The Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) by its outstanding performance is head and shoulders above all the other cricketing entities in Guyana and can be classified as the best sports organisation in Guyana.
Those were the overwhelming sentiments of most gathered at the BCB fifth annual Presentation and Awards ceremony held last Saturday on the Lawns of State house in New Amsterdam Berbice.
According to The BCB’s Pro and Chairman of the Special Events Committee, Hilbert Foster, the BCB had a very successful year in 2011 despite many challenges and look forward to even more success in 2012. Foster gave an overview of the BCB performance last year and disclosed plans for 2012.
Describing the state of the game in Guyana as distressing with no light at the end of the tunnel Foster said the embarrassing power struggle at the top has left many people with a negative view of cricket administration in Guyana at a time when the BCB has worked assiduously to be the shining light for Cricket in this country.
It was noted that the BCB’s many successes over the years came through hard work, discipline, team unity, honesty and visionary leadership. Foster said the BCB is not only a cricketing authority, but a dynamic Non-Governmental Organisation which has lifted the game to an all time level.
The BCB has organised tournaments from the Under-13 to senior levels including Under-15, Under-17, Under-19, Under-21, Second Division and Females. The board has also employed strategies to develop new talents by hosting coaching clinics and other programmes while at the same time honouring those who make or had contributed to the success of Berbice’s cricket. It was stated that new areas have been touched by doing various charity, educational, social and community development programmes.
2011 was described as a difficult but successful year for the BCB. The BCB was the principal player and lead the fight in not recognizing the controversial Guyana Cricket Board with BCB Secretary Angela Haniff taking the now disbanded GCB to court.
Foster’s report to the gathering also highlighted the vindictive and spitefulness of the defunct GCB which saw the BCB annual subvention of $1Million being taken away, while the monthly stipend to the office administrator was also cut. Despite these acts the BCB rose to the occasion and according to the report “makes us stronger”.
The BCB completed a total of twelve cricket tournaments during 2011. Off the cricket field a record 75 activities were organised including the annual cricket academy, awards ceremony, coaching clinics, Tribute to Heroes, Educational Awards Scheme, All Time Under-15 Team, Mother/father of the Year, Essay and Poster competitions, Senior Players Charity, Christmas Outreach programme, Tribute to groundsmen and Tribute to Coaches.
At the Inter County level Berbice won at the Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 One day, Senior 50 Overs and the Hits & Jams 20/20 tournament.
A number of Berbice players represented Guyana at the national level, while Devendra Bishoo made his Test Debut, being the 15th test player from Berbice to play Test cricket. Veerasammy Permaul captained the West Indies “A”, Jonathan Foo, Assad Fudadin and Brandon Bess played for West Indies ‘A’, while Shemaine Campbelle, Tremayne Smartt and Subrina Munroe played for the West Indies Females with Assad Fudadin and Veerasammy Permaul also captaining the national senior team.
According to the BCB, 2012 should be more hectic with competitions at all levels including Under-13 Inter club and Inter zone, Under-15 Inter club and inter zone, Under-17 Inter club and inter zone, Under-19 Inter club and inter zone, Under-21 club, Female club, second Division club and Intermediate and First Division, two 20/20 tournaments and two 50-Overs competitions. In addition there will be three tournaments played in West Berbice, two competitions in New Amsterdam/Canje and two in the Central/Upper Corentyne areas bringing a total of 23 tournaments for the year.
Coaching will be a priority for the BCB in 2012 with coaching programmes already on the way with sessions for Under-15 players, clinics for wicketkeepers and fast bowlers and a one day clinic in West Berbice. The BCB would also be publishing at least four educational posters while a large billboard featuring the 15 Berbician Test players would also be unveiled soon.
The BCB says it will continue to assist clubs with various items as part of their assistance to the clubs and plan to collaborate with various organisations including the Berbice Chamber of Commerce to stage a number of 20/20 tournaments. A total of 80 off-the-field programmes have been planned with special emphasis being placed on charity, educational and social issues.
A number of disappointments were also highlighted during the night’s activity with the betrayal of two of the senior Executives of the BCB who defied the BCB and sided with the GCB. They were rewarded with Manager Positions on national teams and were described as Judas-like behavior and highly agonizing.
Also mentioned were the non-usage of the Rose Hall Estate Community Centre Ground in Canje and the attitude of some of very senior players in Berbice who showed little loyalty to Berbice Cricket.
Some observers at the function asked why with the exceptional performance of the BCB last year it was not recommended for an award by the National Sports Commission and wondered if it was lack of foresight.
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