Ali: WICB Endorses GCB

Date Published: 
Kaieteur News
Sean Devers

Days after the success of Guyana’s female Junior side, which beat Trinidad and Tobago Under-19s in two games at Providence last weekend, ‘negatives’ were again headlining Guyana’s cricket.

GCB President Ramsay Ali (on phone) and his officials before the start of a press conference at Bourda.

A press conference was called yesterday at the Guyana Cricket Board’s (GCB) Secretariat at Bourda to address a Stabroek News report which questioned the legality of the Ramsay Ali-led GCB. According to the newspaper, ‘some members of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) for cricket in Guyana’ are contending that the Ali administration is pretending to be legitimate officials of the GCB.

Ali, flanked by his executives, said the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has endorsed the GCB as the sole authority to run cricket in Guyana and challenged anyone to produce instruments that gave power to any other committee to administer cricket in Guyana as members of the WICB and ICC. While it is unclear who the ‘IMC members’ are since unnamed sources were quoted in the story, Ali said his entire executive is unaware that an IMC has been installed to run Guyana’s cricket.

I have been in contact with the Sports Minister (Dr Frank Anthony) when the GCB successfully hosted the Pakistan against West Indies female T20 series and the matches between Guyana and T&T’s junior girl’s teams, and no one … the President … the government … or anyone else … has told me that I was doing anything illegal by performing the duties of GCB President. I even took advice from the Sports Minister on an issue concerning the Stadium for last weekend’s match,” Ali told the media.

Ali said that after the initial meeting between cricket officials and President Dr Bharat Jagdeo that followed the meeting with WICB President Julian Hunte, Guyana’s Head-of-State, the Sports Minister and ICC member Clive Lloyd, a smaller meeting was held with Dr Anthony.

That meeting involved the Minister and the presidents of the GCB, Berbice Cricket Board (BCB), Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) and the leaders of the two factions of the Demerara Cricket Board (DCB). We were told not to speak to the media concerning that meeting since the Ministry would communicate with the media. Proposals were tabled and the proposal from the WICB and GCB was that the GCB continue to function as the governing body for cricket in Guyana. To my knowledge no IMC has been formed. None of the GCB officials are on any committee that the Minister has set up to run Guyana’s cricket if indeed such a committee exists,” Ali disclosed.

The GCB Head said after reading yesterday’s Stabroek News’ story, which he deemed ‘very damaging and mischievous’ he informed the Sports Minister via e-mail that he would be speaking to the media. Ali said that after the meeting with the WICB Head and Guyana’s President he was informed that the Sports Minister would put in writing what transpired at that meeting.

To the best of my knowledge, and I am so informed by the WICB, Minister Anthony requested some time to write the Board but no such proposal was received. I wrote the Minister, requesting terms of reference for any proposed IMC and am yet to receive a response. I am also aware that other stakeholders have made similar requests,” Ali stated.

Ali said that on September 7, he along with some of his officers and other stakeholders met with the Sports Minister for a discussion and said the Minister indicated to all that the rule of the ICC and WICB must be respected. The ICC has stated its position on political involvement in national cricket boards and WICB Director and GCB Secretary Anand Sanasie said yesterday that the clause dealing with the ‘Independence of Member Boards’ was sent to the GCB, adding that the government is aware of the repercussions for Guyana’s future involvement in WICB and ICC cricket if the clause is breached.

The clause states: Members must provide for (a) free elections and/or (b) appointments from amongst their members for their executive body or nominees from outside their members appointed by their executive body. This obligation shall be included in their statutes. Where there is no such provision or where the Executive Board considers an executive body of a Member not to have been established by free elections and/or appointments as indicated above, the Executive Board shall have the power to suspend or refuse to recognise such Member or its executive body (including an executive body set up on an interim basis), subject to the provisions of Article 2.7.

(B) Where a government interferes in the administration of cricket by a Member, including but not limited to interference in operational matters, the selection and management of teams, the appointment of coaches or support personnel or the activities of a Member, the Executive Board shall have the power to suspend or refuse to recognise that Member, subject to the provisions of Article 2.7.

While we at the GCB are open to suggestions that can improve our ability to administer cricket in Guyana, we are cognisant of the fact that elements exists for the sole purpose of destroying any positive steps we may take or achieve,” Ali said. “The GCB, as constituted, recognised by the WICB, continues to be in charge of cricket in Guyana. The GCB receives its financing from the WICB and will be guided by its Laws and Statutes,” Ali disclosed.

The GCB head said his board has taken some decisions arising out of discussions with President Jagdeo and Minister Anthony adding that these will be announced after the GCB’s Executive meeting tomorrow. Ali said that he was of the firm view that the Sports Minister, whom he says has promised Government’s support for cricket, is against anything that could destroy Guyana’s cricket.

The GCB said that if they were deemed illegal then this would have been made known when they hosted last weekend’s cricket at the State-owned stadium. In addition to the regional One-Day series which is set for Guyana from October 19-31, a curators workshop is planned for Guyana on September 26 when Andy Atkinson of the ICC will be here to help local curators prepare better pitches. GCB officials present said that while there are disagreements, the cricket goes on and has to be organized.

Some people seem to be bent on destroying cricket in Guyana at a time when the Guyana junior girls team, even with the boycott of the Berbice players from the trials, made Guyana proud by beating T&T, a team exposed to the best cricket structure for female cricket in the West Indies,” Sanasi said.

The GCB says its El Dorado senior 50-over tournament starts tomorrow and the focus should be on trying to work together for the cricket and players instead of destroying it for personal reasons. The IMC ‘issue’ stems from a court order which said the GCB was legally a non-entity. This does not however mean that the GCB is illegal since it is recognised by the WICB as the governing body for cricket in Guyana.