Nadir: IMC Right Decision

Date Published: 
Kaieteur News
Manzoor Nadir

By Manzoor Nadir

It is with much interest and amusement that I read the New Year’s statement from the purported "Guyana Cricket Board". What I find very amusing is that this group which has tried to hijack the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) is talking about unity and ‘willingness to work with all concerned parties for the advancement of our beautiful game’ when they have tried all form of machinations to perpetuate themselves at the helm of cricket administration.

It was the High Court that said that the government must take control and manage it.

Perhaps we should go back a bit. For decades the GCB operated without any legal registration under any Statute – and there is nothing wrong with that. However, when our laws were changed to incorporate the granting of concession by the Commissioner General of the GRA under a rules-based objective it was required that these such organizations be formally registered.

The Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) and the GCB applied for registration under the friendly Societies Act. On March 5 2008 the ECB was registered as Friendly Society # 1103 and shortly afterwards the GCB was registered as Society # 1121. A registered Society would have a constitution under which it operates. The GCB registration was signed by seven members including then President Chetram Singh.

When in 2010 Mr. Chetram Singh signaled his intention to retire three candidates expressed interests; Messers Ali, Panday and Bissondyal. It was not a well kept secret that a clique among the GCB executive supported Ali.

It was also clear that Mr. Ali did not have the support of the Demerara Cricket Board and while the ECB did support Ali he was not assured of a majority. Thus came all the maneuvers to have Ali as President. These included the collaboration of the West Indian Cricket Board (WICB). On the WICB are two Ali supporters –Chetram Singh and Anand Sanassie.

Crucial to having Ali democratically elected as president of the GCB was the support of a divided Demerara Board. Bissoondyal put up a strong challenge. Jaigobin and other GCB executive had complained, with much justification, that the GCB was run by a few persons.

Towards the end of 2010, it was clear that it would be a tough fight for anyone to secure the presidency of the GCB. A lot of money was spent in the courts by factions supporting the Ali bid. Finally this group moved to the court to have the registration of the GCB under the Friendly Societies Act be quashed. This they succeeded in.

Shortly after they called elections and Ali was elected by this group that had no constitution, that had no status, that had no quorum. What we had and still have are an ECB, two different Demerara groups, a Georgetown Cricket Board and Berbice Board.

Of note is the decision of Justice Chang that called for the Government to provide the leadership and take control and straighten out the mess. The Government has been acting with much restraint. In the interest of our cricket the government allowed the scheduled tournaments during last year to proceed while calling on the faction in charge of the GCB to expand their grouping. Instead what the group did was to firmly entrench themselves with the WIBC .

The government at the highest levels engaged all the parties who had earlier in 2011 all agreed to have an interim body. They had agreed to have the government mediate. Minister Anthony had to act. Had he not then he would be failing us.

The search for people to serve on the interim body was a long and tedious one. The Minister has produced a very good team that is much respected. What caught the Ali faction by surprise was the exclusion of all the personalities that have brought cricket to its knees in Guyana.

They thus used the last card they had, that is their support at the WIBC. Thus my amusement that they are calling for cooperation of all interested parties.

Those who have the game at heart should throw all their support behind the Interim Body appointed by the Minister. Let them say to their friends Julian Hunte and company within the WIBC that they give full support to the IMC, but some prefer to rule over ruin than to see progress and development.