Anthony: IMC Not Sinister

Date Published: 
Guyana Chronicle
Calvin Roberts

MINISTER of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS) Dr Frank Anthony yesterday told a media briefing held in his Ministry’s boardroom, that there is nothing sinister with what is being done with regard to the healing of Guyana’s cricket, since they are acting on the Chief Justice’s ruling. Dr Anthony was at the time, addressing concerns raised within the cricket fraternity, with regard to the formation and implementation of the Interim Management Council (IMC) which has been charged to solve the numerous discrepancies that have arisen with the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB).

All I am doing from the Ministry’s point of view is reinforcing what was said in the press statement issued last week, with regard to the Chief Justice’s ruling on the court order, when it comes to the problems that have arisen within the Guyana Cricket Board of late.” Part of Chief Justice Ian Chang’s ruling which was given on the August 22 2011, explicitly states: “It is a matter of common knowledge that there exists a Ministry responsible for Sport in general.

This indicates that the State has assumed responsibility for the welfare, promotion and proper administration of sports in Guyana and that, since in the present state of affairs, while a legislative structure for the administration of cricket is desirable, there may be the immediate need for the Minister responsible for sports to impose his executive will in the national interest until such time as Parliament can provide a more permanent welfare structure.

With such a ruling in mind, Dr Anthony met from time to time, the various County boards but for reasons unknown, found it difficult to get the full attention of all the board members, when it comes to the various matters surfacing within the GCB, including financial impropriety and the need to review the Constitution.

We allowed the cricket personnel in the various counties to self-heal but that was to no avail, so we took the decision to form the IMC, as we wish to see Guyana’s cricket return to the glory days, while we are looking for transparency within Guyana’s cricket with a view to making every stakeholder comfortable,” said Dr Anthony.

The IMC is being headed by former Guyana and West Indies skipper Clive Hubert Lloyd (CBE) and includes Norman McLean, Harry Parmesar, Edward Luckhoo, Anthony Xavier and Permanent Secretary within the MCYS Alfred King. Invitations have also been extended to two members of the Berbice and Essequibo Cricket Board respectively, two from the GCB and one each from the two factions of the embattled Demerara Cricket Board (DCB), while a seventh member will be named.

Dr Anthony said the Berbice Cricket Board has identified its president Keith Foster and treasurer Anil Beharry as its representatives on the IMC, while one faction of the DCB has named Bissoondyal Singh as its representative. While he has held talks with the ECB whose members said they are willing to work with the IMC towards resurrecting Guyana’s cricket, they are yet to name their representatives while the GCB has openly declined the invitation to work along with the IMC.

Following our meeting with the various County boards, two key points, namely Financial Impropriety and the GCB’s Constitution, kept showing up itself, with some stakeholders calling for a review of the GCB’s Constitution. We will not be taking over Guyana’s cricket, but rather hand the IMC a tedious job with a time frame of six months to complete same, since we are looking at having in place, a comprehensive Cricket Development Program (CDP) from the school right up to the top,” stated Dr Anthony.

Quizzed on how he expects the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) would react to the formation of the IMC, especially with the several unconfirmed reports that have been circulating in the press recently, Dr Anthony said he has been in contact with Dr Julian Hunte, as recently as last week.

Following the formation of the IMC, I wrote Dr Hunte and while we are awaiting a word from the West Indies Cricket Board on our letter, I must let you know that we have been in contact with them and there has been no indication of Guyana being penalised. I also took the liberty to send to Dr Hunte for his attention, documentations outlining what we are doing with regard to the IMC, inclusive of our Cricket Development Programme, while reiterating that we are not taking over Guyana’s cricket, but working to bring about a healing to same,” stated Dr Anthony.

Commenting further on the IMC, Dr Anthony said it is made up of competent members, led by Lloyd who in his own rights, is well respected in the cricket fraternity not only in Guyana, but across the world and inclusive of outstanding individuals within the society of Guyana. While stating that the time frame (6 months) would be too short for them to achieve the objectives, Dr Anthony said he is confident the IMC would at that time, arrive at a solution to the problems which have been affecting Guyana’s cricket administrative wise of late.

According to Dr Anthony, legislation will be drafted and taken to Parliament with regard to legalising not only the cricket boards in Guyana, but other sports associations in the Land of Many Waters, with the aim of preventing any other problems that may arise in the future, when it comes to the administration of the respective sport.

With regard to those cricket officials who have decided not to offer their cooperation to the IMC, the Minister said he hopes they would revisit their decision and come forward, with the aim of healing the issues in Guyana’s cricket.

In his brief remarks, the 67-year-old Lloyd who played 110 Test matches for the West Indies where he scored 7 515 runs at an average of 46.67, counting 19 centuries with a highest score of 242 not out against India, while leading them from 1974 to 1985, said he accepted the Government of Guyana’s offer to head the IMC with cricket in his heart.

It is not a takeover of Guyana’s cricket as many persons have opined, but rather a means of rectifying the problems with the GCB, while taking Guyana’s cricket back to the days of yore, when Guyana did not only dominate West Indies cricket on the field, but also administratively. We have prominent persons on the IMC who can help solve the numerous issues at the end of which, West Indies cricket will be the chief beneficiary, as we would have players on the team as well as administrators overlooking the smooth flow of the game.

King said yesterday morning was the first official meeting for some members of the IMC, while the entire body will congregate early next month and begin to put steps in place to commence their work with regard to the healing of Guyana’s cricket.