Oct 30, 2016 Sports
Dear Sports Editor,
A recent article on page 30 of the Kaieteur News dated Thursday October 13th 2016 depicts a rather unfortunate picture of Government officials (including those from the National Sports Commission and the Child Care and Protection Agency) as well as sponsor Digicel embracing and condoning a most unacceptable relationship with the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) for the National Secondary School Cricket League (NSSCL).
Previously, both Director of Sport Christopher Jones and Education and Sport Minister Dr. Rupert Roopnarine had categorically stated that “the GCB needed to have elections and that free and fair elections were at the heart of the cricket crisis”.
The subject article stated that Minister of Sport Nicolette Henry indicated that the School League is a worthwhile avenue for the nurturing and promotion of youthful talent. Sport Commission Administrator Gervy Harry stated that sports can be easily seen as complementary to academics and that many sports personalities are able to enjoy lucrative careers. And Mr. Francois from the Child Care and Protection Agency emphasized the role his Agency is playing by supporting the GCB in its cricketing and competitions programmes in a safe and fair environment whilst assisting that Board on setting policy-driven standards.
These are all fine, well-intentioned statements but how fair, rational and objective are they when the environment in which the children are being trained is fraught with illegality, lack of accountability, lack of free and fair elections, racial and other types of discriminatory practices and administrative lawlessness.
It is indeed shocking to see that this inept GCB behaviour could be condoned for so long by successive administrations thereby allowing the development of our youth to suffer adversely, particularly because of poor standards occasioned by the absence of a legitimate GCB.
Odinga Lumumba candidly pronounced in Parliament that Politicians and members of the Judiciary have contributed to the cricket crisis by “representing characters “who cannot contribute to cricket development. Mr. Lumumba added that when those kinds of behaviour occur in cricket “the dreams of our young sports men and women will be derailed and their future cast aside”.
Certainly we want to see a school cricket programme instituted but it must be done within a legal administrative framework and a properly-structured development programme.
It is unpardonable that the government would again fall for the ‘trickery’ of the GCB soon after the recent gifting of National Awards to the so-called GCB and its prodigious Secretary while those deserving the awards, including cricketers, were left empty-handed. How could they support a system that is self-serving, palpably illegal, accounts to no one and has deliberately initiated flimsy legal proceedings to prevent the process of democratic elections of the GCB and its membership?
How could they support the so-called development of our school children within an environment of dishonesty and lack of accountability? Are we saying that these important facets of proper administration are not important to the development of our school cricket and our school children?
What coaching programme especially for youngsters could be properly managed by a group consisting of cricketing nonentities who lack the technical proficiency for the development of our cricket. The deliberate omission of proven cricket experts such as Roger Harper, Mark Harper, Clyde Butts, Neil Barry, Rodrick Lovell, Neblett, Elroy Stepheny, Ravindranauth Seeram, Hubern Evans, Anil Beharry, Keith Foster, Marvin Burns, Monty Lynch, Bissoondyal Singh, Albert Smith, Surendra Heeralall, Michael Fredericks and Hilbert Foster among others highlights the tragedy in our cricket.
It is impossible to wean or develop our most prized commodity, our children – the leaders of the future, within the pervasive and backward cricket administrative environment that presently exists. I trust and pray that the honorific promises made to the current leaders of our cricket by the Government will not be used in a carte blanche manner to continue the debacle that those persons refer to as “youth development”.
Any proper cricket development programme for our youth must provide a clear, consistent and morally uplifting pathway from school cricket to test cricket. The confusion, inconsistency and incompetence that represent the present school cricket programme must give way to a healthy, progressive and professional structure supervised by a competent administration blessed with the requisite experience and know-how.
The current hop-scotch methods being employed reflect a dysfunctional approach by a group who do not have a clue of what they are about and who boast a poor record of looking after youths entrusted to their care.
The future of our youths is at stake and the prevailing cricket crisis is not the formative environment within which they should be weaned.
Our youths deserve better.
Claude A Raphael
Former Executive – GCB
Former Director – WICB
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