Panday To Contest GCB Elections If
Former Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Secretary and prominent businessman Bishwa Panday says his absence from full-time cricket administration after he was defeated in the last elections by Chetram Singh could be advantageous since he was not a part of the problem during the last two years and feels he is the solution.
A former WICB Director, Panday has not yet decided if he will contest for the GCB Presidency in the January 30 elections. A nomination can be made from the floor on the day of the elections.
Panday, who has been working behind the scenes to assist the Berbice Cricket Board as Marketing Consultant over the last two years, is awaiting the results of the elections of the Demerara and Essequibo Cricket Boards to see if the executives of the three County Boards share his vision for a new dawn in Guyana’s cricket.
If they do and he has their support he will contest for the GCB top spot against GCB Vice-President Bissoon Singh and GCB Marketing Manager Ramsay Ali.
Both Ali and Singh have made public their answers to the same 9 questions asked by journalist Sean Devers. Kaieteur News publishes Panday’s response to the same questions.
KN: Why did you decide to run for President?
BP: I feel that with my over 25 years of experience as a cricket administrator, I can make the difference. I have experience running a club (I was Secretary and then President of the GYO Cricket Club), running an Association (GCA) and was hon. Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board. I have a clear understanding of cricket administration and the challenges for Clubs, Associations and Boards. Also, my absence from full time administration (I have served over the past two years as Marketing Consultant to the Berbice board) has given me the opportunity to have a look in from the outside and provide a clear perspective of what needs to be done. Also, I have not been part of the problem for the past 2 years and I believe I am the solution. I bring no baggage to the table. I am available. It’s up to the members to decide.
KN: If elected what would be your major focus at this juncture of Guyana’s cricket?
BP: My Vision Statement covers this but over the past two (2) years, the public and many of the sponsors have lost confidence in the current Executives and the first order of business will be to restore confidence and credibility to the Board. The Board lost a major sponsor and also received letters of concern from another sponsor. There has to be transparency and accountability which characterized my eighteen (18) years as secretary of the board and my two years as President of the GCA. As far as details of what has to
be done is concerned, please refer to my Vision Statement where I dealt with issues like Competitions, School Cricket, Women’s Cricket, Essequibo Cricket, Developing Cricket in non-traditionally areas – Rupununi etc., Stakeholders Conference, Coaching, Mentoring Programme, Talent Spotting, Holistic Marketing, Professional League, Grounds & Pitches, Involvement of former cricketers.
KN: Have you identified any key persons for important positions?
BP: Two of the key positions have to be the Secretary and Treasurer and two first class professionals have been identified for these positions. These persons have to enjoy the confidence of our major sponsors including one who has left and who will come back on board if I am elected. In addition, the Chairman of the Cricket Developing Committee will not be appointed by Executives but will be elected from the floor after a constitutional amendment has been done. Historically, this position has been carried by a Vice President who may or may not have the wherewithal to deliver. I feel a person should be elected in his/her own right from the floor. Ideally, it should be someone with cricketing experience. I have a clear idea who will fill the other positions and they are all persons who will have public acceptance. They are all experienced and proven cricket administrators.
KN: What would you do to help Essequibo’s cricket and would you continue to have them in the Inter-county competition without remedial work being done in Essequibo at the club level?
BP: I recognized Essequibo’s challenges and dealt with these in my Vision Statement two years ago. Work has to be done in Essequibo cricket. After the elections a meeting will have to be called for all stakeholders in relation to Essequibo’s Cricket. Board officials, Regional Officials and potential sponsors. Because of my line of business I have a working relationship with many of the leading business places in Essequibo and they have committed to come on board if I am elected. I will also seek the assistance of the Berbice Cricket Board (which is the best managed board in the country) and get a few of their officials to serve on the Committee.
KN: If elected, what would be your biggest area of concern?
BP: Restoring confidence in the board. The last 2 years have been horrific for the Board and much of the work done and goodwill generated by many others over the past 20 years or so have been wiped out in one fell swoop. The public is simply fed up with the bickering and they are looking for new leadership. There has to be a new dispensation. Credibility, integrity, public acceptance and humility to work with everyone are critical. Concurrently a clear programme of development has to be rolled out.
KN: Do you think it would be a major problem getting all GCB members, including those who did not support your candidacy, to work together?
BP: No. I do not think so. My track record is there for all to see and I think I will be able to garner support not only from members but from all stakeholders. Currently the board is hopelessly divided and I think not only the members but the public are looking for someone not tainted with the in-fighting over the past 2 years. People want a fresh start.
KN: None of the three candidates are former National or County players so how important to your administration are former players with the technical ‘know how’ and experience?
BP: I do not have to reinvent the wheel here. As President of the GCA, former cricketers handled all technical matters. I will continue in that vein.
Business people have an important role to play in cricket administration but sometimes they want to do everything even picking and changing teams. This is dangerous and cricketing matters should be handled by people with the know-how as was done at the GCA during my Presidency.
KN: Is it realistic to believe that Guyana’s cricket (both on and off the field) can show a significant improvement over the next two years?
BP: I feel I can turn the ship around in three months and set it on its right course. Again this is no pie in the sky boast. Check what happened at the GCA in my first three months. I just need to broaden the scope but the template is there.
KN: Do you feel your professional commitments (jobs) could affect your stint of GCB President in any way? Or do you feel it could be advantageous to the GCB’s top position?
BP: I have served as Secretary of the GCB, as President of the GCA and Committee member of the Georgetown Cricket Club concurrently. It will not be an issue. In fact because of my clientele and my business connections, all the cricket associations will benefit. The majority of cricket sponsors are either my clients or business associates, so it will certainly help. Also I have received commitment from potential sponsors willing to come on board during my Presidency.