A Look At GCB Hopefuls

Date Published: 
Kaieteur News
Kaieteur Staff

Chairman of the National cricket selectors since 2004, Claude Raphael gives his views on the Presidential race for the Guyana Cricket Board’s (GCB) top position as the Board heads into its next biannual elections on January 30.

Raphael has been involved in cricket administration since 1983, when he became President of the Malteenoes Sports Club and served in that position for 20 years. He has served in several positions in Guyana and West Indies cricket including being the Demerara Cricket Board President from 2003-2004 and was the first president of the Georgetown Cricket Association. He was also a Director on the WICB from 2007-2009.

The proprietor of a City business establishment, Raphael says it is indeed a pity that after 19 years as GCB Head, Chetram Singh demits office without a proper succession plan or a strategic guide for future leaders and gives his views on those vying for the GCB Presidency. Below is Raphael’s contribution to the GCB elections count down.

Ramsay Ali

“Mr. Ali was elected to the position of Marketing Manager for the Demerara Cricket Board in 2005 and attended just one meeting of the Executive Committee out of 21. As Marketing Manager he failed to secure a single sponsor for Demerara’s cricket.

In 2007 he was elected GCB Marketing Manager and has held the position since then. Mr. Ali attended 4 general meetings out of 12 and 16 out of 48 Executive Committee Meetings. His modus operandi is come late and leave early. In 2009 he was elected Marketing Manager of the East Bank Cricket Association in his absence. I understand that as Vice president of the Guyana Table Tennis Association the highlight of his tenure was repeated absence from meetings.

As GCB Marketing Manager Mr. Ali never held a meeting of the sub-committee that he chairs. He has never submitted a report or a work plan to the GCB Executive. His attempts at fundraising for the GCB were:-

(a)    T20 cricket festival involving Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, USA and Guyana. This activity netted $600,000 from a $14,000,000 investment.
(b)    T20 grudge matches against Trinidad and Tobago realized $14,000,000 when the projected profit was $26,000,000

All inter county matches held at the Providence Stadium and under the supervision of Mr. Ali were colossal failures. There was poor attendance at these games occasioned by poor promotion. The Board suffered financially as a result.

Under his stewardship as Marketing Manager the Board lost the following sponsors:-

Baron Foods (First Division Clubs 50 overs)
Neal and Massy (First Division Clubs 40 overs)
Republic Bank (under 15 Clubs)
Gafoor (Clubs First Division)

Though he indicated that he had acquired a dedicated sponsor for female cricket we are yet to know who this sponsor is even after nearly two years.

Because of the fact that Mr. Ali came to the Board with experience in the corporate world in 2008 he was charged with the responsibility of setting up a mentoring programme for the young players. This has not been done to date. Mr. Ali was also responsible for the establishment of the GCB web site two years ago. The web site was up for a while but is now a non-functioning embarrassment of the Board.

At a meeting in May 2010 with the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, Mr. Ali undertook to address the ‘two constitutions’ issue and to take steps to effect constitutional reform. To date as far as I am aware nothing has been done. In his quest for the office of GCB President Mr. Ali should firstly explain to the cricketing public and the electorate the reason for his separation from Banks DIH Ltd and Cell Star. Armed with the above information the electorate can only come to one conclusion.

Bish Panday

Mr. Panday I would like to think is my friend. He is a very successful businessman and a person who is always willing to share with the less fortunate. One can always rely on him to contribute to a needy cause. He served as Secretary of the GCB for 17 years while Mr. Singh was President and should have taken that opportunity to make his mark. Mr. Panday supported all of Chetty’s ideas. He then is equally culpable as Chetty for the current state of play.

Bish should consider passing on his knowledge and lending his skill to a younger person in the same way as he did after demitting office as President of Georgetown Cricket Association. The old brigade must bow out gracefully and give way to the new cadre of young capable cricket administrators, a la Rosehall Town Youth and Sports Club.

Bissoondyal Singh

Mr. Bissoondyal Singh is a young, bright, energetic and very personable individual with excellent administrative skills who played club cricket in the 1980s. He manages his own business and has a passion for the game. He is willing to learn, he may make mistakes but it is up to us the older heads to assist him as we move forward.

I feel that the members, the delegates and the general public should rally around Mr. Bissoondyal Singh.  Support his team and support his programmes.  Of the 3 he is our best choice for moving our cricket forward. Our Cricket needs new young dynamic leadership.

I will deal with the positions of Secretary and Treasurer in a follow up article.”