By Sean Devers
A notice of the Guyana Cricket Board’s (GCB) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Election of office bearers for the new term was placed in the newspapers and it is hoped that the non-performing members are not returned to office.
On the Agenda is a report from Area Boards and it will be interesting to see the contents of those reports, especially the one from the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) where no meaningful cricket has been played this year.
This year’s National Secondary School’s cricket tournament could be described as a farce. Every team had bowlers who ‘threw’ and there were no Coaches sent into the schools before the competition commenced. The quality of the GCB Franchise League was diluted due to the number of teams. Instead of eight there should have been six.
The GCB is opposed by the two areas that has produced most of the National players at all levels; Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) led by Roger Harper, and the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) under Anil Beharry.
Since the contentious January 2013 Elections, the GCB has not done much in those areas for cricket development. When contacted BCB President Anil Beharry informed that the Board’s life ends at month end but it is not clear if the injunction against the BCB will expire at that time paving the way for elections before the GCB’s.
In the last Elections David Black, representing West Berbice Association, attended the GCB AGM in defiance of the decision not to attend by the BCB.
He was rewarded with Managerial positions of National teams and although there were allegations of indiscipline under his watch in St Vincent during this year’s Regional U-19 tournament in which Guyana lost every match in the three-day format. An investigation was launched into the issues which involved three senior players and the manager but the findings
were not made public.
A petition was sent to the National Assembly by Ronald Williams, Winston Boston, Malcom Peters and Claude Raphael on behalf of Constituent Members and Stakeholders of Guyana’s Cricket in the matter of recognizing the illegality, disorder and chaos into which cricket has fallen and the poor and potentially harmful image being projected especially to our young cricketers and the importance.
The Petition pointed out the urgency for the National Assembly to enact legislation through the Guyana Cricket Administration Bill 2012 towards a legal and lasting remedy for cricket.
The petition represented the interest of the Berbice Cricket Board, the East Coast Cricket Board, the Georgetown Cricket Association and Sub-Associations and Clubs of the Essequibo Cricket Board, the East Bank Demerara Cricket Association and the West Demerara Cricket Association and also cricket stakeholders throughout Guyana.
The petitioners claimed there is no legitimate Executive Committee of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) as only one (1) of the three (3) Constituent Member Boards took part in the purported elections held in July 2011 and again in January 2013. There is no legitimate Executive Committee of the Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) as a court order was issued in January 2013 prohibiting the holding of the DCB elections, there is no transparency or accountability for the monies remitted by the West Indies Cricket Board Inc (WICB) to the purported GCB, adding that for the past three (3) years, there has been no OGM or financial statement as is stipulated by the constitutions of both the GCB and the DCB.
They also said the Upper Demerara Cricket Association (UDCA) was founded in 2000, has a membership of eighteen (18) clubs, covers the vast area in Upper Demerara including Linden, Kwakwani, Ituni and the river communities and is populated by upwards of 50,000.
Drubahadur took over from Fizul Bacchus, the acting president following the resignation of Ramsey Ali in February 2012. Ali had been elected to the post in a contentious election in July 2011, and quit after police and court officials raided his home and the homes of other board officials.
Bacchus was elected vice-president, administration, while Anand Sanasie and Anand Kalladeen got the posts of secretary and treasurer respectively.
After the last elections, the BCB took the GCB to court, claiming the new administration was not properly established. The Chief Justice recommended that “there may be immediate need for the then Minister responsible for sports to impose his executive will in the national interest”.
Following that ruling, Ex Sports Minister Dr Frank Anthony appointed an Interim Management Committee (IMC), headed by ex-West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, to run cricket in Guyana. The WICB, however, refused to acknowledge the IMC, in keeping with the ICC’s stance against government intervention in cricket administration, and said the only authority it would recognise was the GCB.
The National Assembly, on in May 2014, passed the Guyana Cricket Administration Bill that seeks to provide legal administrative guidelines for cricket, which over the years has become a national sport.
The Alliance for Change (AFC) did not support the bill, while the other parliamentary party, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), including present Education Minister who is also responsible for Sports Dr Rupert Roopnarine, voted in favour.
Dr Anthony, who presented the Bill to the National Assembly, said it was drafted after extensive consultations with all stakeholders, pointing out that the Bill firstly makes it legal for the GCB to be established as a corporate body comprising the Demerara, Essequibo and the Berbice Cricket Boards, all of which will also be made corporate entities.
A section of the Bill addresses the issue of phantom voting for the election of persons for administrative positions. Pastor Winston McGowan, a UG lecturer and cricket historian was appointed Cricket Ombudsman and tasked with the responsibility of verifying and registering clubs; he or she will have ample time to verify legitimacy of clubs.
Clive Lloyd and Roger Harper, the two former Guyana and West Indies players, have called the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) elections held on January 27, 2013 “illegal” and hit out at the WICB for failing to act responsibly.
When asked last year what was the status of the Bill, which was passed in the National Assembly on May 15, 2015 and was accented into law by former President Donald Ramotar, Minister Nicolette Henry said she was not aware of it.
When the GCB was formed in 1943, cricket was run by the BCB in Berbice and by the Essequibo Cricket Committee in Essequibo. Berbice had 2 votes in the GCB – the same number as a Georgetown’s first division clubs. In 1969 the Berbice votes were increased to 3 when the rules were changed so that the BCB Chairman of selectors would automatically be one of the five National Selectors.
In 1971 the rules changed again and Berbice gained 3 more votes, bringing its tally to 5. The Essequibo Cricket Committee became the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB), with 4 votes in the GCB. Each Georgetown first division club still had 2, for a total of 16 votes.
In 1972 it was agreed that the Presidents of the BCB and ECB would automatically hold the posts of 1st and 2nd Vice-Presidents in the GCB. This automatically increased the Berbice votes to 6 and Essequibo votes to 5.
In 1973 several Georgetown clubs wrote then Minister of Sports Shirley Field-Ridley, expressing dissatisfaction with the administration of GCB President Frederick Rampersaud. A commission of inquiry was convened, hearings held throughout Guyana, followed by new elections, which led to Rampersaud being replaced by Berkeley Gaskin.
In 1992 the GCB handed over control of cricket in Demerara to the newly-formed Demerara Cricket Board.
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