Lloyd Welcomes Cricket Bill
Dear Sports Editor,
I welcome the Cricket Administration Bill (CAB) which was recently passed by the National Assembly of Guyana. I took note of the fact that it passed with the support of both the Government and the main Opposition Party. This Bill has been some three years in the making. It is the fruit of serious thinking about the future of Guyanese cricket and consultation with the widest possible cross section of the Guyanese public, including a parliamentary select committee.
Quite apart from this, even before the Bill was approved, important stakeholders in the cricketing community and important individuals and recognized cricket authorities, such as the former West Indies all rounder Roger Harper, supported the Bill on the basis of its known inputs and the objectives it is intended to achieve: the restoration of a game that has made a significant contribution to the development of our country.
I am encouraged by the fact that the CAB seeks to bring transparency, honesty and accountability to the administration of the game. I do not believe that there is a single Guyanese citizen who would not wish to see cricket so administered in our dear land. It is a given that a new administration can act as a spur to the development of cricket. And no one can seriously contend that in our current circumstances our cricket does not need a shot in the arm.
Without being too parochial I am constrained to note that when the New Zealand cricket tour starts in a few weeks time there will be no Guyanese cricketer among the eleven representatives. During my tenure as captain my focus was always about WI cricket and not any one territory. Contrast this with the era in my lifetime when we had as many as six players in the West Indies team, and could offer to West Indies cricket six Test captains, including myself, Maurice “Pacheo” Fernandes, Rohan Kanhai, Alvin Kallicharran, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan.
Let me note here also that apart from the great batsmen who have graced the cricket field with our colours, Lance Gibbs was the first spin bowler to break the world record. Guyana has a proud and enviable record as a component of West Indies cricket. We must do everything to sustain that record.
That record can only be sustained if we grapple with our current problems and as a nation, accord cricket the importance it deserves. The Bill is an important step in this direction. It can remedy the problems and difficulties facing the game and allow it to flourish as part of the cultural tapestry of this nation.
The need for Guyana’s cricket to be provided with an environment in which it can flourish does not need an elaborate argument. Cricket in Guyana has been an agent for national unity, for bringing communities together, for ensuring Guyana’s recognition beyond its borders and for providing the means by which our individual cricketers could realize an upward movement in their social status.
In addition, Guyana must be able to return to the position in which it is a major contributor of talent, both in terms of cricketers and administrators, to West Indies and world cricket. A former Prime Minister of Guyana once told the story that he had difficulties Mentioned such names as Kanhai, Butcher, Solomon and Lance Gibbs. According to him it was instant understanding and recognition.
That great American patriot, Tom Payne, said that the American Revolution was an opportunity to make the world new again. The Bill is certainly not a revolution but it can decidedly offer this nation the opportunity to make Guyana great again as a contributor to regional and world cricket. I am confident that the Bill can do this and I look forward to an era in which our cricket is again properly administered and a credit to every Guyanese citizen.
Clive H Lloyd