Follow up meeting to be held between Guyana & WICB Presidents
By Sean Devers
A high-level meeting today at the State House in Guyana involving the President of Guyana, H.E. Dr Bharat Jagdeo, President of the West Indies Cricket Board, Dr. Julian R. Hunte, Guyana’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony and former West Indies Captain and ICC member Clive Hubert Lloyd was held following a decision by the Guyana’s Head-of-State to set up an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to run the affairs of Guyana’s cricket.
This decision came after the recent ruling of Justice Ian Chang, the Chief Justice (ag) of Guyana with respect to the case filed against the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) by a member of the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB).
The Chief Justice in dismissing the case ruled that the Court had no legal authority over the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) or its member boards because they were all legal non-entities and recommended that the Sports Ministry get involved in the dispute regarding the outcome of the last GCB elections.
Yesterday those present at State House discussed the matter and the Sports Ministry explained last evening that Dr. Hunte was apprised of the situation and the measures that would be taken by the Government of Guyana to concur with the acting Chief Justice’s directions.
“A menu of measures was discussed. These would be finalized in a follow up meeting that would be held within the next week”, informed the Sports Ministry.
An inside source said that both parties understood the seriousness of the issue to the future of Guyana’s cricket but that there were disagreements on some issues resulting in a follow-up meeting being planned.
The WICB President arrived in Guyana on Monday afternoon, the source said that time is of the essence now since Guyana is scheduled to host two T20 Internationals between West Indies and Pakistan at the Guyana National Stadium on September 10 & 11 and a decision ‘one way or the other’ will have to be made if an amicable solution on the matter is not reached by next week.
A WICB official had earlier informed that the Regional One-Day competition set for Guyana in October could also be moved to Barbados which has already been put on ‘stand by’ if the WICB deems Jagdeo’s move to set up and IMC to carry out the GCB’s functions and to appoint his Sports Minister as the head of that Committee, as political interference in Guyana’s cricket.
And yesterday CEO of the WICB Ernest Hillarie explained in an e-mail that there is a clause which speaks to matters like this one concerning the Independence of Member boards.
According to the Hillarie, Clause 2.9 says (A) Members must provide for (a) free elections and/or (b) appointments from amongst their members for their executive body or nominees from outside their members appointed by their executive body.
“This obligation shall be included in their statutes. Where there is no such provision or where the Executive Board considers an executive body of a Member not to have been established by free elections and/or appointments as indicated above, the Executive Board shall have the power to suspend or refuse to recognize such Member or its executive body (including an executive body set up on an interim basis), subject to the provisions of Article 2.7,” The e-mail from the WICB executive continued.
It was pointed out that (B) Where a government interferes in the administration of cricket by a Member, including but not limited to interference in operational matters, the selection and management of teams, the appointment of coaches or support personnel or the activities of a Member, the Executive Board shall have the power to suspend or refuse to recognize that Member, subject to the provisions of Article 2.7.
Preparations should begin for Guyana’s participation in October’s Regional One-Day tournament and with the present GCB selection Committee headed by Former Guyana Fast Bowler Rayon Griffith in limbo, it is unclear when the inter-county limited overs tournament will be played and who will pick the Guyana team.
GCB executives could not be reached for a comment yesterday afternoon, while most members in the local cricket fraternity were tight-lipped on the issues
The source indicated that the worst case scenario if Guyana’s President stuck to his guns and the WICB head refused to recognize the IMC, was Guyana being suspended from Regional cricket at all levels.
Kaieteur Sports’ source was however confident that while both parties take some time to think about the effects their stance could have on the cricketers in Guyana, who could be disqualified from representing Guyana officially and the West Indies, good sense will prevail when the parties meet again sometime within the next week.
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