Dec 24, 2021 Letters
Kaieteur News – Four years ago, when the Hilbert Foster led administration took over the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB), the cricketing structure in the Ancient County was on the verge of falling apart due to internal conflicts and poor management. Today, the county is now widely considered the role model of cricket management across the country and even the Caribbean. The BCB on Sunday last hosted its elections and the Hilbert Foster slate was re-elected unopposed as delegates reward Foster for his outstanding leadership over the last four years.
Team Progress created history in cricket administration in Guyana when it presented an eight page manifesto to delegates of the AGM. The manifesto consisted of the many achievements of the board between the period 2018 to 2021 and also reviewed the dismal situation that Foster and his executives inherited. The manifesto includes the slate’s commitment to the overall county and then commitment to the five sub areas – West Berbice, New Amsterdam/Canje, Lower Corentyne, Upper Corentyne and Berbice River.
Among the commitments made to the overall county was the hosting of fifty cricket tournaments at all levels, expansion of the coaching programme, educational grants for 300 youths over two years, over ten million dollars in assistance to clubs and twenty million to youth cricketers in form of gears, uniforms, cycles and educational materials. Three hundred youths would benefit from involvement in social seminars, by the end of 2023 the county would have adequate pitch covers, the BCB Office would be upgraded, sub-associations would continue to receive financial grants and several international players would visit the county for coaching sessions. The slate also committed themselves to working along with all stakeholders, be every transparent and to represent the interest of every Berbice player and official.
The eight page manifesto also includes areas of development for the sub association with the group committing itself to organising a minimum of five internal tournaments in each zone for teams including grass root tournaments, mini cricket academies, social skills seminars, special coaching clinics and to obtain at least one 100 by 24 feet pitch covers. Clubs in each of the zones would receive cricket balls and scorebooks. The BCB would also assist generally with items such as catching cribs, stumps, coaching manuals, water pitchers among others.
Foster also stated that first division teams would also benefit from a special donation of cricket balls to assist them to cover expenses, while several commitments were also made to some members of the BCB including Chesney, Whim, Kildonan, Rose Hall Canje, Mt Sinai, Guymine and Port Mourant. Port Mourant, once the leading cricket club in Guyana is now undergoing a period of rebuilding and would receive several assistance packages from the BCB in this regard. The smallest of the sub-associations, the Berbice River Cricket Association, would receive special attention with tournaments, gears and training programmes planned over the next two years, while clubs in the area would also collect assistance.
The area was also assured of fulfilling their long cherished dream of playing first division cricket as the BCB would allow them to play in the Ivan Madray 20/20 tournament with the other established first division teams.
Commitment was also made to work along with the Umpires Association to lift the standard of umpiring and to provide a developmental fund along with other assistance as required. Special attention would also be paid on the training of several pre-level one coaches for clubs and the training of scorers in an effort to lift the submission of match reports to the board from clubs.
Foster, who authored the manifesto, stated that his administration would work very hard to fulfill every commitment made and bluntly told his executives to either ship up or move on.
Noting what the first four years of his administration had achieved, the CWI Director stated that he expects much more to be done between 2022-2023 as the BCB strives to produce at least ten West Indies players across all the levels. Laziness, corruption, favouritism and a negative attitude would not be allowed in his administration.
Special praise was reserved for Public Relations Officer, twenty one year’s old Simon Naidu who over the last two years has made sure that every activity of the BCB was promoted across the nation. Foster told delegates at the AGM to make sure that they keep their copy of his slate manifesto and to follow the progress of each commitment.
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