Sport Minister Dr. Frank Anthony yesterday chaired the first meeting of cricket’s top brass with the aim of setting up an Interim Management Committee for the game and in a statement the ministry said that the deliberations were “quite productive”.
According to the release discussions and decisions were made with respect to the formation of the IMC and who will head the body. The review of the constitutions of the Guyana, Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo Cricket Boards, administration and development of a work plan for cricket were also discussed.
It was also stated in the release that the process of cricket development will only be successful if “there is will and commitment from all involved”. The next meeting will be held next Wednesday.
The government’s involvement in the affairs of the controversy-ridden Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) has raised concerns that the regional body could take steps against Guyana as this type of interference is frowned on.
Apart from Minister Anthony, Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) president Keith Foster, former Guyana Cricket Board vice president Bissoondial Singh and Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) president Roger Harper attended the meeting.
Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, who is tipped to be appointed to head the IMC, the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB), which has asked for some time to name their representatives, and officials from the Raj Singh faction of the DCB were not present at the meeting. The release also noted that representatives from the GCB have sought clarification on the proposed IMC.
Foster and Singh declined to comment on the meeting, stating that the minister instructed them not to make any statement because he would have been making one later in the day.
Harper, on the other hand, said that he is the president of an organisation and he would not appreciate his officials going against policies that are set by the body.
On the other hand, a source said that if the IMC is formed then the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) will not be recognising that body. The source indicated that the WICB recognises the recently-elected Ramsey Ali administration.
WICB president Dr. Julian Hunte was involved in a closed-door meeting with Jagdeo, Anthony and Lloyd on Tuesday at State House where he was apprised of Guyana’s cricket situation.
Although Lloyd, Hunte and Anthony declined to comment on what transpired during that meeting, Lloyd believed that the measures that were addressed can bring about a change, especially since he thought that “Guyana’s cricket has been going down the drain for awhile.”
Lloyd had also stated that, “…They (Government of Guyana) are thinking about putting things in place and just having a board that is not fragmented. I am quite happy, from things we have discussed, that things will be better for the future.
“It is time that somebody takes charge and try to rebuild because we have a great past and we had some of the greatest cricketers coming from this region, not only from Georgetown but outside of Georgetown so really and truly we need to get back to that system and I hope when things are more or less settled that we will have by far a much better board that is looking after all aspects of the game.”
Cricket administration reached this juncture after a recent ruling by acting Chief Justice Ian Chang with respect to the case filed against the GCB by Angela Haniff, Secretary of the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) and constituent member of the GCB challenging the election of Ali’s slate.
This action was filed two weeks after Ali and his executive were elected to office on July 10.
After this ruling it was recommended by Jagdeo to have an IMC formed to govern the affairs of the embattled GCB.
The president had noted that the IMC is a short-term plan and two persons from each of the county boards will be on the committee. It was also noted at last Thursday’s meeting that it was not the Government of Guyana’s wish to take over the running of cricket but rather to bring an end to the constant barrage of accusations of lawlessness and financial impropriety in the affairs of the board.
At that meeting Anthony was recommended to either head the committee or appoint someone to run it. The IMC should have been formed yesterday. Jagdeo had stated that he wants the imbroglio to be swiftly ended, with the IMC appointed to examine and investigate all the accusations of financial impropriety and misuse of power by the divided GCB executive.
The chief justice had also ruled that the Demerara, Berbice and Guyana cricket boards were not legally constituted.
The DCB had found itself in legal limbo after two factions had laid claim to being the legitimate administration to run the board which resulted in the court granting an order preventing both parties acting on behalf of the DCB.
The IMC will facilitate a process that can see fresh elections being held both at the GCB and DCB.