The Clive Lloyd-headed Interim Management Committee (IMC) which was established by the government to oversee cricket in Guyana, completed its penultimate Public Consultation on cricket in Linden on Saturday.
Lloyd and his IMC panel that included Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) president Roger Harper, retired Major Norman McClean, Ronald Williams and Bissondyal Singh met with representatives Upper Demerara Cricket Association (UDCA) at the Linden Enterprise Networks building and the open discussion between the IMC and public that was present in the previous seven (7) meetings around the country continued to be the trend.
As was customary with the previous meetings, Lloyd outlined the Mission Statement of the IMC to the UDCA, which is “To facilitate development, good governance and proper administration of Guyana’s cricket and thereby raising its standard in the country.”
Along with the well publicized three (3) point IMC mandate to; deal with the allegations of financial impropriety; the implementation of a broad-based Cricket Development Programme and the drafting of a piece of legislation to submit to parliament, which will make the GCB a “Legal Entity”.
President of the UDCA Bradley Fredericks made the first telling observation, stating to the audience that cricket and sport in general has been deteriorating in the mining town for the longest while.
This was after a cricket fan called on the UDCA to do much more for cricket, enabling the sport to generate as much interest in comparison to the more fancied sport, football, stating that there is a wealth of cricketing talent in areas such as Kwakwani, Ituni and even Arima.
“No game was played in Linden between 1980 and 2001, when Mr. and Mrs. Burns came and revived the sport which was already dead and buried to many individuals here in Linden” stated Fredericks.
He added, “Some grounds were deteriorated during the time of inactivity, while lots of potential players turned to football and basketball and even though the present UDCA is trying its utmost best to bring the sport back to the days of yore, the unavailability of grounds and lack of support is preventing same from being successful.”
Sponsorship has been lacking in Linden over the years when it comes to cricket, with the business communities in the area tending to sponsor football and basketball competitions more freely.
Mc Lean called on the UDCA to have strong leadership, saying it is critical and that along with proper equipment and coaching in the three important factors that is missing in Linden when it comes to cricket.
Further notable suggestions mentioned during the meeting included the UDCA being added to the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) as another member, in comparison to the Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo Cricket Boards respectively.
According to Bissoondyal Singh, a former vice-president of the GCB and president of the East Coast Cricket Board (ECCB), steps were being taken to adopt the UDCA in such a capacity, but for several reasons which he declined to mention, same was not done.
Singh also pointed out to patrons in the audience, that the UDCA was isolated from the Constitution of both the GCB and Demerara Cricket Board and steps to have them inculcated into same, was met with objection by several members of the GCB, another statement that left Mc Lean with a puzzled look.
In conclusion president of the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) and former Guyana and West Indies all rounder Roger Harper said it would be pertinent to see the re-introduction of cricke back in the schools in at temp to revive the sport in the mining town from the key grassroots level.
The IMC held it’s eight and final meeting at the Berbice High School yesterday.