Heaven forbid, but the administration of cricket in Guyana at the national level cannot get any worse than it is at the moment. The administration of the game seems to be stumbling from one problem to the next, and seems to be more interested in the settling of personal vendettas than the development of the game and new talent. The sacking of Ramnaresh Sarwan, one of our greatest cricketing heroes, for no proper reason, has now been followed by some strange selection of awardees at the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) 2011 Awards Ceremony.
The awardees for the national female cricketers of the year and the club of the year are a clear sign that the GCB would not honour those who deserve it but rather those whom they are comfortable with. The Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club (RHTY&SC) has nothing to prove to anyone, as our work over the years has not only cemented our place as the best in Guyana, but has also made a positive difference in cricket at the Berbice and national level – a fact that no one can dispute. The nation of a Guyana needs to be aware of the work of the GCB; the selection of Subrina Munroe as female cricketer of the year instead of Shemaine Campbell, and the Demerara Cricket Club over the RHTY&SC as Club of the Year is simply unbelievable.
The RHTY&SC is fully aware that the Chairman of the GCB Cricket Development Committee had recommended Ms Campbell and the RHTY&SC for the two awards, but certain GCB officials at the board meeting on Saturday December 10, 2011, rejected the recommendations. It is widely known that the President of the RHTY&SC is also the President of the Berbice Cricket Board while the club Secretary/CEO is also an active member of Guyana’s best organized cricket organisation. The BCB has not recognized the GCB and as such vendetta is the game. The GCB meeting almost turned ugly with two senior executives involved in a heated argument on December 10, 2011 over the award ceremony and its organizing.
Here are the facts for the cricket public of Guyana to judge on the two awards:
1. Shemaine Campbell was captain of the Berbice and Guyana female teams. In the only female cricket tournament played in Guyana at the club level in Guyana, Campbell scored 212 runs in three matches in the BCB Millie Lewis Tournament, including a century. She also took 10 wickets at an average of 2.5 at the inter-country level; she scored a century versus Essequibo and also did well with her bowling. As the captain of Guyana‘s female team, she also did reasonably well with both bat and ball.
At the international level, Campbell toured with the West Indies in each series and represented the region in over 90% of the matches and did well with her lower order batting, medium pace and leg spin bowling and for good measure, even kept wicket, sometimes for the West Indies.
Munroe, in contrast, has not impressed with both bat and ball and has not even scored a combined 100 runs or taken ten wickets with her fast bowling at all levels. She only turned up for one match out of three in the Berbice Female Championship, did not impress for Guyana and played less than 10% of the matches played by the West Indies female team. To compare Campbell’s performance to that of Munroe is like comparing cheese to chalk.
2. There has been talk about indiscipline costing Campbell the award, but the RHTY&SC, which placed a great emphasis on discipline, would like to place on record the fact that we have never had a discipline problem with Campbell in her five-year membership, and that she is, in fact, one of our most disciplined, committed and hardworking members. She serves as our Assistant Organizing Secretary due to our membership confidence in her. We would also like to clearly state that Ms Campbell has never been sanctioned by the BCB, GCB or WICB for any action and as such, can never be accused of indiscipline or denied an award on such grounds.
3. The performance of the cricket teams of the RHTY&SC is unmatched in Guyana with all the seven cricket teams only losing one match for the whole of 2011. The only cricket match the RHTY&SC lost this year has been at the Under-19 level versus Albion in the Spready’s Under-19 finals. The Under-15, Under-17, Female, Second and First Division teams have all played unbeaten, and in the process, won the Telenec Under-15 tournament, Millie Lewis Female, Universal DVD 20/20 Tournament, Ramcharitar 50 Overs, Busta Championship of Championships, the New Amsterdam Lions Club 20/20 and the GUYWID 20/20. We were also the runner-up of the Spready’s Under-19 Tournament, and to date, have reached the quarter finals of the NBS Second Division and Ameerally Sawmills Under-17 Tourna-ments. A total of fifteen of our junior cricketers represented Lower Corentyne in the BCB Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 Tournaments. The RHT Gizmos and Gadgets Team is also at the top of the Telenec 50 Overs Tourna-ment.
4. The following RHTY&SC players represent Berbice at the different levels in GCB tournaments: Under-15 – Arif Chan, Daniel Lewis, Vierinda Gooniah and Nicholas Cameron; Under-17 – V Gooniah, Shailendra Shameer, Arif Chan, N Cameron and Daniel Lewis; Under-19 – Loydel Lewis, Clinton Pestano, Dominic Rikhi, Shawn Perriera, Vidal Crandon and S Hardyal; Females – Shemaine Campbell, Erva Giddings, Nikita Toney, Plaffina Millington, Trieshna Cort, Meliane Henry, Shenella McBean, Cindy Alexander and Jackie Singh. At the senior level for Berbice, Assad Fudadin, Royston and Esuan Crandon, Rajiv Ivan, Clinton Pestano and Shawn Perriera played while in the GCB 20/20 Tournament; an unbelievable nine RHYT&SC members took part and they were: Fudadin, the Crandons, Ivan, Eon Hooper, Pestano, Jason Sinclair, Delbert Hicks, Renwick Batson and Shawn Perreira.
5. The following RHTY&SC members played or were selected to represent Guyana at the junior, female or senior level – Arif Chan, Shailendra Shameer, Lowdel Lewis, Dominic Rikhi, Clinton Pestano, Shemaine Campbell, Erva Giddings, Trieshna Cort, Plaffina Millington, Nikita Toney, Assad Fudadin, Esuan Crandon, Royston Crandon and Rajiv Ivan. In addition, Nicholas Cameron was an Under-15 standby, Jackie Singh a female standby, while Pestano and Hooper were standbys for the senior national teams. To note, DCC does not have a female team.
6. Assad Fudadin captained the Berbice and Guyana senior teams, Royston Crandon captained Guyana vs Trinidad in 20/20 matches, Shemaine Campbell captained the Berbice and Guyana female teams, Shawn Perreira captained the Berbice Under-19 team.
7. Assad Fudadin represented the West Indies ‘A’ team while Shemaine Campbell toured with the West Indies female on all their tours.
8. The RHTY&SC organized an unmatched and record-breaking 125 of the field activities with the cricket teams organizing 60 of them. Under the 60 cricket teams‘ programme a total of $10,000,00 worth of assistance was given to Berbice sportsman, schools, NGOs, cricket and sports clubs among others. These include educational scholarships, sport gear, sports uniforms and footwear for students.
9. Our cricket teams in 2011 as part of their developmental programme hosted a highly successful 16th annual cricket academy, 20th annual awards (over 2.5M prizes shared out), monthly television programme, annual youth magazine, twelve cricket clinics, essay and poster competitions, educational summer camp and the construction of two large anti-drugs billboards with RHTY&SC members.
10. Among the numerous programmes hosted by the RHTY&SC cricket teams in 2011 are Lower Corentyne Outstanding Students Awards, Scotia Bank Tribute to Teachers, Patricia Moniz Educational Fund, Tribute to Herres, Tribute to Retired Teachers, Tribute to Head Teachers, Zara Apartment Region, 6 educational awards and the Lower Corentyne Mash Parade.
11. The cricket teams of the RHTY&SC, while enjoying their own success on the cricket field, have committed themselves to assisting all cricket teams in Berbice and the BCB. The RHTY&SC raised over $5,000,000 in cash and materials for the Berbice Cricket Board in 2011 alone and also co-sponsored 26 major programmes of the BCB Special Events Committee. We also donated cricket balls and equipment to 16 cricket clubs and donated millions of dollars worth of items to over 40 cricket clubs to assist them to expand. Our cricketers also raised $1,000,000 to assist four children to undergo medical operations.
12. Editor, the record of the RHTY&SC in 2011 can only be described as unbelievable and we remain, along with the Berbice Cricket Board, the only shining light in Guyana’s dark cricketing circle. DCC is our sister club and we respect them very highly, but the RHTY&SC record of achievement on and off the cricket field is far superior to that of any other club in Guyana and deserves to be named club of the year 2011. We would like to challenge any cricket official to release the complete record of the DCC and let the general public of Guyana decide.
At the last GCB awards ceremony in 2010, it was announced that performance on the cricket field, members playing for country, country and the West Indies, female cricket and development, overall cricket development and outreach programmes would be the guidelines to select the Club of the Year.
The RHTY&SC does not work for medals, trophies or honour, but to make a positive difference, but if we deserve such an award we should not be denied it because of a personal vendetta.
We have already won the award in 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2010 and to be denied it for the fifth time is hurtful, but we would strive to be more successful in 2012 as ‘Who God bless no other can stop.‘ The GCB list is getting shorter every day; first it was the sacking of Carl Moore, then the removal of Mark Harper, the dismissal of the BCB administrator, the removal of coach Hubern Evans over rubber slippers, the Ramnaresh Sarwan saga, the disorganized 20/20 tournament, and the list goes on. The time has come for the Government of Guyana, the political opposition and all cricket-loving people in Guyana to act now to save our cricket before it is too late.
In 2011, we had no four-day inter-county tournament, no 20/20 inter-county tournament, no school tournament, no female inter-club tournament, no 40 or 50 overs first division national club tournament or even a cricket academy.
In Berbice, the progress achieved by the BCB has transformed cricket in the ancient county, and it is a shame that the same cannot be done at the national level.