitions Committee Chairman
– Carl Moore
– Ramsay Ali Auditors
– PFK Barcellos & Narine
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
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