Feels process is being high-jacked
By Sean Devers
Vice President of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Bissoon Singh says that the advertising by the GCB in two of the daily newspapers of its Elections for July 10 is unauthorised since the majority of the 13 GCB executives have not approved the date for the Board’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and elections.
Five of the GCB executives along with Vice-Chairman of the GCB Cricket Development Committee Roger Harper held a press conference at the Sleep Inn International Hotel yesterday to lament what they described as the high-jacking of the Board by five Executives including Chetram Singh, who is not seeking re-election after being at the helm of the Board since 1991.
Bissoon, the President of the East Coast Cricket Board and one of the factions of the problem-plagued Demerara cricket Board, spoke on behalf of the seven executives.
He informed that Chairman of the National Youth selection panel Michael Franco Hyles and Competitions Committee Chairman Carl Moore, both Berbicians, were also among the disgruntled group of GCB Executives although they did not attend yesterday’s forum.
In addition to Singh and Harper, Ronald Williams, Claude Raphael and Pretipaul Jaigobin were the other GCB officials present yesterday.
Singh said that seven of the 13 executives never agreed to the elections and claims the elections process is being high-jacked. “Because of things we are hearing, our personal view is that the advertisement (which appeared in the June 9 issue of Kaieteur News and the Guyana Chronicle) is a part of a sinister plan to high-jack the elections Singh said.
Bissoon Singh, one of three candidates for the GCB Presidency, complained that only two statutory meetings were held for the year including the last one on May 27 when the matter of Elections were brought up under ‘any other business’. He informed that another meeting was planned for Friday but never took place.
Bissoon Singh said that several issues, including the two different financial reports presented to the Members and the Auditors and the management of the Pakistan tour to Guyana were briefly discussed while there was no discussion on the Demerara Cricket Board issue.
“We wanted to approach the media in an organized manner since we have tremendous grievances and information to the public is being done in a hap hazard way. Only five of the 13 Executives were involved in the Pakistan tour while we (other seven Executives) are unaware of the financial transactions since January,” Singh stated.
Elections cannot be announced without our approval and we feel that serious efforts must be made to discuss as much of the discrepancies as possible and to come to some understanding before Elections are held. If this is not done then whoever takes over could inherit all this mess. If the same people are re-installed the unaccountability and mismanagement will continue to the detriment of Guyana’s cricket,” Singh opined.
Raphael said he was disappointed that the President (Chetram Singh) announced, without the knowledge of most of the Executives that Elections has been set after agreeing to another Statutory meeting to discus several important issues including elections.
“By telling the media ‘who win, wins’ when asked if he was supporting anyone in the race, the President has made the Elections sound like a Lotto and not serious business. I am surprised that he made a statement like that on such an important issue,” Raphael said.
“We too are desirous of Elections which should have been since January since those now running the board are doing a very poor job. But unless certain things are not put in place, I don’t feel we are ready for Elections at this point. The fact that the President has rushed to have Elections so quickly without addressing some troubling issues like finances and the Pakistan tour, raises our suspicions about the whole process,” Raphael added.
Singh informed that at the last meeting in May it was agreed that Jaigobin, Treasurer Sheik Ahmad and Marketing Manager Ramsay Ali would sit and discus the contentious financial issues, especially the T20 festival matches involving Trinidad and Tobago at Providence last year and the two conflicting financial reports.
“We were expecting another meeting and now we hear that Elections are set. A letter has been sent to the President (Chetram Singh) informing him that one of the county boards does not approve of going to elections without the Demerara Board. This could mean that some of the best candidates for positions could be overlooked.
It was deemed on June 8 that the Friendly Societies Act has no legal control over the GCB resulting in the elections being set.
Due to the legal battles between the feuding Demerara Board factions only the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) and Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) would be allowed to vote since the constitution states that no less than two boards can contest the elections.
‘If Chetram Singh is really interested in cricket and wants a smooth transition when he leaves he should have gotten more involved in the DCB issue so that all three boards could participate in the elections.
It was decided at our last June meeting that because the ECB refused to submit their financial reports for fear of it being leaked to the media and scrutinised by the public, they would not receive any finances until they do so. Competitions have been held in Essequibo and they continue to get subventions,” Jaigobin, the GCB’s Assistant Treasurer said.
“I went through the financial report and found several discrepancies. For example one report to the auditors state that nothing was spent on balls while the other to the members claim that just over $4 million was spent on balls for the same period.
“Also if you are having elections and issuing a financial statement you must include the period from January to now, especially since you had the Pakistan tour during that time because the constitution only deals with the period from December to November. This board has been running for six extra months and incurring expenditure that we know nothing off,” Jaigobin stated.
Bissoon Singh said the President is the main problem since he seems too busy trying to install Ramsay Ali as the new President and in Singh’s view, used the Pakistan tour as a political gimmick to campaign for Ali and hatch what he feels is a sinister plan to high-jack the elections.
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