Berbice Cricket Board

Name: Berbice Cricket Board
Location: Cheddi Jagan St, New Amsterdam, Berbice
Founded: 1939

The Berbice Cricket Board was established in 1939, four years before the Guyana Cricket Board, at a time when Barbadians LS Birkett and CR Browne were managers at Blairmonr Sugar Estate. They both represented Barbados, Guyana and the West Indies in cricket and may have been instrumental in the creation of the Berbice Cricket Board.

The original member clubs were: Albion, Blairmont, Canje, Mental Hospital Sports Club (now known as Fort Canje), Police, Port Mourant, Providence, Rose Hall and Skeldon. These clubs were all based on sugar estates, except for Mental Hospital and Police Sports Club.

Berbice Cricket Board presidents include: Duncan McGregor Stuart (1950s), SG Wiltshire (1950s), Victor De Cambra (1960-1962), Chetram Singh (1963), Seunarine Mohabir (1964-1965), Salim Khan (1966-1968), Leslie Amsterdam (1969, first term), Rampersaud Ramanand (1970-1971), Lennox Phillips (1972-1985), Ancel Hazel (1985), Leslie Amsterdam (1987-1999, second term), Roy Baijnauth (2000-2003), Malcolm Peters (2004-2007), Jafarally Asrafalli (2008) and Keith Foster (2009-present).

About the turn of the twentieth century, British investor Lieutenant-Colonel Ivan Davson donated the Davson Cup for First Division competition between Berbice clubs. Black clubs quickly established dominance in the competition, but the introduction of Flood Cup in 1917, for inter-county competition between Indians only, helped to change the balance of power in the Davson Cup.

The higher level of competition in the Davson Cup, brought about by organised competition open to all races, inevitably proved fruitful for Berbice. By 1948 Berbice produced its first Test cricketer in John Trim, a fast bowler representing the Port Mourant Cricket Club at that time.

Before 1954, the Berbice Cricket Board occupied itself mostly with club competitions, sending Berbice players to trial matches in Georgetown and participating in random county matches against Demerara. In 1954, however, inter-county competition for all races, for the Jones Cup, began. The first competition was played at Onderneeming, Essequibo, and was won by Berbice, which defeated both Essequibo and Demerara.

Berbice played its inaugural first-class match in March 1960 against the touring England Test team. Berbice was captained by Joe Solomon who opened the batting and scored 201 not out. The Berbice team also included Basil Butcher (who scored a century), and Rohan Kanhai. In March 1961 Berbice played another first-class match, against EW Swanton's XI, but did not play first class cricket again for another decade.

From 1971 to 1989 Berbice played first-class cricket every season, usually against Demerara, except in 1980 when it played Essequibo, for the Jones Cup and later the Guystac Trophy. Basil Butcher was Berbice's first Jones Cup captain. The inter-county tournament continued after 1989, but the matches were no longer considered first-class by the West Indies Cricket board. Berbice won the Inter-County tournament in 1976, 1977 and 1980.

First Division Member Clubs (and grounds): Albion (Albion), Bermine, Blairmont (Blairmont), Edinburgh (Edinburgh), Police Sports Club (?), Port Mourant (Port Mourant), Rose Hall Town (Area 'H'), Scottsburg United (Scottsburg), Skeldon (Skeldon), West Berbice (?) and Young Warriors (Cumberland).

2012 Activities

The Berbice Cricket Board described 2012 as the most successful in the Board’s 73 year history. The BCB had set itself a target of 75 off-field activities, and to play cricket at all levels, including areas previously neglected. In 2009 BCB became a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) and has been making a positive difference in the lives of youths, the elderly and less fortunate.

The highlight of 2012 was the Test debuts of Assad Fudadin and Veerasammy Permaul. This brought the number of Berbice Test players to 17, six of whom made their debut in the last seven years. Fudadin and Permaul also played for West Indies ‘A’, captained by Permaul. Permaul also toured Bangladesh with the HPC team.

Narsingh Deonarine and Devendra Bishoo also played Test cricket for the West Indies this year. Bishoo also played ODI and T20 for the region, while on the distaff side Shemaine Campbelle, Tremayne Smartt and Subrina Munroe represented the West Indies at the highest level including the T20 World Cup.

Several Berbicians, including Sewnarine Chattergoon, Richard Ramdeen, Royston Crandon, Brendon Bess, Keon Joseph and Gajanand Singh represented Guyana at the senior level along with the Test players, while former Berbice Captain Esuan Crandon was the national cricket coach.

At the junior level, Arif Chan, Shailendra Shameer, Shimron Hetmyer, Sharaz Ramcharran, Shawn Pereira, Romario DeJonge Shepherd and Gudakesh Motie Kanhai all made Berbice proud by representing Guyana. Motie led the national Under-17 team while Pereira was captain at the Under-19 level.

BCB’s achievements on the field in 2012 include completion of: the 2011 NBS Second Division, 2011 Leslie Amsterdam Under-17 Memorial, 2011 Tenelec 50 overs first division, 2012 West Berbice Hand-in-Hand 40 overs, West Berbice Two-Day Jumbo Jet Cup, New Amsterdam/Canje T20, Berbice River T20, Upper Corentyne T20, Elizabeth Style Under-21, Ramcharitar 50 overs first division, Neal & Massy 50 overs Intermediate, NCN Under-15 Inter-Zone, Republic Bank Under-17 Inter-Zone and Diamond Insurance and Diamond Fire & General Insurance Under-19 Inter-Zone competitions.

Competitions started but expected to be completed shortly include: the Lower Corentyne T20 Cup, West Berbice Norman Singh T20 Cup, Universal DVD T20, Carib Beer T20, Elizabeth Style Under-19, Tenelec Inc. Under-15, NBS Second Division and Tenelec Inc. 50 overs first division.

Competitions expected to start early in 2013 include: the Universal DVD Female 50 overs, A Ally & Sons Inter-School and the Upper Corentyne Inter-Secondary School competitions.

The Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports continued to assist the BCB with the hosting of the annual Busta Champion of Champions 50 overs Cup and a Day of Champions tournament. The Board also joined with the Berbice Chamber of Commerce to host two successful cricket tournaments at the Albion Cricket ground featuring Berbice vs Hits & Jams Team from Georgetown.

The BCB stated that the 2012 season was the busiest in the history of Berbice with the game being played at all levels. The introduction of competition for clubs at the Inter-zone level was highlighted as part of efforts to return the game to the grass roots level. This format has proven to be very successful with the crowds being very encouraging.

Off the field, the BCB has surpassed its target of 75 activities by over 100 percent and completed a record breaking 175 events. Special emphasis was placed on cricket development and coaching. Under the Guyoil Training Programme over 500 young players were coached.

Special emphasis continued to be placed on education by the Berbice Cricket Board as it strongly believes that education is the foundation of a successful future. The Board also continued its tradition of honouring its own, especially those whose contribution were beyond the call of duty.

In the area of charity, over 50 clubs benefited from over $8M worth of items in a joint venture with Food for the Poor. The Public Relations Committee of the Board made sure that the Berbice public was kept informed of the development by hosting monthly television programmes, press conferences and press releases.

Special recognition was given to President Keith Foster, Secretary Angela Haniff, Treasurer Anil Beharry, Leslie Solomon, Carl Moore and members of the Special Events Committee.

Berbice Cricket  Board  sponsors included: Tenelec Inc, Ramcharitar Construction Services, Carib Beer, Universal DVD, NCN, Amerally Sawmill, Republic Bank (Guy) Ltd, Diamond Fire & General Insurance, Elizabeth Styles, NBS, Neal & Massy Ltd, Hand-in-Hand Insurance, Jumbo Jet Auto Sales, Norman Singh Memorial, Bobcat of Berbice, Food for the Poor, Guyana Beverage Company, Berbice Chamber of Commerce & Development Association, Safraz Photo Studio, EZ Jet, Cops Security, Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company.

2011 Activities

The Berbice Cricket Board in 2011 enjoyed a successful year on and off the cricket field and in the process showed again that it was the best and most progressive county board in Guyana.

While the Essequibo Cricket Board continued to be non-performing and the Demerara Cricket Board non-functional, the Berbice Cricket Board hosted numerous cricket tournaments for all age groups and achieved its target of 70 off-field programmes, and the county continued to dominate cricket in Guyana at all levels.

President of the Berbice Cricket Board, Keith Foster, Secretary – Angela Haniff, Treasurer – Anil Beharry, and Public Relations Officer Hilbert Foster all expressed satisfaction with the work of the Board during the year and noted that despite numerous challenges, including the betrayal of some executives to the current Guyana Cricket Board, the Berbice Cricket Board achieved everything it set to do for the the year.

In 2011 the Board ran cricket tournaments at the Under-13, Under-15, Under-17, Under-19, Female, Second Division and First Division levels. Some tournaments from 2010 had to be completed in 2011, and some, including the Tenelec Inc Under-15 Inter-club, Elizabeth Styles Under-19 and Under-21 tournaments had to start near the end of 2011 because of the crowded 2011 schedule.

Scottsburg created a huge upset in defeating Tucber Park to claim the Ricks & Sari Agro Under-13 title, while Rose Hall Town Farfan & Mendes defeated Albion to win the Tenelec Inc Under-15 title. Albion gained revenge on their arch rival when they defeated Rose Hall Town Pepsi to win the Spready’s Bakery Under-19 tournament, while Rose Hall Town Metro took home the Millie Lewis Memorial Female Cup.

Young Warriors of Canje defeated Tamran Root of Hampshire for the 2010 New Building Society Ltd Second Division title, and the 2011 tournament reached the quarter-final stages.

Rose Hall Town Gizmos & Gadgets won the Ramcharitar 50-overs and Universal DVD 20/20 tournaments, while the Tenelec Inc 50-overs tournament was at the semi-final stages. At the Inter-zone level, Lower Corentyne won all the titles, including the NCN Under-15, Republic Bank Under-17 and Diamond Fire & General Insurance Under-19 tournaments.

At the inter-county level Berbice, playing under the sponsorship of GT&T Cellink, won the Guyana Cricket Board Under-15, Under-17, Under-19 One-day and senior 50-overs titles. Berbice also won the Hits & Jams 20/20 title, with local players only, while the other teams included expensive overseas players.

Berbice cricketers continued to constitute the majority of players in Guyana teams at all levels. At the Under-15 level players representing Guyana included: Arif Chan, Sharaz Ramcharran, Shimron Hetmyer and Nial Smith. At the Under-17 level they included: Sharaz Ramcharran, Arif Chan, Shailendra Shameer, Gudakesh Motie-Kanhai and Shimron Hetmyer, while Dominic Rikhi, Loyydel Lewis, Clinton Pestano, Kandasammy Surujnarine, Gudakesh Motie-Kanhai, Joemal La Fleur and Linden Austin played for the national Under-19 team.

The county’s female cricketers also played well with Shemaine Campbelle, Tremayne Smartt, Nikita Toney, Subrina Munroe, Erva Giddings, Phaffiana Millington and Trishanie Cort representing Guyana. At the senior male level Assad Fudadin captained the national 50-overs team, while Sewnarine Chattergoon, Devendra Bishoo, Brendon Bess, Richard Ramdeen, Veerasammy Permaul, Jonathan Foo, Narsingh Deonarine, Royston Crandon, Assad Fudadin, Esuan Crandon, Keon Joseph and Anthony Bramble played for the senior team.

For the West Indies – Shemaine Campbelle, Tremayne Smartt, Subrina Munroe, Devendra Bishoo, Assad Fudadin, Brendon Bess, Jonathan Foo and Veerasammy Permaul represented the region at the “A”, female or senior level, with Bishoo becoming the Ancient County's 15th Test player and Permaul captaining the West Indies “A” team against Bangladesh.

The Berbice Cricket Board, by 1st December, achieved its 2011 goal of 70 off-field Projects/Programmes. Chairman of the Board’s Special Events Committee Hilbert Foster, stated that the Berbice Cricket Board successfully transformed itself from a mere cricketing authority to a progressive and proactive NGO, with activities under the headings of Charity, Social, Community Development, Religious, Educational and Youth Development.

The completed projects/programmes included: the Annual Awards Ceremony, Tribute to Retired Cricketers, Tribute to Coaches, Tribute to Groundsmen, Berbice Cricket Academy, Junior and Senior Elite Training Programmes, Inter-county Cap System, 4th Annual Tribute to Heroes, Launching of 3rd Annual Magazine, 4th Annual Educational Awards Scheme, Honouring Devendra Bishoo, MVP Inter-county Awards, Junior spinner and fast bowling clinics, BCB Mother and Father of the Year Programme, Berbice All Time Under-15 Team, Essay and Poster Competitions, Honouring former GCB President Chetram Singh, and donation of $250,000 to a child needing heart surgery in India.

In 2011 the Berbice Cricket Board donated 3 television sets to 3 Berbice orphanages, under its Senior Players’ Charity Fund at a cost of $150,000, while together with Food for the Poor and the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club donated millions of dollars worth of items to 25 cricket clubs, for their development.

Hilbert Foster also stated that off-field activities greatly enhanced the Board relations with the Berbice public, which was kept informed of the Board's activities via conferences, TV programmes and numerous press releases. Support for Board tournaments was quite good, with large crowds attending the Ramcharitar 50-overs and Universal DVD 20/20 tournaments.

The long-standing solidarity between Berbice Cricket Board executives was broken in 2011. As a result, David Black lost his position as 1st Vice-president through a no-confidence motion stemming from his participation in Guyana Cricket Board elections. Also, Assistant Secretary Carol Nurse quit her Board duties after being appointed manager of the national female team by the Guyana Cricket Board.

During the latter part of 2011 some senior Berbice cricketers engaged in behaviour considered disrespectful and indisciplined by the Berbice Cricket Board. This was apparently related to issues with the Guyana Cricket Board. The Berbice Cricket Board warned these players that such behaviour could result in disciplinary action.

The Berbice Cricket Board was blessed with several sponsors in 2011, included the following: GT&T Cellink (sponsored all Berbice cricket teams at a cost of $1m), Tenelec Inc of Washington, USA, Bank of Nova Scotia, NCN, Amerally Sawmill, Republic Bank (Guy) Ltd, ANSA McAl, Busta, Spready’s Bakery, Diamond Fiore & General Insurance, Elizabeth Styles, Peter Lewis Construction, New Building Society, Ramcharitar Construction, Universal DVD and Universal Solutions, Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club, Ricks & Sari Agro Ltd, The Trophy Stall, Food for the Poor (Guy) Inc, Conrad Plummer, A Ally & Sons, Banks DIH Ltd, and others.

2010 Activities

2010 Officials
President: Keith Foster
First Vice President: David Black
Secretary: Angela Haniff
Assistant Secretary: Carol Nurse
Treasurer: Anil Beharry
Public Relations Officer: Hilbert Foster
Chairman, Competition Committee: Carl Moore

BCB organised 16 field programmes and over 70 off-the-field programme/projects, including the Berbice Senior Elite training programme, coaching clinics (for bowling, batting, wicket keeping), the second Annual Cricket Academy, the Junior Captain Seminar, the formation of the Berbice “A” Team.  and filming of coaching DVDs. Its benevolent events included the Narsingh Deonarine Trust Fund, Berbice Senior Players Charity Programme and its Tribute to Retired Players Programme.

Berbice cricket teams had won the Digicel countrywide T20 tournament and the DJ Stress Competition. Despite the rain, BCB completed the NCN Under-15 Inter-zone and Diamond Fire & General Insurance Under-19 Inter-zone tournaments, and on September  25 and 29 the Berbice “A” team played Demerara in matches organized by the BCB. The Republic Bank Under-17 Inter-zone tournament and Tenelec Inc 50-Overs First Division tournament are expected to be completed soon. The Tenelec Inc Under-15, NBS Second Division and Spready’s Bakery Under-19 tournaments are scheduled to restart shortly.

As part of the BCB's ‘Tribute to Heroes’ programme the season opener was named after a Berbice Test player each year starting with John Trim in 2010 and Rohan Kanhai in 2011. This was an intended to both honour the greats and to make young cricketers knowledgeable about those who laid the foundation for Berbice cricket.

Berbice cricketers also dominated with the majority of cricketers at the national level. Nine Berbicians represented Guyana at the Champion League in South Africa, Narsingh Deonarine played Test Cricket and ODI for the West Indies, Brandon Bess made his Test debut for the West Indies, while Bess, Assad Fudadin, Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo and Jonathan Foo represented the West Indies ‘A’ Team.

At the female level Subrina Munroe, Tremayne Smartt and Shemaine Campbelle played for the West Indies. Campbelle was named the West Indies Female MVP for the WICB Tournament, Foo was the Caribbean T20 Man-of-the-Final while Bishoo was named the Caribbean T20 MVP.

A captaincy seminar was held for 40 junior captains, while clinics were organised for 20 fast bowlers, 40 young batsmen, 36 spinners and sixteen wicket keepers. The annual Scotia Bank Cricket Academy was held in August with 70 young cricketers attending at the Albion Community Centre. The Berbice Cricket Board, in conjunction with the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club, also distributed $800,000 worth of cricket balls to over 25 clubs during the year.

The Board also continued its inter-county cap system for all teams along with polo shirts for travelling. The Most Valuable Player awards for all inter-county teams was also continued, with bicycles as the prizes.

GT&T provided $1million in sponsorship for all of the Berbice Cricket Board’s inter-county cricket teams, and $300,000 worth of cricket balls for cricket clubs.

The board, as part of its effort to transform itself into a social organisation, placed emphasis on making a positive difference in the lives of the less fortunate. The Berbice Senior Players Charity Programme was launched with over $250,000 worth of equipment, including TV sets, clothing, DVD players and microwaves donated to organisations in Berbice.

Donations were also made to the Berbice Umpires Association, the children of Eden Orphanage, and the Berbice Blind Cricket Association. Financial assistance was given to the three Berbicians on the West Indies Female team, while $30,000 worth of school bags were donated to students attending school.

Treasurer Anil Beharry reported that, as of the end of the third quarter, BCB had an excess of $1.5 million, after offsetting numerous expenses associated with the BCB’s extensive list of activities. President Keith Foster stated that never in the history of Berbice cricket have so many sponsors been onboard and this was testimony to the confidence the public has in the administration.

Competitions:

  • Poonai’s Pharmacy Under-13 Inter-zone Competition (won by New Amsterdam/Canje)
  • Ricks & Sari Agro Industries Under-13 Inter-club Competition
  • NCN Under-15 Inter-zone Competition (won by Lower Corentyne)
  • Tenelec Inc Under-15 Competition
  • Republic Bank Under-17 Inter-zone Competition (won by Lower Corentyne)
  • Spready’s Bakery Under-19 Inter-club Competition
  • Diamond Fire & General Insurance Under-19 Inter-zone Competition (won by Lower Corentyne)
  • Peter Lewis Under-23 Competition (won by Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club)
  • NBS Second Division Competition
  • Upper Corentyne Second Division Tournament (won by Bush Lot Farm)
  • Digicel (countrywide) T20 Competition (won by a Berbice club)
  • DJ Stress (countrywide) Competition (won by a Berbice club)
  • John Trim Memorial (Corentyne v Rest of Berbice. Won by Corentyne)
  • Telenec 50-Over First Division Competition
  • Ramcharitar Construction 40-Over First Division Competition
  • Banks Light Beer 3-Day First Division Inter-Zone Competition
  • IPA Health Care Agency 50-Over First Division Knockout Competition

2008 Activities

The Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) held its second Annual Awards ceremony on 14 March 2009 at State House in New Amsterdam.

Albion batsmen Sewnarine Chattergoon, who became Berbice’s 13th Test player last year, was named the county’s senior Cricketer Of The Year while the LaFleur brothers and Jamally Odle earned similar awards at the youth level. West Indies women’s player Erva Giddings was named Female Cricketer Of The Year.

Jamal La Fleur won the Berbice Under-15 Player of the Year. Odle, grandson of Milton Pydanna, won the Berbice Under-17 award, and Guyana Under-19 captain Eugene La Fleur received the Berbice Under-19 Player of the Year award. Dhieranidranauth Somwaru was named the Berbice Umpire of the Year while Young Warriors won the Berbice Team of the Year award.

Region Six Chairman Zulfikar Mustapha stated that $3 million have been set aside for the repairs of grounds in Berbice, starting with the Burnham Park ground on the outskirts of New Amsterdam. Region Six was also working on regaining control of the Port Mourant ground from Guysuco. The BCB praised Region Six for assisting with the development of the Cumberland ground, which is the home of Young Warriors.

An All-time Berbice senior team was named at the inaugural Berbice awards ceremony last year and this year an All-Time Berbice Under-19 team was named by a committee that included journalist Sean Devers, umpire Samuel White and statistician Charwayne Walker.