GCB treasurer says new executive needed

-election process still in limbo

Treasurer of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Sheikh Ahmad believes that a new executive is needed to bring about a solution to the problems that have plagued the organisation.

Meanwhile, president of the Berbice Cricket Board, Keith Foster lamented the poor flow of communication among executives on important issues.

Sheikh Ahmad

Both officials spoke with Stabroek Sport yesterday via telephone and were also adamant that the current state of affairs at the GCB was hurting the image of the sport and the organization.

Ahmad, who is also the president of the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB), pointed out that with the formation of the present two factions there will be no progress.

And Foster posited that the GCB executive body, fragmented as it is, has people who focus only on “I, rather than the team” and this he believes is bringing about trouble administratively at the GCB level.

Therefore, Foster proposed that the executive should meet prior to the Annual General Meeting, which is scheduled for Sunday at the GCC main pavilion to resolve some of the issues that have been affecting the Board for the last two years, a position also reiterated by GCB vice president Bissoondial Singh.

BCB has pulled out from the GCB elections, charging that GCB president Chetram Singh was not doing enough to sort out the debacle at the Demerara Cricket Board where there also exist two factions which have been barred from performing any duties.

The DCB therefore will not be casting its nine votes on Sunday, leaving the election process in limbo since Essequibo alone will not constitute a quorum.

Damning

Additionally, Foster expressed concern about the damning allegations of financial impropriety and misappropriation of Board funds made by some executives.

Foster believes that an Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) should have been held to iron out some of these matters before the July 10 polling date.

The former school teacher, who is currently serving his second term as BCB president, indicated that if there was better communication on many of the issues that have been highlighted in the media there might not have been all these problems.

He observed that many times, although he is an executive of the GCB and the head of a county board, he only learnt of decisions made by the president and a select few executives when they were reported  in the media or through the grapevine.

Foster said that as a result he does not know what the facts are about many things concerning the operations of the GCB and he will not cast any blame on anyone without the proof. However, he reiterated that many times some executives were not kept in the loop as it related to important decisions.

Keith Foster

When Foster was asked whether he was interested in running for the post of GCB president he said that he “was not interested”. However, he emphasised that there should be three-term limits for the president of the GCB, something, he added, that the BCB had proposed for some time now.

Vision

He indicated also that while the executive of any organisation does the work the president must have a vision for that body.

He also responded to some comments that were made in press about problems at the BCB and that the county’s best players were not representing Berbice. Foster said that it is easy for people to say that there are better players when one is losing but questioned the rationale of those who want to create a problem when the county is actually winning.

He stated that the executives of the BCB have varying  opinions many times but a consensus is always reached and they all share the same vision, which is the development of the game. Foster stated also that the BCB does not only run cricket in the Ancient County but they also reach out to the people by honouring those who are oftentimes in the background doing the hard work at the clubs and in the villages.

Further, Foster stated that his board has always been compliant with the requirements of the GCB and had submitted financial statements as required.

He said in April, treasurer of the BCB Anil Beharry did a comprehensive report on the financial statement of the BCB at a press conference in Berbice, and the BCB statement is public knowledge.

On the other, Ahmad maintained that the BCB should have “let better sense prevail” and rejoin the fold to ensure that elections are held on Sunday. He is also hopeful that the BCB will change its stance, stating that with that stance cricket will continue to suffer in the country.

He believes that the game is bigger than him and he is not concerned with who wins the elections although Essequibo has thrown its support behind Ramsey Ali. He said that Ali has Essequibo’s support because he had met with ECB executives and outlined his vision.

Ahmad, who will not be seeking re-election to any post, said that he was sorry that Demerara will not be a part of the process on Sunday.

Commenting on his tenure as treasurer of GCB he said that there is no fraud and the books have undergone  two audits and nothing untoward was found. He said that if there was anything damning he would have been called to answer.

The Labour Ministry’s Friendly Societies Registrar and the Barcellos and Narine accounting firm conducted the audits. However, GCB vice president  Bissoondial Singh is contending that in the case of Barcellos and Narine a five percent audit was done and this cannot reflect the true picture. Singh also contended that the auditors of the Design and Construction Services Limited (DCSL) had mentioned in their report that due to conflicting information they were unable to identify whether the GCB got value for their money on the two hostels and training facilities that were built at La Bonne Intention (LBI) and Anna Regina. The report by the Friendly Societies is yet to be released.

Singh said that there are glaring instances where there was misappropriation of funds, revealing that figures that were seen by executives at meetings were different from the figures that were given to the auditors.

He charged that Essequibo is the worst run board in the country and while he wants elections to come he wants all issues to be resolved.

When Stabroek Sport contacted GCB general secretary Anand Sanasie he said that he was not making any comments on the elections and the AGM while calls to Board President Chetram Singh were futile.

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