It is a known fact that only the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) supported the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) at the last elections in the wake of a divided and unknown Demerara Cricket Board and the abstention from the process by the Berbice Cricket Board. There are three members from the ECB who sit on the executive of the GCB, including Fizul Bacchus as Vice-President. He is also the President of the ECB and sits on the disciplinary committee of the GCB. Technically, should the ECB withdraw its support for the GCB, then there will not be a board. The point I am trying to make is that the ECB has considerable influence in the daily operations of the GCB and therefore its primary objective should be to protect the interest and well-being of its players and consequently to provide firm and decisive leadership beyond tokenism. But do they have a voice or were they selected by choice?
While indiscipline should not be condoned in any form, I was extremely surprised and disappointed at the treatment given to arguably one of Essequibo’s finest young cricketers who was banned for three months by the executives of the GCB following reports of his misbehaviour (broken curfew and faked illness) at the last regional under 19 tournament held in St Kitts. Ricardo Adams became the first resident Essequibian batsman to score a century at the regional youth level in 2012, and was also selected in the senior T20 squad earlier this year. He is unquestionably one of the best young players in Guyana. I recall at the ECB’s last statutory meeting held on September 1 that there was unanimous support for Adams to play in the senior inter-county one-day tournament, even as reports were made of his indiscretions on that tour. The argument then was to seek help and guidance for the player, since isolating him from the game could do irreparable damage to his future. I am therefore disturbed that such a harsh penalty was instituted against Adams, which I believe will further humiliate this young cricketer so he may lose interest in the game.
Why such draconian action by the GCB especially in relation to a minor? I have seen many damning reports of players’ misconduct by past managers and coaches of national teams and never before were those culpable sanctioned at such a level. I have even noted that the GCB has undertaken to provide counselling for Adams, but will that not be putting the cart before the horse? I am therefore appealing to the ECB to seek justice for its players in light of what I consider to be an impromptu hearing, where the due process was not adhered to. In fact Ricardo Adams would not have been prepared at such short notice since he was scheduled to play against Demerara at the time of the hearing. In addition it seemed to have been a hostile environment and he was required to attend to receive a verdict that appeared to be a foregone conclusion.
Were the recommendations of the disciplinary committee not to be ratified by the general board before the ban could be implemented? The decision therefore to hastily ban Adams was unconstitutional, null and void. It smacks of being premeditated and ill-conceived and gave the appearance that the authorities wanted to punish the player beyond redemption. The decision should be repealed and instead steps should be taken to provide professional counselling for Ricardo Adams so that he can achieve his full potential. The credibility of the elections has set an ominous pattern of destruction for Guyana’s cricket and there doesn’t seem to be an end. The Essequibo Cricket Board should not accept such callous and dismissive treatment of its players. Young Ricardo Adams needs the support of the ECB in combating an unfair trial before his talent is lost to Essequibo and ultimately Guyana’s cricket. Rebuking and isolating this young player in such an abominable fashion is totally unprincipled and unacceptable.