In my 53 years of association with Berbice cricket, I have never heard of such depressingly shameful allegations involving the election of a President of the Berbice Cricket Board, when for the first time in its history an election of the Berbice Cricket Board was alleged to have been conducted by two paid Directors of Cricket West Indies and a resigned president of the Guyana Cricket Board. These incidents, if proven true should result in the immediate resignation of President D Somwaru and his executives and also his resignation as President of the Guyana Umpires’ Council. In addition, he should be made to answer to the court for his failure to follow the court’s instruction to conduct a free and fair election, bearing in mind that he is already scheduled to appear on Friday, October 13th, 2017 at the said court to answer a similar charge of failing to comply with the instructions of the court.
Some of the allegations levelled are as follows:
- The election site, a new hotel in distant Corriverton, was a waste of valuable funds and it was intended to depress attendance.
- The choice of a resigned President of the Guyana Cricket Board (in 2017), prior to the election and the production of a list of 18 signatures was not acceptable. This was still upheld after a member of the Police Sports Club pointed out that he signed because he was told that it was an attendance sheet; this objection would have made it 17 out of 34 representatives present, in which case Mr Somwaru should have taken it to a vote involving the 34 representatives, instead of appointing Drubahadur as Returning Officer.
iii. The claim that numerous opposing clubs had paid no membership fee when the Board was non-functional since January 1st, 2016 and no demand was ever made for payment, contributed to the fact that only 12 of the 34 representatives voted in the elections.
- Anand Senasie, Secretary, and Anand Kalladeen, Treasurer of the Guyana Cricket Board who are also Directors of Cricket West Indies and the candidate for president D Somwaru were in the room, while opposing presidential candidate Hilbert Foster, his choice of Returning Officer, the media and others were barred from going up the elevator to the election by Godwin Allicock, a Somwaru supporter.
- The Returning Officer closed nominations for president at the urging of the Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board immediately after the nomination of Somwaru without asking for any other nomination, although Foster was about to be nominated.
- Richard Roberts, Secretary of the Upper Corentyne Cricket Association was elected Vice President on Somwaru’s ticket without consultation or approval by him and although he informed the Returning Officer that he was a Foster supporter and was not accepting the position, he was shocked to discover his name among those published in the newspapers as Vice President on the following day. He has written an article which was published on page 38 of the Kaieteur News of Wednesday October 11th, 2017, under the caption ‘BCB Vice President declines post says election was flawed’
vii. Several clubs were disenfranchised. In the case of Mt. Sinai other persons were accepted as representatives and one now holds the position of Assistant Treasurer. I am aware of who were the representatives of Mt. Sinai, because I was present on the 24 September, 2017 when they were elected. Mr. Christopher Jones Director of Sports was also present at this Community and Cricket Club election when he delivered cricket gear and visited their cricket ground.
It is rather revealing to note that the Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board, who claims to have friends in high places, has been involved in some way or another in more than six cricket injunctions since 2011. It may be fair to ask: Is this the only way he can remain in office? Who pays the legal fees? Should this money be used for cricket development?
My simple adviced to the new administration is to resign immediately and allow a free and fair process to follow, without the interference of the Guyana Cricket Board and its paid Directors of Cricket West Indies. Further, let the Demerara Cricket Board – non-functional since 2011 ‒ be resuscitated with fair and free elections followed by elections of the Guyana Cricket Board after a thorough audit. Is this what they are afraid of?
Former Secretary BCB