Chetram Singh says eager to hand over reins of GCB

For Chetram Singh, president of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), Sunday cannot come soon enough for him to hand over power to the new president if elections are held,  he said yesterday.

He told Stabroek Sport that he will not be continuing as president, a position he has held since 1991, of the scandal-ridden GCB but evaded questions on whether he will still step down if there is no election of office bearers.

The Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) has pulled out of contesting the elections and the other county board, Demerara Cricket Board (DCB), is temporarily defunct due to a court order and therefore is not legally constituted to participate in Sunday’s elections.

This leaves Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) with their nine votes and the GCB elections shrouded in uncertainty since the GCB constitution states that no less than two boards shall contest elections and 14 of the 27 members are needed to constitute a quorum.

In Singh’s brief comment he said at the moment he is staying far from all matters pertaining to the GCB and he just wants to take it easy.

Responding to comments made by his vice-president and some of his other executives charging that he has not been trying to clear up some of the issues that have affected the board over the past two years, he said that the DCB matter is in court and those same members have not been attending meetings. Singh indicated that those members were bent on staying away to create an issue, when “there was none”.

“What issue, the DCB matter is in court. What other issue they had,” Singh questioned.

Meanwhile, presidential hopeful Ramsey Ali, marketing manager of the GCB, refuted claims made in a Guyana Times article that he had pulled out of the race and was not running for the top post. Contacting this publication yesterday morning, Ali said that the act seemed a malicious one and someone was trying to stir up trouble.

Vice president of the GCB Bissoondial Singh had also expressed his desire to contest for the post while it is unclear whether former general secretary Bishwa Panday will be running for the position.

On the other hand, when this newspaper spoke with senior Chairman of Selectors Claude Raphael he said that he does not think Singh should retire. According to Raphael if Singh resigns now that will be the easy way out and all the unresolved issues will still remain.

Further, Raphael believes that there should not even be the AGM and elections on Sunday but rather there should be an ordinary meeting to iron out the problems of the board. For Raphael this will provide an opportunity to find out where the problems started and who should be held accountable for them.

“There should be no elections until all the problems are addressed and most resolved. I don’t want him to run and leave these problems. Who is to be blamed for these problems we need answers and try to resolve most of these matters because we know that all will not be solved,” Raphael emphasised.

Raphael said he wants the line cleared and a somewhat cleaner slate created for the new executive that will take over. He thinks this should happen because the new board should not inherit the same old problems, which can paint a picture that nothing has changed.

“We need a status position. Up to this point many of us (executives) do not know where the board stands financially, we don’t know whether the differences in the audited reports and the figures that were shown to them were deliberate or mistakes and there are many other issues that need to be addressed since too many things are unclear,” Raphael contended.

He also revealed that in the audited statement mention was made of the GCB not having an Assets Register, stating that this also has cast shadows. Raphael said that not all the executives are culpable since the division in the GCB has seen a select few wielding power.

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