It was with a sense of irony that I read a letter in your newspaper by the Vice President of the Essequibo Cricket Board, Mr Fizul Bacchus in which he called on the Berbice Cricket Board to concentrate on the development of the game and not to waste time to challenge the elections of the Guyana Cricket Board (Articles on proceedings of Guyana Cricket Board AGM are misleading’ SN, July 21). As a passionate Berbice cricket supporter, I must say that I was totally shocked that the Vice President of the worst-run cricket board can share this advice to the best organised, progressive and administrative board in Guyana.
Any cricket follower would know that the Berbice Cricket Board has been very pro-active and is in the media at least once a week with a new programme/project. Only last week the Berbice Cricket Board featured in all the daily newspapers with at least seven programmes, including the Tribute to Heroes, Tribute to Retired Cricketers, New Building Society Second Division sponsorship, Under-19 MVP Programme, Elite Training Programme, Inter-county T/Shirts and Caps System, Grade 6 Assessment Awards and Cricket Academy, among others. Last year according to the Berbice Cricket Board Annual Review Magazine, the Board completed 75 off-the-field programmes/projects and nearly twenty cricket tournaments. In addition the county has been dominating most of the Guyana Cricket Board tournaments and its players make up the majority of the Guyana teams whether it is Under-15, Under-19, Female or Senior. Players like Narsingh Deonarine, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Devendra Bishoo, Royston Crandon, Brandon Bess, Assad Fudadin, Veerasammy Permaul, Jonathan Foo, Shemaine Campbell, Tremayne Smartt and Subrina Munroe have all played for the West Indies in either the Test, ODI, 20/20, ‘A’ Team or Female Team. The Berbice Cricket Board is the only county board in Guyana to have its own Annual Review Magazine, cricket academy, awards ceremony, inter-county T/Shirts and caps systems, inter-county sponsorship, elite training programmes, quarterly press conference/television programmes, mentor/role model programme, pro-education campaign, charity outreach projects, all-time cricket teams, Tribute to Heroes programmes, Hall of Fame, ball projects for clubs and the list goes on.
The achievements of the Berbice Cricket Board over the last four years are simply the result of a board that has the interest of its players at heart. Administrators like Keith Foster, Anil Beharry, Carl Moore, Hilbert Foster, Angela Haniff, Romash Munna, Leslie Solomon, Vemen Walter, Hubern Evans, Shabeer Baksh and Carol Nurse should all take a standing ovation for an outstanding job well done. The Berbice Cricket Board has successfully transformed itself from a cricket board to a non-governmental organisation that is touching and changing lives in Berbice. The Board’s public image and reputation is well respected and this has enabled them to attract and maintain numerous sponsors and donors, including the new Building Society, Tenelec Inc of the USA, Banks DIH, Scotia Bank, Republic Bank (Guyana), Diamond Fire & General Insurance, Ricks & Sari, NCN, Cellink, Ramcharitar Construction, Poonai’s Pharmacy, Spready’s Bakery, New GPC, Peter Lewis Construction and Amerally Sawmill, among others.
There is no other cricket board in Guyana that enjoys such massive goodwill and it would be good if Mr Bacchus and his colleagues from the Essequibo, West Coast and East Bank Cricket Boards could take a visit to the ancient county to learn from them and benefit from their dedication. I can ask the Berbice Cricket Board to arrange sponsorship for them to visit, since the Essequibo Board turned down an opportunity to receive funds from the Guyana Cricket Board at the last AGM.
Mr Bacchus is proud to tell the general public that he is the Vice President of the Essequibo Cricket Board. Could he please inform the general public of the following:
1. How many cricketing titles have the Essequibo Cricket Board won since he took up office?
2. How many national players have his county produced since he took up office?
3. Can he disclose any new visionary programmes or development projects his Board has implemented over the last five years? In addition can he ask his colleagues of the West Demerara and the East Bank Boards to disclose what new programmes they have done in an effort to breed new life into Guyana cricket.
4. Between the Essequibo, West Demerara and East Bank Cricket Boards can they state how many cricket tournaments have been arranged at the Under-13, i5,17,19 and 23 levels in addition to Second Division, Females and First Division.
I am confident that all three of these Boards together do not even have a fifth of Berbice competitions being played at all levels at the Inter-club, Inter-zone, Under-13, 15, 17, 19, 21, Female and Senior.
Editor as a Berbician I am very proud of the achievements of the Berbice Cricket Board and I salute them on their achievements. People like Mr Bacchus should speak to the man in the mirror and ask him what he has done to improve cricket in Guyana. If every cricket board in Guyana – Georgetown, Demerara, Essequibo, East Coast, East Bank, Linden, West Demerara and even the Guyana Cricket Board were to follow in the footsteps of the Berbice Cricket Board, our cricket would once again return to where it belonged – at the very top, as it was in the golden years of Kanhai, Butcher, Lloyd, Hooper and Harper.
He should stop giving advice to Berbice and start looking at poor Essequibo. Charity begins at home.