Seeram Sacked By DCB
The saga continues! Just days after two ex-Guyana first class cricketers and former Demerara selectors allegedly quit, citing insularity in the selecting of the Demerara 20/20 team, the Demerara Cricket Board convened an emergency meeting and then held a press conference at the Tower Hotel yesterday to give their side of story.
With the Demerara team preparing to defend their Pespi/Carib Inter County cricket title from today at Blairmont, bouncers are being hurled left, right and center off the field as the DCB attempts to clear the air on the removal from the selection panel of Rabindranauth Seeram and Roderick Lovell and the dispute between the DCB and the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) involving West Demerara-based Berbice first-class batsman Gajanand Singh.
Reports were flying around the city yesterday morning that a player had threatened the Acting Chairman of the Demerara selectors Pretipaul Jaigobin, prompting the DCB to set up an emergency meeting.
According to DCB President Bissoon Singh, this matter was investigated and confirmed as a joke. Singh also explained that Seeram, the West Demerara representative on the Demerara Board had not resigned, as he had claimed in a Kaieteur News story yesterday, but was replaced by Krisenchand Mangal on the panel because of his incompetence as a Demerara selector.
Singh, flanked by his entire executive, added that Lovell walked out of the selection meeting last Monday after he was repeatedly out-voted during the selection process.
“One of the things I said I wanted when I took over as DCB President was that selectors go to matches and get acquainted with the players. Lovell said he did not see the players outside of Georgetown but still wanted to object to their selection. It is interesting that Lovell also opposed the selection of many Georgetown players claiming that they were not 20/20 players. When he could not get his way he walked out,” Singh informed.
DCB Vice-President and West Demerara Cricket Association top man Anand Sanasie said that the DCB executive selects a Chairman of the selection panel while the four area Associations appoints a representative.
“Seeram was the West Demerara representative and I felt that despite being one of the few players who is paid a salary by the Ministry (of Culture, Youth & Sport) he was very lethargic in doing his job as a coach or selector in West Demerara and was replaced because of his poor work,” Sanasie pointed out.
Sanasie pointed out that he is very disappointed with the level of coaching done in West Demerara by the Guyana Cricket Board while Singh, who is also the President of the East Coast Cricket Board (ECCB) said the same can be said for the East Coast area.
Jaigobin’s appointment to head of the selection panel despite his (lack of) technical knowledge of cricket has raised eyebrows, but Singh explained that this was a new selection panel and Jaigobin was only acting until Chairman Michael Khan (who is overseas) returns to Guyana since the DCB felt that one of its executive should man the position in Khan’s absence.
Singh also said that despite the non-participation of the Georgetown representative (Lovell), the bulk of the team comes from the City, adding that the DCB met with Skipper Travis Dowlin and Coach Garvin Nedd yesterday.
“Both Dowlin and Nedd are happy with the team selected and are both confident that Demerara will retain their 20/20 title. We sat down and discussed several issues and talked a bit of strategy and we are all on the same page as our team head into battle,” Singh noted.
Singh said there was some concern in the selection of Gajanand Singh who represented Berbice in the 50-overs competition recently after playing his cricket for Berbice club Young Warriors.
“We were hearing that Gajanand, who now lives in and plays his cricket in West Demerara, was not eligible to play for Demerara. However, after going through the Gafoor’s Cup (national one-day competition) and the GCB inter-county regulations we realized there was no problem with him playing for Demerara and picked him in the side,” Singh disclosed.
After being released by his Berbice side on October 5 when he requested that he wanted to play full time in Demerara where he lived and worked, Singh represented New Line Aqua Farm in the national 20/20 competition after playing in the Berbice zone of the national 40-overs tournament.
Even though he was no longer a registered player with Young Warriors, Singh played for his Berbice Club on October 29 against West Demerara team Mavericks because he had started the Neal & Massy competition before he had decided to switch his allegiances to West Demerara’s cricket.
For the last decade it has been understood that a player cannot represent two different clubs in national competitions in the same year resulting in New Aqua Line Farm being fined an unprecedented $50,000 and banned from playing GCB cricket for the remainder of 2008. But the DCB feels the county Board and New Aqua Line Farm was given an unfair hearing before the GCB decision was made and plan to fight the GCB on the issue by appealing the verdict.
“First of all Gajanand is yet to be penalized in anyway by anyone so he is free to play for Demerara since he lives in Demerara and plays his cricket here. In addition, section 18A of the Gafoor’s Cup playing conditions state that a player is EXPECTED to play for only one team in the same year in a national competition. It never said MUST NOT and what happens if a player fails to meet the GCB’s expectations,” Sanasie argued.
The DCB claims that they only received their letter of invitation to the GCB’s hearing on the matter a day after the matter was dealt with and alleged that nobody from Demerara was present at the hearing.
“Mister Carl Moore, the Chairman of the GCB Competitions committee initially raised the issue about Singh breaching the regulations and it was he who also chaired the hearing which is unfair, especially since no evidence like a score book was presented to substantiate the GCB’s claim that Singh had played for Young Warriors. We knew he played because he is a known player but newspaper articles are inadmissible in cases like this,” Sanasie stressed.
In an invited comment, Moore said Mangal, who is the Demerara representative on the GCB Competitions Committee and the Chairman of the DCB’s Competitions Committee, was asked to deal with the matter at the Demerara board level but according to Moore he declined to do so and asked the GCB to deal with the case. Mangal was also asked to attend the GCB hearing along with another Demerara representative but nobody from Demerara Competition’s Committee or New Aqua Line Farm turned up.
Moore added that the West Demerara club was invited in writing to attend the hearing two days before it was convened. Singh however said that the matter should have been dealt with by the DCB before reaching the GCB and his board saw no problem with Singh playing for the West Demerara side.
The DCB also feels that Colin Europe’s appointment to secretary of the GCB Competition’s Committee is unconstitutional.
The DCB president says his board is prepared to fight to the end against the perpetrators of injustices against its players as the DCB attempts to lift the standard of cricket in Demerara and by extension Guyana.