GCB Presidency Race – Part 1

Date Published: 
Guyana Times
Rajiv Bisnauth

I have worked at all levels of cricket administration in Guyana and have the knowledge of what is happening from the grassroots to the top and l am fully aware of the inefficiencies and understand what is required to place Guyana’s cricket back where it belongs.” These were the words from Bissoondyal Singh in an exclusive interview with this publication.

Singh, who is currently vice president and chairman of the Cricket Development Committee of the Guyana Cricket Board, president of Demerara Cricket Board and president of East Cricket Board is one of three candidates vying for the top position of president of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB). The two others are former GCB Secretary, Bish Panday, and GCB Marketing Manager, Ramsay Ali.

The GCB elections are scheduled for January 30 and according to Singh, a former first division cricketer for the Georgetown Cricket Club, he believes his youth and energetic mind will bring a modern innovative management style, where advanced technology will play a very important part in the administration and development of the sport in Guyana. “The fact is that three of us have signaled our intention to compete for the presidency- one of my opponents has had the opportunity, for eighteen years, to make his contributions and would have already done so, while the other, when you look at his track record over the past four years, has been a complete failure.” Singh related.

Singh also informed this publication that several reputable individuals, including former test cricketers, have thrown their support behind him. “The encouragement is so great that I now feel that I have a national obligation, especially since elections are imminent and Mr. Chetram Singh will not be participating,” Singh further related.

Singh related that his main focus if elected will be:

  1. the restoration of our image at the executive level through prudent management with accountability and transparency
  2. restoring our efficiency and effectiveness in the promotion, organisation and development of cricket to ensure the highest level of participation/ competitiveness on the field of play.

This will include both male and female cricket programmes from the school level through the clubs, associations and county boards, with the emphasis being placed on the utilisation of highly qualified personnel, along with the most appropriate and modern techniques/ methods available.

Specific areas to be ad dressed are:

  1. School cricket programmes country wide.
  2. Establishment of an Afternoon Cricket College ( 16.00hrs – 19.30hrs) The Cricket Development Committee would be in charge with the head of the college being a well-trained person in the field of cricket development. Coaches and other technical support staff would be contracted as required. The curriculum must include match referee training, scoring, umpiring, physical education, discipline and etiquette etc Special scholarships will be granted by the GCB to the outstanding students (these will be selected from the school cricket)
  3. Establishment of a Cricket Facility Committee.

    The committee will:

    1. visit and assess the conditions of the cricket facilities and make recommendation to the GCB executives
    2. identify pitches around Guyana for upgrade so that cricketers get the opportunity to interact with international standards.
    3. rehabilitate the GCB ground maintenance equipment and the employment of an operator.
    4. approach the ministry/ government for assistance to repair/ rehabilitate grounds/ facilities.
  4. Establish a special sub- committee to work with the county boards to create cricket awareness programmes/ workshops/ seminars in communities.

    Communities that have non-functional cricket facilities must be targeted. The head of this committee must be a member of the Cricket Development Committee.

    In addition to inter-county cricket, an inter-district competition must be introduced with players having the opportunity to play where they live. This competition must be seen as the catalyst for community development.

  5. Establish an elite training squad at all levels for both genders – Under15, 17, 19 and senior squads.
  6. Special project: The board will be engaging the Government of Guyana, the Private Sector Commission, the Chambers of Commerce and all relevant stake holders for the implementation of a professional league.

The race is on but, remember, whether it is Bissoondyal Singh, Ramsay Ali or Bish Panday, the position must be filled and it’s not only about the president, but the support staff which should be an interconnect ed, supportive and proficient unit, as certainly that’s what Guyana’s cricket is desperately in need of.