AFC slams gov’t over `blacklisting’ by WICB

The Alliance For Change today lambasted the government over the removal by the West Indies Cricket Board of the scheduled third Test between New Zealand and the West Indies from Guyana.

An edited version of the AFC statement follows:

In early 2012, the Alliance For Change (AFC) condemned the state-sponsored harassment of members of the Guyana Cricket Board through forced searches of person and property. This terrorising of GCB members led to certain resignations of GCB members.

The AFC also had rejected the forcible imposition of the Clive Lloyd’s IMC as that certainly would not have solved the myriad problems.

Moreover, the AFC since then was aware that the Attorney General, Mr. Anil Nandlall, who was directing this assault on GCB was, until his appointment to high office, the lawyer for one of the warring factions in this dispute.

This cricketing debacle of that year 2012 led to massive loss of revenues as a result of the Guyana leg of the Australia tour being called off. Our hospitality industry was delivered an uppercut, with a major contract for Pegasus Hotel being cancelled. Other hotels, restaurants, taxi services and hospitality services were dented financially. Our cricketing public was crushed, too. It did not see live Test Cricket in Guyana in 2012.

The mis-handling of the Cricket Bill in 2014 by the combination of the Minister of Sports and that most garrulous Attorney General will realize probably even worse repercussions than in 2012. Already the New Zealand Test has been taken away and transferred out. The AFC in voting against the Bill last month, had warned of exactly this probability. It has come to pass.

The Government’s insistence on interfering in the running of the game has forced the WICB to cancel the game that was scheduled to be played here. This is a dark time for cricket in Guyana.

The WICB had made it clear that it will not tolerate interference by any Government in the running of cricket in the Region but the controlling nature of the PPPC and their belief in autocracy has forced this dark day upon us. By its cavalier attitude, the Government has shown a total lack of understanding of the significance and authority of regional and international organisations and bodies like WIBC and the ICC.

Cricket in Guyana is not just a game but is a part of who we are as a people, it is part of our culture, and thousands of fans at home and abroad will suffer as a result of what the Guyana Government has caused. Worse yet is the demoralising effect this will have on our youths many of whom dream of representing this country or the West Indies on the cricket field. The PPP government has dashed the dreams of many young people. This will have a long lasting effect not only on cricket in Guyana but also in the Region.

The AFC’s position has now been wholly vindicated.

The blacklisting of Guyana by the WICB is totally a result of the Guyana Government.

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