Outrage At WICB Arrogance
Cricket administrators here are outraged at what they called the brazen attempt by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to dictate how a sovereign country should conduct its affairs, slamming the Board’s President for asking President Donald Ramotar to hold off on assenting to a Bill that was passed in the country’s Parliament, while demanding that the Caribbean Community (Caricom) force the Antigua-based body to issue an apology to this country.
Over the weekend, the WICB announced that it was pulling the Third Test between West Indies and New Zealand from the National Stadium, owing to the passage of the Cricket Administration Bill, which it said places the administration of the game here in the hands of politicians.
The Bill had received the vote of the Government and the main Opposition party, A Partnership For National Unity (APNU).
In its statement, the WICB said following engagement with the Government on matters pertaining to the Bill, the parties have not been able to find a mutually agreeable resolution.
The Board said it had sought an undertaking from President Ramotar that the Bill not be signed into law until these matters are resolved, noting that it gave its commitment that once Ramotar provided such an undertaking, all arrangements in Guyana will be kept in place.
Former Chief Executive Officer of Bauxite Company, Dunstan Barrow said all Guyanese and Caricom should condemn WICB President for the statement issued on the situation.
“I think this statement shows full arrogance and it is completely out of line,” Barrow stated.
Barrow argued that Cameron also had the gall to give instructions to President Ramotar, telling him not to asset to a Bill that was passed by Parliament.
“Every Caricom nation should come out and condemn this, particularly coming from an institution that has failed to manage its resources over the years and has produced disappointment after disappointment,” he said.
“Here is a Board having done hardly anything for the good of the game over the many years telling a President of a sovereign country not to assent to a Bill. This is rank arrogance and eye pass,” Barrow asserted.
He saying that the Government should demand an apology from the WICB and if this is not forthcoming, then the matter should be raised at the level of Caricom.
“This thing is out of line and Caricom cannot sit by and allow this to happen,” said Barrow.
“I think the WICB is crazy. The WICB to my mind has never sought to assess the situation properly or analyse it in a logical way.
“The Bill comes out from a countrywide consultation and consensual position from the National Assembly, except for a particular group that is against this Bill, so I find it extremely strange that they (WICB) do not want to support it.
“Cricket is in a crisis in this country over the last four years and we cannot continue to promote illegality,” Claude Raphael, a former Chairman of Selectors of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)said.
Also weighing in on the issue was Former Vice President of the GCB Malcolm Peters, who said the WICB is promoting illegality in the system.
“They have an opportunity to solve this problem here with our cricket, but it clearly shows that they do not want to. The Cricket Bill is the only way forward, the only thing that will solve this problem,” Peters said.
“All the WICB is doing is that they are looking for votes at the next board elections. Therefore it doesn’t matter what happens to cricket administration in the region.
“The WICB is not interested in cricket administration, they are not interested in cricket development, all they are interested in is to retain their respective positions on the board,” he added.
Government has since said that it does not discount that the WICB may be looking for a scapegoat in this matter, since their agents in Guyana were restrained by a Court Order from acting or holding themselves out as officers of the GCB and as agents of the WICB.
“The net result being that WICB has no agents in Guyana to act on their behalf in relation to hosting of the Third Test between West Indies and New Zealand.
“One cannot help but wonder, whose interests the WICB really represen. Is it that of cricket or some unknown vested agenda?”
Government said in a release that the Bill seeks to bring transparency, accountability, and good governance to the administration of cricket in Guyana and to address the plethora of allegations of rigged and fraudulent elections, financial irregularities and lack of accountability in respect of cricket administration, inter alia, because of the absence of legal personification in its structure.
“This Bill does not, in any way whatsoever, allow or permit, directly or indirectly Government’s involvement in the administration of cricket in Guyana, save and except a singular instance, where the Minister is ascribed a function when the Act comes into operation. After that initiating act, the Minister’s role disappears,” the release said.
The release stated that Government rejects all or any contention or insinuation that the Cricket Administration Bill presents an opportunity for Governmental intrusion into the administration of cricket in Guyana.
“It is recognised that these charges are emanating from a particular grouping and their sponsors who perceive this Bill as an end to their dominance over administration of cricket, and who many feel, are the architects of the chaos which the Bill is designed to arrest,” the release said.