New Lights Not Used For Indep Cup
The much anticipated Independence Cup was a disappointment for thousands of Berbicians, as well as those who turned up from neighbouring Suriname to witness the event last Saturday evening at the Albion Sports Complex.
This was so because the much publicized lights that were installed days before were not turned on for the event. Despite efforts by organizers, permission was not given for the lights to be used.
Reports are that the Culture,Youth and Sports Minister Dr Frank Anthony did not give the go ahead. According to reports, the company that installed the lights did not hand them over the government of Guyana.
Region Six Chairman David Armogan, who tried to assist, was told that only when the lights are handed over will the warranty come into effect. The warranty will be for ten years, he said.
Efforts to get President Donald Ramotar’s intervention were also futile, as Minister Anthony reportedly addvised the President that he was not willing to take the chance.
Meanwhile, President of the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) Keith Foster speaking with the Guyana Times on the issue, said the lights need to be tested in a real life situation. He noted that the Independence Cup would have been the ideal situation for such testing.
“You would have gotten feedback from the players and spectators. We were told that the lights would have been handed over in time for the even,” he said. Foster said that, as President of the BCB, he was grateful to the loyal Berbice cricket fans that turned out to the event.
The Independence Cup was a collaborative effort of the BCB and the Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Development Association (BCCDA). President of the Chamber Mark Roopnarine, in an invited comment, noted that before the lights are handed over, they must be tested and in working order and there must be the warranty clause attached to it.
“In as much as we’d like to follow protocol, we were hoping that better sense would have prevailed,”said Roopnarine. He noted that it is hoped that the lights will be available when the organization has its next cricketing event. “We are now only hoping that the lights will be available soon,” Roopnarine said.
Vice President of the BCCDA Ramroop ‘Danzie’ Rajnauth expressed disappointment over the situation, saying that the issue was beyond the control of local organizers. He apologized to Berbicians whom he had promised on a local television programme that the games would have been played under the newly installed lights.
“I feel dejected… I am a person who tries to deliver on my word,” he added.
During the television programme which promoted the event, footage of the newly installed lights were shown. The footage was taken when the lights were being tested shortly after they were installed on Thursday evening.
Rajnauth is calling on the administration to explain to the public why they could not have enjoyed the benefit of the newly installed lights at the Albion Sports Complex.
The Independence Cup was played under lights, but not those that were expected. Instead of 120 feet in the air, the lights that were used were only 30 feet in the air, forcing organizers to reduce the size of the playing area considerably.
Former President and Senior Executive of the BCCDA Ramesh Maraj told this publication that all of the spectators feel cheated. He said residents from both Regions Five and Six turned up the see the games and they were all disappointed.
Thousands of persons who arrived at the cricket facility and realized that the newly installed lights were not going to be used turned away, while others did not stay for long after entering the ground. Organizers were forced to reduce the entrance fee.
Despite the hiccups and some delay caused by rain, those who stayed unit the end had no regrets, as they were kept at the edge of their seats during the final of a well organized tournament.