-wants to see guest players competing at the club level
Thirty-five-year-old Sheik Asif Ahmad dethroned long serving president Alvin Johnson by a unanimous decision (14-2), to take over the stewardship of the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) when that entity held its Bi-annual General Meeting (BGM) at the Parika Market Council building, yesterday.
The 51-year-old Johnson had served the ECB for three terms and sought to do so for a fourth but lost out to Ahmad who served as treasurer under his stewardship.
Whilst Johnson found it difficult to retain his post at the helm of the ECB, vice president and secretary, Faizal Bacchus and Linden Daniels were both returned to their respective positions unopposed.
Marvin Pearson, who had indicated via a letter which was read at the BGM, his willingness to serve the ECB in any position, received the nod to serve as assistant secretary, defeating the incumbent Sharon George by an 11-5 margin.
Brian Christiani, Sheik Fazal and Edward Skeete were all elected to serve under Ahmad as Treasurer, assistant Treasurer and Competitions Committee Chairman respectively whilst Prince Holder and Carl Brandon will act as Marketing Committee chairman and Public Relations Officer (PRO) respectively.
The vote to decide on the PRO had to be done on three occasions, after the first two ended in a deadlock of eight votes apiece for Brandon and Zaheer Mohammed, with the latter opting not to be elected on the third occasion, thus handing Brandon the victory.
The Trustees of the ECB are Verna D’ Aguiar and Roland Persaud while Trevis Simon will serve the ECB as Auditor.
Immediately after the elections, Ahmad indicated his desire to see the development of cricket in the Cinderella County, and called on all parties involved to work together to make this a reality.
“First of all, I would like to say thanks to all those who have implanted their confidence in me to lead the ECB over the next two years. Our work has just begun and the road ahead will be rough, but together as stakeholders of Essequibo’s cricket, we can make things happen.
“Another thing I would like to see done, is having the guest players who represent us in the Inter-county competitions, players such as Trevor Benn, Trevon Garraway and Rakesh Goberdhan, compete at the club level for their respective clubs here in Essequibo,” said Ahmad.
He added:, “having them compete with the team at the Inter-county level is not a bad idea, as they will have much that they would be able to impart on the younger players.
But on the other hand, their participation at the club level will help with the development of cricket in the County from the grass roots level.
“I would also like to see cricket being played at the youth level, as this is where the development begins. And this would mean taking up the offer by the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), whereby they will be sponsoring the balls for the Under-15 and 19 competitions.”
Johnson was gracious in defeat, offering his congratulations to the new executives and at the same time, hoping for the best for Essequibo’s cricket.
“It was a democratic process and I respect the views of the electorate. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the newly appointed executives all the best in their endeavours and I hope that they can do what has not been done and that is to move Essequibo’s cricket forward.”
“Essequibo’s cricket is only one dimension. I now have the time to focus more on my club’s progress as well as the development of cricket on the East Bank of Essequibo of which I am the chairman, having being elected to that position yesterday (Saturday) which would now be a priority for me” said Johnson.
The nine executives will serve as the ECB’s representative on the GCB, whose assistant secretary Ronald Williams performed the duties of Returning Officer assisted by Colin Europe and Omar Bacchus respectively.