Decision could have repercussions for Guyana’s cricket
By Sean Devers
A meeting with members of the embattled Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and Guyana’s President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo at his official Residence in Georgetown yesterday has resulted in what could be more problems for Guyana’s cricket and the role this country plays in West Indies cricket.
Demerara played Barbados in the inaugural First-Class match in the West Indies in 1865 and the GCB, which has governed cricket in Guyana since it was formed in 1943 is the only governing body for cricket recognized by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and by extension the International Cricket Council (ICC).
An injunction by a member of the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) challenging the results of the recent GCB Elections was thrown out this week by Chief Justice Ian Chang.
The Chief Justice explained that the Court has no legal authority over the GCB since that body is considered a legal nonentity and recommended that Guyana’s Sports Ministry assist in solving the feud that has been plaguing Guyana’s cricket in recent times.
It was disclosed by a GCB official that President Jagdeo wants to enforce an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to govern the affairs of the GCB since he (Jagdeo) is of the impression that the Chief Justice had mandated the Government to get involved in issue in the latest Court Oder.
GCB Secretary Anand Sanasie, who is also a WICB Director, told Kaieteur News last night in an invited comment that the President’s proposal was met with opposition by members of the GCB since the ICC does not condone Political involvement in national cricket Boards of their members.
The GCB falls under the ICC through the WICB and the Director said that while on the surface the idea of the President forming an IMC could be seen as a noble one, there could be serious repercussions if a committee is formed by the Head-of-State to run Guyana’s cricket.
“There were objections to several issues concerning the President’s proposal and if his wishes are forced on the GCB, the WICB could move the two t20 Internationals scheduled for next month between West Indies and Pakistan at the Guyana National Stadium and the senior Regional One-Day competition fixed for Guyana in October,” the WICB Director informed.
This is Jagdeo’s final term as Guyana’s leader and he has been reported in the Caribbean Media as saying that even if the CARICOM Heads have no power over the WICB, the regional Governments own most of the International cricket Stadiums which were constructed for the 2007 World Cup.
Jagdeo, who walked around the Guyana National Stadium during the last ODI in Guyana to protest the Regional selectors’ decision to leave out Shiv Chanderpaul from the West Indies One-Day team, suggested that if the WICB continue to shun the involvement of the Regional politicians in the management of West Indies cricket, then they (WICB) could have to find Stadiums to play their matches since they don’t own any venues.
This is an election year and Jagdeo’s cricket IMC decision, which is being opposed by some in the cricket fraternity, could be one of his most important decisions as President.
If the President’s decision results in Guyana being cut off from West indies cricket and International and Regional matches not scheduled here it could affect not only the thousands of cricket fans, many of whom
are PPP/C supporters, but the livelihood and dreams of the hundreds of cricketers in Guyana who aspire to one day become Shiv Chanderpauls and Ramnaresh Sarwans by representing the West Indies.
The ICC is adamant that politics should be kept out of cricket Boards and have sent strong messages to places like Pakistan and Sri Lanka on this issue.
The dismissal of the BCB injunction has paved the way for the Ramsay Ali-led GCB to focus on the job of moving Guyana’s cricket forward until the next scheduled elections and it is hoped that whatever demands and compromises are made they are made in the best interest of Guyana’s cricketing future.
Many of those involved in Guyana’s latest cricket crisis have very little practical knowledge of Guyana’s National Sport and seemed more interested in a power struggle than what is best for those who depend on cricket for a living.
Both the Government officials and the GCB members must attempt to arrive at the best possible solution without thinking of ‘winning or losing’ since Guyana’s future as one of the four founding members of West Indies cricket, a crucial integrating force for Caribbean people since 1928, is at stake here. It is hoped that the cricket is put first.
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