QAII pulls proposal to develop Bourda cricket, football grounds

New GPC/Limacol announced yesterday that it was withdrawing plans to establish a “world-class” stadium at Bourda following misrepresentations made in the press.

According to a press release issued by Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII), the parent company of New GPC/Limacol, its proposal to the boards of the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) and the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) would also have seen the setting up of cricket and football academies that would have benefited the youths of Georgetown. However, in the face of misconceptions created by a story which was published in the Kaieteur News yesterday, the company has decided that it will not proceed with the venture.

Principals of the Limacol brand, sponsors of the Limacol T-20 Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) and owners of the Guyana Amazon Warriors said in the release that it was an “opportunity lost to all Georgetown, Guyana and to the country’s youths who are inclined toward sports”.

The Bourda Ground with the GFC in the background  (SN file photo)
The Bourda Ground with the GFC in the background
(SN file photo)

The release stated that it was members of the GCC board who had initiated discussions with representatives of the Limacol brand to have LCPL games scheduled at Bourda.

“During subsequent discussions, it was pointed out that as far back as the scheduling of the International Cricket Council (ICC) T-20 World Cup cricket tournament of 2007, the facilities at Bourda could not satisfy the criteria for international cricket at the highest level,” the release said. It noted that the facilities had continued to decline.

According to QAII, concerned over the impact of this decline on Georgetown and on its cricket and football heritage in particular, from economic, social and sport development standpoints, it submitted its proposal.

The company proposed to build what would be known as the “Limacol Bourda Stadium and Sports Academy”. This would include a world-class stadium with all amenities that “would have returned international cricket and football to Georgetown along with an economic resurgence”.

It said the suggested financial structure of the endeavour would have ensured that GCC and GFC shared in the profits generated, which would have enabled these clubs to return to their glory years. And pointing to the LCPL as demonstrating its ability to deliver a world-class tournament, the company said that based on this demonstrated success, the financial community and CPL OPCO Guyana Inc indicated that they stood ready to back the proposal.

QAII stated too that in the world of business into which cricket has now ventured, “the issue of confidentiality is crucial and it is evident that this requirement will pose a problem for any joint venture between the Limacol brand and the GCC and GFC.” The KN report had stated that the proposal was leaked by angry members of the GCC.

The company also sought to caution those who would continually deride members of the business community seeking “to develop their companies and in so doing benefit the country”.

According to the release, the principals of Limacol were of the proposed academies as the youths of Georgetown, as with any city in the world, need positive outlets for their energy. The academy could have been one of the institutions that would have provided the support and guidance to the many who are talented in the sports. The overall country-wide development of cricket and football would also have been facilitated, it added.

In addition to New GPC/Limacol, the QAII Group also includes the Guyana Times newspaper; a television station: TVG – Channel 28; a radio station: Radio Guyana International; Global Printing, Global Hardware, and Health International. QAII CEO Dr Ranjisinghi Ramroop is said to be a close friend of former president Bharrat Jagdeo.

Meanwhile, when GCC President Lionel Jaikaran was contacted by this newspaper on Friday about the investment he had confirmed receiving the proposal but said he could not divulge anything further until all of the GCC’s members were notified.

He had stressed that it was an investment into the facility and not a sale that was to be considered adding that even without the proposed investment, the GCC was making efforts – however modest – to improve the facilities of the historic Bourda sward and make additions such as tennis courts and areas for other sporting disciplines.