Oct 16, 2021 Sports
GCA clean bowled by Pandemic…
By Sean Devers
In late March two rounds of first division cricket was contested but the rain stopped all Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) competitions. However, when the weather improved the Covid cases began to rise and the National Covid-19 Task Force shut down sports, including cricket and it has been over seven months without any cricket in the City.
Kaiteur Sport sought Chairman of the GCA’s Competitions Committee Shawn Massiah yesterday for an update on the status of the game in the nation’s Capital.
“So far nothing is being done, we were to continue with our outreach programmes and start our Electronics scoring training for Scorers in GCA, but since we were asked to stop the cricket, all seems lost,” said Massiah.
“For the vaccination, we Executives from the GCA has asked the clubs to send to us a list of their players names who took the vaccine, date of birth, date they took the vaccine and where they took the vaccine and so far only two clubs have done so. We are still waiting on the rest.
This info is to be sent to the Task Force so that they can give us the approval, but this also seems like a herculean task for the clubs, since all other sports, bars, schools etc. are operating,” lamented Massiah, who himself plays at the first division level for Transport Sports Club.
The GCA have not stopped players from practicing – “I am seeing some clubs are practicing between themselves and in small numbers. I think the Gazette stipulates that you can exercise for some period of time,” Massiah added.
According to the GCA official, to keep the players interested, the only thing is to have them continue practicing and maybe playing short matches between themselves as well as watching the TV channels which can show some past matches.
“We had the CPL, then IPL, now we will have the T20 World Cup which may help sustain their interest in the sport. The Pandemic as we all know really affected all players and Cricket in this country; we lost a good crop of Under-15, 17, and 19 players. When it comes to playing competition at that age group, the good players that we would have seen and probably gone on to represent Guyana and West indies have been robbed of that opportunity,” Massiah noted.
He informed that a lot of off the field work such the GCA’s outreach programs have been affected.
“We started with Agricola and we were to get started with Sophia, a lot of competitions are on hold and new ones are waiting to start. It is a great set back; it may be hard to find Under-13, 15, and 17 players whenever we resume” Massiah stated.
“As a passionate cricket enthusiast and while I agree that the covid cases are going up, we have to be cognizant of the fact that stopping cricket entirely is also aiding the youths to do other illicit things, some may get into crime, smoking, video games and they may lose the interest of the game.
A lot of players are always asking me when…why? Parents as well are asking how come cricket not playing when some other sports are playing, schools open, bars open, cinema open, buses full to capacity plus the Task Force ask us to take injection and players took it and yet we can’t play.
What more must be done? These are the many questions being asked by many of cricketers and cricket enthusiasts. All I could tell them is that we are waiting on the Task Force. Plus, we got very good weather.” concluded a disappointed Massiah.
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