This too shall pass. The utter shambles into which the administration of Guyana’s cricket has fallen will one day end. Good sense will prevail. Persons who have the good of the game and the future of those who play it at heart will once again be in charge.
Trying to see a way out of the shameful morass of ill-will, litigation and fighting for personal power and the fruits of power which has been disfiguring the game, I have come to the conclusion that the legislation passed by the National Assembly is the fairest solution and the best hope we have of bringing order, the weight of democracy, the good of the game and the paramount interests of the players back into the cricket equation. I hope it succeeds.
I understand and support the principle that governments should not interfere in the administration of sports associations. But this principle is put in place to serve a greater cause – the welfare of the game and the interests of those who play it. And when that nation’s wide welfare and those all-important interests are at risk, which they have most abominably been in recent times, then the nation’s highest authority is right to intercede on behalf of that larger welfare and those more fundamental interests in order to re-establish the basis of good administration, after which the principle of government non-interference will, of course, apply.
In the meanwhile, I reproduce for any young players who may still be left to love the game after this truly horrible interlude some remarks I used to make when I was asked to speak to youth teams before they went out to play in regional tournaments. I dwelt on a word and a concept which seems to have lost all traction in recent times.
• Respect for the game of cricket itself
This is a great game you have chosen to play. You must get fun and excitement out of it but you mustn’t treat it lightly, especially now that you have reached where you are and going higher.
• Respect for the tradition of cricket
Cricket goes back a long way and you must always remember that you are part of a long tradition. In a sense you are guardians of the game of cricket. You must always feel you are adding something good to that tradition.
• Respect for the history of cricket
I have said that cricket goes back a long way. You should try to learn a little about this history. Cricket goes back centuries. It is a very old game. In Guyana it goes back 150 years. You should try to read about it, get to know its history, its heroes – you will find it very interesting.
• Respect for the Laws of Cricket
The rules of cricket are called laws. You should get to know them well and of course you should obey them at all times.
• Respect for umpires
This brings me to a very important respect you must have – respect for the umpires who control the game. They know the rules. Do not question them. No matter how wrong you think they may be, you must not question them. This is very important.
• Respect for officials
You must have respect for all officials – your manager, your coach, the selectors, your club officials, the elders who have helped you. Remember that without them all the games wouldn’t exist and you wouldn’t be here.
• Respect for your own team mates
Cricket must not be a selfish game. You must not play for yourself alone. It is a team game, you must play for your team. You must praise your team mates when they do well. You must encourage and support them when they may be doing badly. Always remember you are a team member. Team work makes a big difference.
• Respect for your opponents
You must have respect for your opponents also. Cricket is very important, but it is not a war. Your opponents and yourselves are part of the same game and you must respect each other. Do not ever go in for unsportsmanlike conduct to beat your opponents.
• Respect for your country
Always remember that you are not playing for yourself only – you are playing for your country. You are young but you have the same responsibility as adult players – how you behave is going to leave an impression on people of what your country is like. Keep your country in mind when you play for Guyana. Be proud of Guyana.
• Finally, Respect for yourself
Always have respect for yourself – that comes first and leads to all the other respects. Respect the talent you have, God given and precious. Respect the chance you have been given by your parents, your relatives, your elders, your club or community centre. Always do your best, try your hardest. Don’t let yourself down by bad behaviour or unsportsmanlike conduct. Respect yourself always. If you do the respect of others will follow you all your life.