Govt Setting Up IMC
GCB President Ramsay Ali confirmed yesterday that the Guyana Board was informed of the plan which would see two members from the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB), Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) and the GCB along with a member from each of the two factions of the defunct Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) being incorporated on the IMC.
Ali informed that he had a meeting with his executives on Thursday evening and confirmed that the GCB, ECB and the Raj Singh faction of the DCB are against the formation of an IMC and will not participate in any such practice.
Since this is a national issue and the opposition holds the minority 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 was the AFC’s Presidential Candidate in the last elections, is also an attorney at Law with a cricketing background; being the President of the GYO cricket club, which participate in Georgetown’s first division competitions.
Ramjattan feels that instead of putting politicians without the required experience in cricket administration to set up and head an IMC to run Guyana’s national sport, a better option would be to have the current GCB continue until elections are re-called by the first quarter of next year. The GCB’s term of office lasts for two years and Ali was elected President in July of this year, six months after the elections were originally scheduled in January.
Many in the cricket fraternity share Ramjattan view and feel that once the Demerara situation is addressed and a solution found then all three county boards can once again go to the polls. As it is, neither of the two DCB factions can vote while the BCB supported Bissoon Singh and the ECB Ali for the GCB Presidency.
Ramjattan says that since the International Cricket Council (ICC) frowns on political involvement in national cricket boards a consultation process should be held in parliament to form a statutory regime to make a brand new law to look at the cricket issue at a national level. The AFC official says such a framework will incorporate democratic elections, accountability of funds and other important issues related to the proper running of Guyana’s cricket.
Ramjattan says getting a law passed to ‘legalize’ Guyana’s cricket should not take much longer than a few months but he stressed that all the parties involved in Guyana’s cricket should be a part of the process. He added that because of the views held by ICC on politics in cricket boards, putting politicians to set up and run any IMC should carefully considered.
Ali feels that an IMC set up by Dr Anthony could be illegal since the GCB is the only constituted body in Guyana recognised by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to run Guyana’s cricket.
“I had a meeting with my (GCB) executives and I have spoken to the WICB. I am in the process of informing the Minister that we (GCB) will not be a part of their IMC since setting up such a body could have implications for the future of Guyana’s cricket,” Ali told Kaieteur Sport yesterday.
When contacted a non-Guyanese WICB Director confirmed that the worse case scenario for Guyana if the Government insists on disbanding the present GCB and sets up an IMC headed by a politician could be Guyana being banned from next month’s Regional Caribbean Cup t20 and Regional four-day competitions.
“We (WICB) are waiting on an official letter from the Guyana Government before any action is taken but if the Guyana Government tries to force a decision which is not in the best interest of the cricket and tries to have their politicians take over, not only could Guyana’s cricketers suffer but the country as a whole since the Test match set from Providence in April could be moved,” the WICB Director said.
West Indies play Australia in the Third Test in April and Devendra Bishoo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul are current members of the West Indies Test team and earn a living through West Indies cricket. Guyanese are also members of the West Indies female and youth teams and if the Government controlled IMC is not recognised by the WICB, these players could be replaced by cricketers from the other Caribbean Islands.
“We are not opposed to having new elections and the DCB problem fixed since the cricket should come first. But getting politicians involved in the day to day running of cricket when plans are already in place to create a revival of Guyana’s cricket next year could only further hurt the sport. Most of us are opposed to this Government IMC,” Ali disclosed.