Aug 29, 2012 Sports
It is my firm belief that the new Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) must divert from its old ideology of semi-dictatorial governance. This was evident through the unlimited powers that certain former executive members had obtained, that ultimately led to the destruction of the Board. The hostile administrative hiatus was a sickening repetitive constraint that had caused several members of the Board to become disillusioned.
The former GCB Treasurer Mr. Sheik Ahmad’s position had become untenable and he had to unceremoniously quit in frustration before the infamous injunction of the Board. These elements of quandary took its toll on the cricket field and the results had been predictable, except for the face saving under-19 lads who are on the verge of earning the country’s first one day title in the Regional Youth tournament that is being played in Barbados. Such an achievement will be rare however, if the new Administration does not implement new initiatives based on human resource and technical development that will procure the country’s future advancement of quality cricketers. Incidentally not a single Guyanese is included in the West Indies T20 World Cup squad and this must be an ominous sign.
Good governance will ultimately rely on a solid constitution and the draft that I have seen is indeed sound. The introduction of term limits for the presidency will minimize dictatorial traits while there are several other key clauses that will ensure inclusivity by the various stake holders, including the guardianship by the Auditor General for the purpose of transparency. A few initiatives that I wish to see implemented are as follows:
1- The two Vice Presidents of the GCB that traditionally were the presidents of the Berbice and Essequibo Boards should be returned, since it will provide for inclusive governance and thrust among the county boards. Two outstanding stalwarts, Essequibian Beni Sankar and Berbician the late Leslie Amsterdam worked in tandem and objectively for the good of the game, having previously served as vice presidents of the GCB a few years ago.
2- Sweeping changes should be made with the GCB coaches that will allow for them to be placed in all three counties. While the pride of each county is at stake, the development of the country’s core cricketers should be a priority. I made the observation when former national off spinner Gavin Nedd was introduced to the Essequibo team in 2011. The players were very receptive and paid rapt attention to him because he brought new initiatives and a sense of professionalism towards coaching the team. The same can be done with exchanges to the other counties. I believe it will also test the skill and output of the coaches in delivering and adhering to modern techniques in an ever changing and challenging environment.
3- The former GCB had employed an analyst to create a website for the Board with the intention of providing information on its operations and also publishing statistics on relevant competitions and also the cricketers; involving the three counties. This had never materialized given the technological age and its absolute requirement for the players’ advancement. Such a web site must become a priority of the Board, since it should provide pertinent guidance to the selectors given the history that they should have of every player from under 15 to the senior level.
4- Not a single piece of information can be obtained from what is happening in Crabwood Creek in Berbice or Dredge Creek in Essequibo. It is not surprising then that the country is yet to see an Amerindian from the Pomeroon River emerging to play for Guyana, since there are no statistics of what occurred there. Yet it is one of the places that remain active in playing all forms of the game.
5- Parental support and their knowledge of the game have to be encouraged by the Board. My little experience with previous national youth teams suggested that there was very little connection between parents and the Board and this led to anxiety, resentment and even frustration to some of them, especially when the players had to travel abroad. Yet in Trinidad the parents form themselves into formal groups and resoundingly support their children at every match. Parents should be encouraged to start appearing at club matches and monitor their child’s progress, given that the new administration will have a courteous attitude towards them.
6- The new Administration has to support the ECB in acquiring a Speed Boat which will alleviate a monumental deterrent, since most of the sponsor’s cheque that the county receives has to be paid for transporting the players among the Islands and the Pomeroon.
It’s a long term benefit that will ensure that Essequibo players gain more exposure and that more teams can be active among the territories to participate in regular competitions. I must admit that it was a suggestion that was made by a former executive member of the GCB and it will be interesting whether he remains committed to this task. It was also suggested that the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport can assist in providing fuel for the much needed water transport.
I may be accused of being biased towards Essequibo, but there cannot be a stronger GCB without acknowledging that the ECB requires critical support in the realization of the aims and objectives of the GCB and the county itself.
While the Berbice Cricket Board remains a model institution and the Demerara Cricket Board is injuncted, the vision of the new executives of the GCB must acknowledge that the challenges of each county is unique and that the resources cannot be distributed equally in gaining the desired results (GCB subventions should reflect each county’s need).
The time has come for there to be a new dispensation of how cricket should be managed, given the technological advancement and the impetus of strategic and developmental plans that should be leading the GCB towards long term growth and stability.
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