Chetty Will Not Contest Next Elections
Chetram Singh, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) President for the past 19 years officially announced on Wednesday night at the GCB Annual Awards ceremony at the Umana Yana that he is not interested in any position on the GCB when their biannual elections are held next month. Singh gave a comprehensive review of Guyana’s cricket for 2010 and said the year was marred by rain and described this year as the most controversial year for Guyana’s cricket.
Director of Sport Neil Kumar changed his planned speech after hearing Singh’s announcement and paid glowing tribute to Guyana’s longest serving Cricket Board President. “Despite the hiccups this year cricket was one of the sports which brought Guyanese joy with our T20 victory and I hope that Chetty’s vast experience is still called upon even after he demits office," Kumar said.
Sports Minister Dr Frank Anthony said cricket is considered Guyana’s national sport and told the awardees that such an accolade should not be taken lightly. “Cricket has played an integral part of our history and in the past it was not just a game when the West Indies played. I sense that today that is no longer the case as the players seem to lack the fight and spirit the past players showed when representing the region,” Dr Anthony said.
He said he would not blame the players alone but the system and urged the GCB to set up a comprehensive programme and utilize the science of sports if we hope to compete successfully in the 21st century. He also said the government was fully behind the Guyana T20 team since they deserved to be in South Africa despite what many of their critics felt.
“If they (other teams) wanted to be there they should have beaten us. After the team came back we did a review and several issues and suggestions were discussed. We have to create an Elite League here to prevent our players from going abroad to hustle a dollar. If they remain at home our club standard will improve and the youngsters will have more role models. Overseas players must here to play…This is something I want to see,” the parliamentarian said.
Guest Speaker K Juman Yassin, the chairman of the Guyana Olympic Association, spoke of the decline in spectator support from local cricket and said standards have fallen badly on the field compared to days gone by when it was hard to get into even a first division club team. He lamented that the public fighting among board members was doing little for the GCB’s image and said he hoped all the matters of concern could be addressed and hopefully solved before the next GCB elections.
Yassin called on the former players to help in the revival of Guyana’s cricket and provided a crash course in sports administration for those present while telling the young cricketers the importance of a proper club life and preparing for life after cricket. Yassin, like many of the speakers before him, said the omission of Ramnaresh Sarwan from the West Indies team was unjustified and unfair and told Sarwan to keep doing well for Guyana.
Sanasie informed the gathering that investigations have been done concerning several contentious issues and a report was done.
Singh was presented with farewell gifts by the Rose Hall Town club while each member of the Guyana team which won the Caribbean cup received a medal. It was stressed that regardless of who becomes the new GCB President, success can only be achieved if everyone works together. “We need to heal. We can continue with an open wound that is oozing. The administrators have to understand that they are there to help develop the game and have to put the cricket first."