Demerara has just won the recently concluded Inter County limited over cricket tournament. While this victory should be savoured by the county, there are a number of situations that have devalued the prestige of the tournament and it no longer ranks among those intense rivalries that existed from years of yore. The administrators of cricket need to clarify some of these issues if the downward spiral is to be halted.
For starters, how could the GCB organise this tournament when the best of our cricketers were away on regional duty? It is probably no coincidence that this competition did not have a sponsor (I could be wrong). But if there was a sponsor then it/they must have surely felt shortchanged by putting their name to a tournament that was devoid of the best players. It is absolutely certain that the supporters of this beautiful game were shortchanged by the absence of the star players. It would have been a fan’s dream to see Sarwan and Chanderpaul combating the exciting spin duo of Bishoo and Permaul. Spare a thought for the young Essequibo team. How they must have longed to have their tearaway young pacer, Beaton, terrorising the seasoned batsmen from the other counties.
How would it have felt if the President’s XI had won the tournament? Which county would have been celebrating? Or does local pride no longer play a part in this competition? Further, who selects the players for the President’s XI? Is there a transparent process of selection whereby all counties are represented and players picked on merit? There is the regional saga where the Combined Campuses and Colleges team is said to be a Barbados B team and other territories are up in arms over the situation. Probably most perplexing is how Brandon Bess, arguably Guyana’s quickest pacer who only recently played for the West Indies, was unable to make his county team and ended up playing for the President’s XI?
It is public knowledge that the Berbice Cricket Board does not support the GCB which ran the Inter County tournament. So who selected the Berbice team?
And was this squad ratified by the relevant board as is required by the laws which govern the GCB? If it was ratified then it is encouraging news since the Berbice Cricket Board and the GCB have resolved their differences.
The Inter County cricket competition is a source of much pride and bragging rights among the the counties. It seems that of late the tournament has been much devalued. Every effort should be made to return it to its glory days when only counties participated, players who were involved were deserving of their selection and the fans were given the true value for their support.