It is a well known fact that Berbicians do not have many avenues for recreation and leisure, and that is one of the main reasons for the high rate of alcoholism and suicide in Region Six. It is also a well known fact that cricket is the number one sport for Berbicians. In fact, it is their passion. Sad to say even this one avenue for recreation and leisure is denied them because most of the cricket grounds now are in a poor state. Even the only international ground, the Albion Sports Complex, is denied regional cricket because of the state of the ground.
And that is why Berbicians are hopping mad that even NCN Channel 15 in Berbice is denying then the opportunity to relax and enjoy their favourite sport, cricket, in the comfort of their homes. I am talking here about regional cricket; the whole Caribbean, North America and even the UK viewed the recently held Regional 50 overs and 20/20 cricket tournaments live in the comfort of their homes – but not Berbicians. Are we second class citizens? I was made to understand that people in Georgetown, Demerara and as for as Essequibo saw both tournaments via private television stations and other initiatives, such as big screens for public viewing.
Why is the state-owned channel treating Berbicians like this? NCN is owned by us, the people of Guyana, not the politicians. We are bombarded day and night by political propaganda yet the ruling party is crying that they lost the elections because of what happened in Region Six. Do the leaders of the party honestly and truthfully ask themselves the reason why 20,000 Berbicians stayed home and did not vote and 22,000 voted for APNU and the AFC? The answer can be found in the factories and fields of GuySuCo Berbice estates. The sugar workers of the Berbice estates were simply turned off and disgusted by the political propaganda churned out by NCN Channel 15. Politics is not everything in their lives. When they gathered in the fields and factories, they were cursing the government for NCN not showing the cricket. After a hard day‘s work, they would love to sit in the comfort of their home and watch 20/20 cricket with their families.
This is an appeal to President Donald Ramotar and Dr Frank Anthony to please see to it that NCN Channel 15 in Berbice provides more balanced programming, and shows cricket whenever it is played in the West Indies, be it regional or international, beginning with the upcoming Australia and New Zealand tours to the Caribbean. After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and in the case of Berbicians, might cause them to react in a way that could be detrimental to the ruling party.