BCB to issue statement on the matter says it’s President
By Sean Devers
The Guyana team to face Trinidad and Tobago in two t20 practice matches was selected yesterday after a practice match yesterday at Bourda, but not without controversy.
Six Berbicians have been named in the 13-man Guyana squad which will battle T&T at Bourda on September 6 & 7, while two more Berbicians are among the five stand-bys named by the National selection panel chaired by former Guyana pacer Rayon Griffith.
Griffith, who still participates at the first division level in Guyana, said his panel, which also include former Guyana batsman Ravindra Seeram and Berbice left-handed batsman Adrian Amsterdam, would have hoped for more trail games but said the present unstable situation in Guyana’s cricket result in not more time being available to prepare for the two games.
The 13-man squad and five-stand bys are expected to have their first practice session on Monday from 14:00hrs as the Guyanese partake in practice games for T&T who are preparing to represent the West Indies in this year’s Champions League in India later this month.
Griffith said that while a longer preparation period would have been ideal he was confident that the Guyana team would provide a keen contest since he feels the players are all talented and hungry to get into action and do well.
“I am disappointed that you were hearing that the Berbice players were threatened by their board……calls were coming in to the players telling them not to play and this I am sure would have affected them mentally as they prepared to represent their country,” Griffith stated when contacted.
Players who asked for anonymity for fear of victimization confirmed that they were told by BCB officials not to turn up for the trail game but said they opted to go against their Board’s wishes since cricket was their profession and they wanted to be available for selection on the national team.
While most of the Berbician players invited to trials ignored the politics which is affecting Guyana’s cricket and turned up yesterday, Test player Brandon Bess was absent since he claimed that he got information of the trial too late to travel to the City.
National opener Richard Ramdeen and former Guyana under-19 Skipper Eugene LaFluer showed solidarity to the BCB’s position not to participate and made themselves unavailable for National selection by missing the trial game.
“We were hearing that the Berbice players would be banned from representing Berbice if they played today (yesterday). I am disappointed in the attitude of some involved in Guyana’s cricket which is clearly affecting the players, many of whom depend on cricket for a living. I am committed to playing my role in helping in the revival of Guyana’s cricket and will remain unbiased and will not be intimidated when it comes to cricket matters,” Griffith disclosed.
When contacted President of the Berbice Cricket Board Keith Foster said his board was not officially informed about the trial match and questioned who was responsible for the running of Guyana’s cricket.
Foster who said he was told by some players that they were informed that they had to attend the trial match or they would not be considered for selection for Guyana and added that as far as he knew the Government had set up an IMC to run Guyana’s cricket and was unaware that the GCB still existed.
Foster also confirmed that it was against this background the Berbice players were told not to attend the match and disclosed that this matter would be discussed at a meeting at the BCB office on Monday.
“The senior Berbice players have been invited to Monday’s meeting which starts at 16:30hrs and after the matter is discussed the BCB will issue a statement. The BCB is responsible for its players since without playing for Berbice it would be difficult for them to play for Guyana and the West Indies, which is the ultimate goal for the BCB for its players,” Foster said.
Amsterdam, also the Coach of the Berbice senior team, said he was also informed of the BCB’s decision not to allow their players to play yesterday and said he was also invited to Monday’s meeting.
A Guyana Board official said Amsterdam, the Berbice selector, was informed of the trial and added that the players were contacted and that BCB officials were aware that a trial match was being planned.
“Foster as the BCB President is a part of the GCB but if he does not attend meetings how would he be informed of what is going on….the BCB does not respond to the GCB on many occasions and the whole process can be frustrating,” the GCB official said.
The Government formation of the IMC, which the Sports Ministry says is headed by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr Frank Anthony, has attracted the attention of the WICB President Dr Julian Hunte since the ICC frowns on Government involvement in their member boards of which the GCB is a part of by virtue of being a member of the WICB.
The IMC is scheduled to have its second meeting on September 7 while the WICB is expected to again meet with Guyana’s Head of State Dr Barath Jagdeo shortly to conclude discussions on Government’s role in Guyana’s cricket and the way forward for the GCB which is the recognised governing body for cricket in Guyana. By Sean Devers
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