GCB Challenges Govt IMC

Date Published: 
Kaieteur News
Sean Devers

Both the presidents of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) have expressed surprise that Clive Lloyd has been publicly named by the Guyana Government as the Chairman of its Interim Management Committee (IMC) to take over the running of Guyana’s cricket, while the GCB has already dispatched a letter from its attorney to Guyana’s Sports Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, challenging the setting up of the IMC.

Lloyd, a Guyanese former West Indies captain is a member of the WICB and International Cricket Council (ICC) and his appointment to head a Government-set-up IMC, which will see its members reporting to Guyana’s Sports Minister on the affairs of Guyana’s cricket, is seen by many in the cricket fraternity as controversial.

Lloyd was recently incorporated into the GCB and since the GCB has publicly declined to be a part of any Government installed IMC, Lloyd’s position as head of such an IMC could also be deemed a conflict of interest. The former left-handed batsman who led West Indies to the first 3 ICC Cricket World Cup finals and two titles in 1975 and 1979 is presently in England and efforts to contact him for a comment on his appointment proved futile.

The Sports Minister wrote to GCB secretary Anand Sanasie on December 23 informing the GCB that in reference to a Ruling of the Honourable Chief Justice, Mr. Ian Chang SC, CCH, dated 22nd August 2011 in High Court Action No. 319-W/2011 between ANGELA HANIFF v RAMSEY ALI, he had decided to install an Interim Management Committee (IMC) which shall assume the administration of cricket nationally in lieu and in place of the Guyana Cricket Board.

“Pursuant to the letter and spirit of the said Order of Court, I hereby inform you that as an immediate interim remedial action, I have decided to install an Interim Management Committee which shall assume the administration of cricket nationally in lieu and in place of the Guyana Cricket Board, as the Government continues to explore a more permanent solution to this administrative and legal dilemma. This new initiative may involve and include the intervention of the legislature. As you are aware, consequent upon the 2011 General and Regional elections, the business of Parliament is yet to resume,” Minister Anthony informed the GCB.

In his correspondence to the GCB, which was seen by this news entity, the Sports Minister said, “In the circumstances, I kindly request that you (Sanasie) forthwith cease to act as, or on behalf, or hold yourself out to be a representative or an agent or an officer of the Guyana Cricket Board and that you immediately deliver to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr. Alfred King all or any properties, account, record(s) or books owned by, or which touch and concern, or are connected with the business of the Guyana Cricket Board.”

It is felt by many that Sanasie’s presence as a GCB executive is one of the reasons Government is ‘flexing its muscles’ against the GCB despite the implications their involvement can have on Guyana’s cricketers who earn an exclusive living from their involvement in West Indies cricket. But Dr Anthony ended his letter to Sanasie by saying, “I take this opportunity to recognize your outstanding contribution to the administration of cricket in our country and I anxiously look forward to your continued support in the future”.

The GCB, through its Lawyer Sanjeev Datadin was quick to dispatch a letter to the Sports Minister on December 23 informing the politician that his client (GCB) is a lawful and legal entity and the only entity recognised by the WICB and by extension the ICC to administer cricket in the state of Guyana. The GCB’s attorney pointed out 4 essential matters supporting the GCB’s case and informed Dr Anthony that his ‘proposed action is unlawful, arbitrary, capricious and devoid of all legal foundation.

The Minster was told that:

(1)    Our Client is the holder of shares in the WICB and the only recognised entity to administer cricket in Guyana. The IMC is unlikely to receive such recognition.
(2)    Our Client's Board of Administrators was duly elected at its AGM held on July 10th 2011. To suspend or remove same would be an affront to the democratic process set out in their constitution.

(3)    That by interference by a Government in the affairs of the administration of cricket is specifically prohibited by the ICC which would result in Guyana’s membership to that body being suspended.

(4)    The suspension of Guyana’s membership would mean that participation in all forms of cricket would not be permitted and Guyanese players would no longer be eligible to play for the West Indies nor participate in any cricket sanctioned by the ICC.

“Be advised that any attempt to usurp the functions of our client in the administration of cricket in the state of Guyana would be vehemently resisted and the guidance of a court would be sought to restrain your conduct,” Datadin’s letter to the Minster stated.

Since this is a national issue and the opposition holds the majority of seats in Parliament, AFC Parliamentarian Khemraj Ramjattan believes the entire Parliament, which must be convened by early next year, should be involved in a legislative decision and not one made by Government alone.

Ramjattan, who is also an attorney at Law and the President of a first division cricket club in the city, feels that instead of setting up a Government controlled IMC a better option would be to have the GCB continue until elections are re-called by the first quarter of next year.

If the Government’s IMC takes over the functions of the cricket Board, the WICB has indicated that sanctions against Guyana could include Guyana’s removal from all regional cricket tournaments and the switching of the third Test between West Indies and Australia set for Guyana in April.

Dr Anthony’s decision could also result in those Guyanese who earn a living from participating or covering regional or West Indies cricket losing their livelihood including players like Devendra Bishoo, Shiv Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan.

The National team to participate in next month Caribbean Cup t20 tournament has already been selected and encamped, while plans are in place for the commencement of preparations for Guyana’s participation in the 2012 Regional four-day competition and if the Government IMC is installed it would be interesting to see the appointment of the selection panel and the team they come up with.

A WICB Director told this publication yesterday via an overseas call that the deadline for Guyana’s team be named has already past and the team cannot be changed unless due to injury.

He added that the topic of a new team being picked by the new selectors named by the IMC members could be inconsequential since no Guyana team could be participating in the Caribbean Cup t20 if an entity that is not recognised by the WICB takes over the running of Guyana’s cricket.

As a West Indian I would be disappointed if Guyana is sidelined from our cricket due to politics since it is the players who work hard to make a success of their talent who will suffer the most. Some might say Shiv is on his way out after an outstanding career and might have just a few more years left in him… but players like (Devendra) Bishoo who has arrived at the international level with impressive performances and who is young, will be the ones to be hurt by this issue between the GCB and politicians in their country,” the WICB Director opined.