It was with pleasant surprise that I opened the Kaieteur News edition of Wednesday, 20th September, 2017, and saw an article by Sean Devers ‘Sarwan bats for Foster as BCB Election looms’. I had the privilege of working with Hilbert Foster at the Berbice Cricket Board for over seven years and I would join Sarwan in encouraging the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club Secretary/CEO to throw his hat into the race for the presidency of the Berbice Cricket Board.
I am fully aware that in the past, Hilbert was very reluctant to be part of the elected structure of the Berbice Cricket Board, despite being the most popular cricket administrator in Berbice. Berbice cricket is on life support at the moment, with hardly any inter-club tournament being played nor any off-field event being organised. The most popular opinion of the majority of clubs and players in Berbice is that the only person capable of lifting Berbice cricket to the top is Hilbert Foster. He is not only a dynamic and highly respected sport administrator, but he has a vision and ways to get things done. There is no other cricket administrator in the history of Berbice who has contributed to the game in the way that he has, and on behalf of all youths in the county, I would like to urge him to run for office of President of the Berbice Cricket Board.
While I respect his reluctance not to run, as a youth leader he must think of what he can do for thousands of youths who dreamed of becoming the next Kanhai or Butcher.
Between 2008 and 2014 before he resigned as the Chairman of the Berbice Cricket Board Special Events Committee due to health reasons, and owing to his commitment to his club, Hilbert Foster worked hard to complete over 1700 programmes/activities for the Berbice Cricket Board. Together with Carl Moore, Anil Beharry, Gregory Rambarran, Rabindranauth Saywack, Winston Smith, myself and a few others, he raised funds for over 60 tournaments at the Under-13, Under-15, Under-17, Under-19, Under-21, Female, Intermediate, Second Division and First Division levels. He introduced the Berbice Cricket Board to organising the Under-13 and Inter-zone Tournaments, and he assisted in organising tournaments for each of the zones in Berbice.
Foster’s vision was the main reason for programmes like the Annual Award Ceremony, Annual Cricket Academy, Inter-zone Cricket Academy, Annual Magazine, Tribute to Retired Cricketers, Tribute to Cricket Coaches, Tribute to Umpires, Tribute to Groundsmen, Hall of Fame for Cricketers, Hall of Fame for Administrators, All Time Cricket XI, Test Cricketers Billboard, Cricket Education Posters, Tribute to Heroes, Inter-county Cap System, Inter-county MVP Programme and Balls for Cricket Clubs among others. There are dozens of cricket clubs and players who have benefited from the Hilbert’s assistance in the form of cricket gear, scorebooks, materials and financial packages, among others. For the first time in its history with Hilbert’s involvement, the Berbice Cricket Board had over 50 official sponsors for programmes which included companies like NCN, New GPC, Republic Bank, Hand-in-Hand Insurance, Diamond Insurance, A Ally & Sons, Scotia Bank, Raffik & Sons, Berbice River Bridge, Ricks & Sari Ltd, Bakewell, Namilco, Banks DIH Ltd, Elizabeth Styles, Ansa McAl Trading, GT&T, Peter Lewis Construction, Spready’s Snackette, Poonai’s Pharmacy, G Singh Construction, Jumbo Jet, Metro Office Supplies, Annirud Construction, etc. In contrast, the imposters that posed as the Berbice Cricket Board Executive since February, 2017, have not been able to solicit a single sponsor for anything, and have not been able to come up with new ideas for Berbice cricket and the cricketing community.
As a proud supporter of Berbice cricket, I would like to urge my friend and colleague Hilbert Foster to reconsider his decision for not running for office, but to think positive and to consider running for the Presidency of the Berbice Cricket Board. Berbice cricket needs Hilbert Foster to save it from total destruction.