The current rainy weather has contributed to the unsatisfactory state of the $8 million Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) Training Facility says the President of the Guyana Cricket Board Chetram Singh, while emphasising that “there will be no forsaking of the facility”.
When contacted yesterday by Stabroek Sport, Singh noted that the building is still without electricity but blamed the condition of the compound on the current rainy weather. He, however, stressed that the building will not be forsaken for the two hostels built at Anna Regina and the La Bonne Intention (LBI).
Stabroek News visited the DCB training facility last week and discovered that the compound in which it is housed is now a sanctuary for cows, wasps and vines. The centre was constructed three years ago by the GCB in the compound of the Guyana National Industrial Corporation (GNIC) cricket ground, with the intention of housing the Secretariat of the DCB and hosting county teams preparing for tournaments. The facility, along with other projects in the Essequibo and Berbice, was built from the Allen Stanford US$100,000 grant that the Guyana was entitled to when it won the inaugural Stanford Twenty20 tournament in 2006.
Two sources in the past executive said that in addition to that grant the Board received a US$15,000 grant monthly from the now imprisoned Stanford which was used to assist in paying players, grounds men and other expenses. The sources pointed out that after some time Stanford stopped sending the monthly grants.
The US$100,000 grant was for capital projects that would have included the building of infrastructure and other facilities such as the DCB facility. Two other facilities that were reportedly built with the Stanford grant were a scoreboard at Parika and another facility in Stanleytown, New Amsterdam.
The GCB has not handed over the Training Facility to the DCB and Singh said yesterday that there is no timeline for the handing over of the centre. He, however, stressed that he is not satisfied with its condition presently.
Meanwhile President of the DCB Bissondial Singh maintained that he will not be accepting the facility in its current state. He said that the GCB had written to the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) on June 24, 2009 requesting that the relevant electrical installations to power the facility. According to him, GPL subsequently wrote to the GCB informing them that the cost would be $165,144, which included material, labour and transportation. This amount of money was paid and the reference number NS33123 was given.
According to him, the power company commenced work on electrifying the building but that this process was ended abruptly without any explanation being given to the officials.
Past DCB president and former Chairman of the Cricket Development Committee (CDC) Claude Raphael too expressed his disappointment especially since the practice centre had been completed three years ago. He said when he demitted office in 2007 the physical building was completed but there were no electrical installations.
According to him “building such a facility and having it languishing is counter-productive”. He said too that that electricity should not be an excuse for the facility not being handed over.
Meanwhile, he told Stabroek Sport that when he went on leave in 2006 plans were drawn up for the construction and the location but when he returned from leave the location had been moved at the request of the GCB president. The facility, according to Raphael, was supposed to have been on the southern side of the GNIC ground, contiguous to the club house, as opposed to the northern side, where it is currently located.
He reasoned that with the southern location, the facility would have been easily accessible for water and electrical fixtures. Raphael believes that the facility is badly located on the northern side. Aubrey Jones Associates’ quantity surveyor David Patterson was involved with plans for the construction of the facility.
Former Chairman of the CDC with the GCB Malcolm Peters said that he was saddened by the state of the facility and its environs. He said given the time the facility was completed it should have been handed over.