By Marlon Munroe
The Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) practice facility in the compound of the Guyana National Industrial Corporation (GNIC) ground, Woolford Avenue, is now a sanctuary for cows, wasps and vines.
Stabroek Sport visited the facility yesterday and saw that vegetation has started to grow on the door while there were two huge wasp nests on the fence that encloses the practice pitches, which are completely covered with grass as high as the shin bone.
And there is no electricity in the building since there is an absence of a meter and power lines.
The building, which was constructed after Guyana won the inaugural Twenty/20 tournament in 2006, was supposed to have been built by the Stanford grant from now-imprisoned Texas billionaire Allen Stanford.
This grant was part of Stanford’s elaborate plan to plough monies back into territorial boards so that players might have proper facilities to hone their skills.
Yesterday when Stabroek Sport contacted President of the Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) Bissondial Singh, who is also currently the acting President of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), he said that the facility was not yet handed over by the GCB since it is not yet completed. He pointed out also that the DCB will not be accepting the facility in its present condition.
Singh told Stabroek Sport also that the governing body had written to the Guyana Power & Light (GPL) on June 24, 2009 requesting the relevant electrical installations to power the facility. He reported also that the GCB had received correspondence from GPL stating that the charge would be $165,144 and that cost would have included material, labour and transportation.
Singh said that the amount was paid on October 10, 2009 and reference number NS33123 was given for when installation would have started. He further said that work was started by the power company but ended abruptly, but he doesn’t know the reason for the stoppage.
According to the DCB head yesterday he brought up the matter of the facility being incomplete at a GCB meeting in February. Also coming out of that meeting, according to Singh, was the DCB setting up a boundary with the GNIC club and constructing a fence but he said those matters are still unresolved.
However, he added, the facility is not yet completed because the GCB had built two new cricket hostels at the Anna Regina and La Bonne Intention (LBI). While he acknowledged that the two hostels were pragmatic investments, he does not support forsaking this facility. Those two hostels also have issues surrounding the quality of work done.
Singh indicated also that the DCB does not have the funds to conduct works on the facility and the GCB should find the funds to complete it.
He emphasised though that the DCB did some work to weed the surrounding areas in April but the “bad weather” halted this exercise.
He said that his hope was to see the facility handed over by February but there are other issues that have to be resolved before this is realised.
Singh pointed out that the building would have been used as the secretariat for the DCB but this too is at a standstill because of the unresolved issues.
Meanwhile, when Stabroek Sport tried to elicit information on the facility from the current executive members, who were elected in January of 2009, they were in a meeting. Efforts to reach members of the past administration also proved futile.