WICB Arrogant and Contemptuous

Date Published: 
Guyana Times
Guyana Times Staff

Responding to the recent decision by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to relocate the Third Test between West Indies and New Zealand from Guyana and “certain assertions” made by the WICB regarding the matter, Government yesterday issued a release in which it accused the WICB of assuming arrogance and contempt towards a sovereign Government of a CARICOM member state.

The Third Test between West Indies and New Zealand were slated for June 26 to 30 at the National Stadium, Providence, however, the WICB in a statement issued on Saturday said it is currently considering alternative venues.

The WICB advised that following engagement with the Government of Guyana on matters pertaining to the Cricket Administration Bill in Guyana, the parties were not able to find a mutually agreeable resolution hence its decision.

Government said it “notes with deep regret the decision of the West Indies Cricket Board to relocate the Third Test between West Indies and New Zealand, from Guyana. We observe with even greater concern, certain assertions made by the WICB regarding this matter and we feel compelled to respond.”

According to a statement from the Government, on May 30, 2014 at about 14:35h President of WICB Dave Cameron wrote to His Excellency President Donald Ramotar raising certain concerns in respect of the Guyana Cricket Administration Bill.

In that letter, the release stated, Cameron requested an opportunity to study the Bill and the Constitution, in order to be able to provide more detailed comments at a later stage. “In the interim, he requested that the President not assent to the Bill until there is agreement in relation to the matters raised. The letter requested a response by 6 pm that day,” the release stated.

It was also noted in the press release that at or about 18:22hrs that day, the Honourable Minister of Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony responded via e-mail and also explained that the President was out of Georgetown and that he was duly instructed to respond on the President’s behalf.

The press release indicated that at 18:54hrs, the Minister received an e-mail from Mr. Cameron, indicating that the response was “unacceptable” and that the response which he requires” must be done under the Seal of the President”. The email then reportedly informed that the WICB would proceed with its decision to move the match from Guyana.

“It is hoped, that the arrogance and contempt assumed by the WICB, as it purports to give directions to a sovereign Government of a CARICOM member state, is noted. That aside, the statement issued by the WICB was clearly structured to convey a very jaundiced impression of their exchanges with the Government on this matter,” the Government release stated.

The WICB had said in its statement that it has serious reservations that the Cricket Administration Bill, which was passed in the Guyana National Assembly, thrusts the administration of cricket in Guyana from an independent body to the Government of Guyana. This, the WICB views, as undesirable and inconsistent with International Cricket Council (ICC) tenets, said the statement.

But, according to Government, it does not discount that the West Indies Cricket Board 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 Guyana Cricket Board 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 represent, is it that of cricket or some unknown vested agenda.”

Government said the Bill, which was found so offensive, 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 press release stated that Government, therefore, 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 recognized 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.”

Meanwhile, the new venue of the Third Test between West Indies and New Zealand will be announced today (June 2). The dates of the Test – June 26 to 30 – remain.