GCB To Address DCB Problems

Date Published: 
Kaieteur News
Sean Devers

Minister does not recognise any DCB faction

Chetram Singh’s 19-over tenure as Guyana Cricket Board President has been filled with ups and downs. But now that the West Indies Cricket Board Director has decided not to seek re-election to the top position in Guyana’s cricket, his last days are being riddled with problems, confusion and mental fatigue.

While Singh presided over the glory days of Guyana’s youth cricket when Guyana won a record six consecutive West Indies under-19 titles from 1992, the last two years of his administration has been arguable the worst period for Guyana’s cricket both and off the field.

The internal power struggle between key GCB executives and allegations of corruption have further wreaked the Board’s image. That Guyana has not won a First-Class title in over a decade or a senior 50-over championship since 2005, have compounded the depressing state of Guyana’s cricket.

The issues between the two feuding factions of the Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) which have reached the Court and implicated a Government Minister in the controversy, is the latest episode to the DCB saga.

Attorney at Law and Member of Parliament for the ruling Party, Anil Nandalall, representing the Bissoon Singh-led faction, emphasized the legitimacy of his client’s Board by saying at a recent press conference that Guyana’s Sports Minister Dr Frank Anthony told him that he recognised the Bissoon Singh-led faction as the DCB.

However, Dr Anthony told Kaieteur Sports yesterday that he found it quite ironic, that the media took on face value the pronouncements of someone without checking the authenticity of his story.

What you should know is that I had no discussion or conversation with Mr. Nandalall on the DCB,” informed the Minister.

The Minister, who it is now understood, meet the Bissoon Singh team at their request a day before the two factions were to make a court appearance, does not support any of the factions over the other and is concerned that if the DCB problems are not quickly settled, there could be irreparable damage to local cricket.

When Kaieteur News visited Nandalall’s office to query his proclamation yesterday the lawyer had already left for Parliament and could not be reached for the reminder of yesterday afternoon.

And GCB President Chetram Singh, speaking with this newspaper yesterday at his office, said that while he was awaiting the outcome of the Court cases and hoping the matter would have been solved by now, the GCB now has to ‘step in’ to mend the divide.

We (GCB) are their (DCB) parent board and the ruling body for cricket in Guyana. A decision on the Demerara Board will be made at our next meeting next week. We cannot have two Demerara Boards governing cricket,” the GCB Head said.

Singh pointed out that the executive of the GCB can vote on the legality of the two factions or ask for a re-election. It was also pointed out that the constitution of the GCB states that once 2/3 of the delegates are present, a GCB election can be held. The GCB elections are now set for later this month.

I am fairly confident that we can make some headway at our next meeting in the interest of Demerara and Guyana’s cricket. But if the parties are still unwilling to reach a compromise or adhere to our (GCB) decision, the worst case situation is that neither of the two factions will be allowed to participate in the GCB elections. Only 14 delegates are required to be present for the elections to go on,” Singh added.

Each county is allowed 9 delegates at the GCB elections and with the Essequibo Board publicly giving all nine votes to Ramsay Ali and most of the Berbice votes expected to go to Bish Panday, the Demerara votes are crucial if Bissoon Singh, the third Presidential candidate involved, is to get the seat of Power.

Chetram Singh said that it is imperative that the DCB problems are solved since the Inter County under-15 tournament (used to select the national side for the Regional under-15 tournament over the Easter period) is fast approaching and there cannot be two Demerara teams, picked by two different selection panels, turning up to play against Berbice or Essequibo.

Singh opined that while everyone seems to be seeking publicity, the cricket is suffering and disclosed that he is very disappointed that he will be leaving a board that he has been a part of for such a long time with the cricket in the state that it is presently.

He however added that if those seeking power put the cricket first and let common sense prevail, he is hopeful that there can be a turn-around in Guyana’s cricket fortunes since this country has so many talented cricketers.