Chetram Singh forced to play greatest innings of career

He is not known for aggressive batting and pulsating bowling but as an administrator who gets the work done without fanfare.
However, President of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Chetram Singh is being forced to play the greatest inning of his career if he is to return to the helm of the sport locally.

The Annual General Meeting of the GCB fixed for January 24 is expected to be an intriguing battle.
Singh faces a strong challenge from incumbent GCB secretary Bishwa Panday for the presidency.
Singh, who has served as president of the GCB for the past 18 years, had been quiet initially but confirmed his desire to seek another two-year term recently.

He was hinging on the support of two close allies, Malcolm Peters and Alvin Johnson both vice presidents of the GCB.
Both Peters and Johnson lost out in bids to become presidents of their respective area boards Berbice and Essequibo once more at recent AGMs.
Johnson who offered his support to Singh’s re-election bid suffered a landslide defeat to Sheik Asif Ahmad in last Sunday’s presidential race at the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) held at Parika while Peters lost to Keith Foster in the Berbice Cricket Board of Control (BCBC) battle.

One source disclosed that the unseating of Peters and Johnson was strategic and seemed to be very well orchestrated by those who want to see sweeping changes in the administration of Guyana’s Cricket.

Johnson, who had initially signalled his intention to run for the GCB presidency, withdrew from that race after Singh indicated that he would seek another term in office.

What seemed to be a smooth innings for Singh is turning out to be a tough match and it appears as if he is forced on the back foot against another seasoned cricket administrator in Panday.

Panday who is also President of the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) has been openly campaigning for the post.
But Singh has the backing of Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony and Director of Sport Neil Kumar. He is credited with managing Guyana’s successful staging of the second round matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence.
Both Kumar and Dr. Anthony made their feelings known at the GCB’s Annual Awards Ceremony held late last year stating that it was their wish that Singh carry on until 2010 after the ICC Twenty/20 World Cup finals in which Guyana is earmarked to host matches.

Several cricket officials are calling for change and see Singh as becoming complacent because of the amount of years he has held the position.
Both Johnson and Peters will also have a battle on their hand to retain their positions.

As one cricket fan disclosed whatever is the outcome of the meeting cricket administrators must settle down quickly since Guyana will host two One Day Internationals (ODIs) between the West Indies and England in March and then prepare for the Twenty20 World Cup next year.

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