An internationally embarrassing episode
I write in no official or professional capacity, only as a citizen of Guyana.
In a widely reported presentation last week at the opening ceremony of the 33rd Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caricom in St Lucia, President Donald Ramotar of Guyana is widely reported to have commented thus:
“…today we face the abomination – key [West Indies cricket] matches are now being taken out of the (Caribbean) region while some of our territories are deliberately deprived. We, while recognizing and respecting the autonomy of the sport, cannot be oblivious to the problems in the administration of the game. We therefore call for the full implementation of the recommendations of the Patterson Commission.”
The President criticized the West Indies Cricket Board decision to host matches in Florida and followed this up by calling for the “full implementation of the recommendations of the Patterson Commission.”
Please see below, excerpts from pages 106 and 107 of the Governance Committee on West Indies Cricket Report (commonly referred to as the ‘Patterson Report’ and the ‘Patterson Commission’ by the President):
21:11:1 Assuming Responsibility for Cricket in the Americas: There is need to expand the geographical scope of cricket to include countries of the Americas for which the ICC has designated the WICB to be the focal point. The game is now established in Argentina, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, St Maarten and the USA where a United States Cricket Federation was established in 1996.
21.11.2 Targeting Differential Markets especially within Canada and USA: Recognizing the potential of market size in North America and benefits that can accrue from growing the game, the expansion of an Americas league for example based on the CONCACAF model and perhaps the shorter version of the game should attract the necessary support including sponsorship and media coverage. In the case of the USA special marketing strategies are required.
21.11.3 With the rapid expansion of the game and the potential for new and valuable sources of income, the West Indies cements its relationship with those countries for which it has responsibility, particularly the United States of America and Canada, and the Board move swiftly to assert itself and establish a leadership position.
One cannot expect that President Ramotar should be personally au fait with all the content of the dozens, perhaps hundreds of reports – often amounting to hundreds of pages each – before him. It is therefore regrettable that the quality of staff employed at the Office of the President to act as his aides and advisors has been reduced to the likes of the recently self-confessed ‘news carrier’ and his ‘news receiving’ superior. That being the case, this internationally embarrassing episode is unlikely to be the last for Guyana. One can only hope that inevitable future episodes do not result in the President and Guyana being subjected to the sort of scolding and reprimand as per the Jamaica Observer editorial of Saturday, July 7 last.