Poor Hospitality By Police
IT IS well known that playing cricket in Guyana is an expensive exercise. To don merely a suit (shirt and trousers) costs at least $6 000, while a bat - the main player in the game of glorious uncertainties - fetches on average $18 000. Add gloves, pads, a helmet and other protective gear and you get the picture that turning out on a cricket field is no ordinary exercise.
As a result, most players with more than a passing love for the sunshine game would turn out with just the essentials - a bat, batting gloves and pads. They would also expect the same treatment at intervals and do get it most of the time from the administrators of the game.
Over the years, players have come to accept a snack, however light, during the tea break at third, second and even first division levels of the game. Some do so grudgingly while others prefer to prepare their own meals of something more substantial. After all, absorbing six hours of Guyana sunshine on nothing but breakfast is no ordinary feat.
Given all the above, being presented with a bun (tasted okay) and a glass of ‘Kool Aid’ during the tea interval of the first day’s play in the Carib Beer division-one match between DCC and Police at Eve Leary on Sunday, November 11, didn’t rank too badly, except for the fact that the recipients were the members of the visiting team (DCC) while Police feasted on meals delivered in boxes.
Apologies were offered by the Police captain to his opposite number who, in the spirit of the game, accepted and got on with the business of playing.
One would have expected the same treatment, if not an improvement, when play resumed on the second day - Saturday, November 17 - but no. Lo and behold, after a request from the Police captain for the DCC players to “hold on a while” the policemen could be seen having their box lunches while the visitors bided their time until the 30-minute break was over.
At this stage one might have been correct in thinking that the policemen were resorting to psychological warfare especially since they were on the receiving end (and would go on to lose the match) but then why would they want to alienate the umpires?
Yes! The umpires, on both days suffered the same fate as the DCC players - a bun and some Kool Aid on the first day and nothing on the second.
Several members of the Police team, including the captain, were apologetic about the whole matter but seemed powerless to change anything.
When the game ended early Sunday, friendly rivalry still permeated the atmosphere although the lads from Queenstown relished the opportunity to be on their way. One was even heard saying, in jest, “even carrion crow doan come by Police”.
It may look like a case of all’s well that ends well but the truth is the Police Sports Club ground is fast gaining an undesirable reputation among cricketers, and one hopes that the powers that be would do something to arrest this situation before it gets worse. Would anyone relish spending six hours in the sun and having no quencher at the water breaks?