Gov’t slams WICB over pulling of test match from Providence National Stadium

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’

 

The Guyana Government yesterday slammed the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) decision to remove the scheduled third cricket test match between the West Indies and New Zealand from the Providence National Stadium because of the passage of a bill which seeks to regularize cricket administration in the country and questioned whose interests the WICB was really representing.

“The Government of Guyana 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, stated the press release from the government yesterday.

On Saturday, the WICB released a statement advising that the match, scheduled for June 26-30, would no longer be held in Guyana because the WICB and the Guyana Government had failed to arrive at a consensus over the issue of the Cricket Administration Bill which was recently passed in the National Assembly.

“The WICB 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,” the WICB stated in its release adding that it viewed the matter as “undesirable and inconsistent with International Cricket Council (ICC) tenets.”

According to the WICB it had subsequently sought an undertaking from President Donald Ramotar that the Bill not be signed into law until the issues are resolved.

“The Board gave its commitment that once His Excellency President Ramotar provided such an undertaking all arrangements in Guyana will be kept in place.”

Donald Ramotar
Donald Ramotar

The WICB said that since it had not received the sought undertaking from President Ramotar, the board was left with no other recourse but to relocate the Third Test between West Indies and New Zealand from Guyana adding that alternative venues were being explored and a decision would be forthcoming today.

“The WICB regrets having to take this course of action, and seeks the understanding of cricket fans and stakeholders in Guyana, even as the WICB will continue to review all matters pertaining to cricket in Guyana,” stated the release.

The Guyana Government yesterday accused the WICB of “arrogance” and “contempt” as it relates to the refusal of the WICB to accept a correspondence from the Honourable Minister of Sport Dr. Frank Anthony on behalf of President Ramotar simply because the correspondence did not have the seal of the President.

Following is the full press release from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport on the WICB’s decision to move the Third Test from Guyana.

The Government of Guyana notes with deep regret the decision of the West Indies Cricket Board to relocate the Third Test between the 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.

On May 30Th 2014 at about 4.35pm, Mr. Dave Cameron, President of WICB, wrote to His Excellency, President Donald Ramotar, raising certain concerns in respect of the Guyana Cricket Administration Bill. In that letter, Mr. 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.

At or about 6.22 pm that day, the Honourable Minister of Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, responded. In a covering e-mail, the Minister explained that the President was out of Georgetown and that he was duly instructed to respond on the President’s behalf.

Clive Lloyd
Clive Lloyd
Dr. Anthony
Dr. Anthony

At 6.54 pm, 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 informs that WICB will proceed with its decision to move the match.

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 of Guyana does not discount the fact that the West Indies Cricket Board maybe 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.

This 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.

Government, therefore, rejects all or any contention or insinuation that this 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.

The Government is not surprised by the chameleon outburst of the AFC. This is a party that masquerades as a prosecutor of accountability, transparency and good governance, concepts which form the very raison d’etre of this Bill. However, they withheld support from this Bill in the National Assembly having participated in the Parliamentary Select Committee that produced a consensus report. And have now joined forces with an extrinsic organ that is attempting to meddle in the internal affairs of our country and thwart our constitutionally enshrined law making process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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