Kaieteur News – Cricket is supposed to be a gentlemen’s game. But cricket administration is far from being a gentleman’s game.
Cricket administration has become a struggle for power. And many of those who have been fighting for power have nothing to give to the game; they are there mainly to feather their own nests.
There has been too much backstabbing and backbiting. There are snakes all around. At the root of this power struggle is the fact that perquisites are now involved in cricket administration, quite unlike in the past when cricket administrators would have had to go into their pockets in the interest of the game.
Principles are being sacrificed on the altar of power-grabbing. And this accounts for all the constant instability within regional cricket.
The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and the Barbados Cricket Board (BCB) are perfectly in order to refuse to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Cricket West Indies (CWI). It is a convention, and probably now part of the rules of CWI, that financial statements must be provided at Annual General Meetings (AGMs). And these statements should be circulated prior to the meeting so that they can be debated.
What is the use of having an AGM if there are no financial statements to inform the directors about the financial health of CWI? The GCB and BCB did the right thing in demanding accountability.
But the representatives of the GCB on the CWI may have had their last hurrah. The PPP/C has now effectively completed what it was trying to do for more than 10 years. The PPP/C has managed to take control of local cricket.
Its original objectives were financial and political. Cricket is big money. And ever since the Caribbean Premier League was launched, the PPP/C has been trying to gain control of both the GCB and the CWI. The party’s backers have always had an eye on seizing control of local cricket so that it can get its hands on the bigger prize, control of West Indian cricket.
The PPP/C was also fearful of the AFC gaining a foothold in local cricket. It was this which led it to interfere politically in local cricket administration and to engineer the problems which has beset local cricket for the next 10 years.
Cricket is supposed to be played on the field not in the courtroom or in Ministries. But local cricket found itself embroiled in legal and personality battles. This should never have happened. But it did because the GCB tried to resist the PPP/C-engineered takeover of cricket.
The PPP/C went as far as invading the premises of the local Cricket Board and seizing record. And it tried to involve internationally respected cricketers in its sinister plot to take over cricket. It even made a bid to take control of the famed Georgetown Cricket Club.
For the first time in the history of Guyana, a law – the Cricket Administration Act – was passed so that the PPP/C could have its way. But it faced resistance and it took years for the PPP/C to have its way.
The PPP/C has been primarily responsible for the turmoil in local cricket. There were never any major problems in local cricket administration, until the PPP/C began its divide and rule tactics.
The PPP/C however is naïve. It ought to know that cricket and politics are like oil and water: they do not mix.
The PPP/C is also being accused of bias in respect to the CWI elections. This matter is likely to be investigated by the Ethics Committee of the CWI regardless of whoever prevails in the executive elections.
Those who presently feel that they are secure in their positions will soon find out how cunning the PPP/C can be. The PPP/C’s gerrymandering of cricket administration is far from complete. And the PPP/C is not going to stop at cricket. It will also set its sights on the administration of other sports where big money is involved.
And the biggest bonanza of all is football. The money that is in international football is far greater than in cricket. And the PPP/C will soon put its sights on taking over local football. The smoke signals are already there that the PPP/C has already identified someone whom it will engineer to become the honcho of local football.
The PPP/C will only go where there is money or political returns. Many years ago, in order to counteract the influence of a man called Peter, who was helping out table tennis, the PPP/C tried to engineer one of its acolytes to nudge out the man called Peter. But when it realised that table tennis wields little political or financial returns, the plan was aborted.
The same will not happen with cricket and football. The PPP/C is out to take control of these two sports. In so doing, it will destroy the development of both.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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