Why are two of Berbice’s best cricketers not playing in the GCB 50-Overs Franchise Cricket Tournament?

Dear Editor,

The management and members of the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club, would be very grateful if the powers of cricket can explain the reasons why two of Berbice’s best cricketers, Eon Hooper and Keon Sinclair are not playing in the current Guyana Cricket Board 50-Overs Franchise Cricket Tournament. We have kept our cool over the last few months as our players have been victimized due to the decision of our Secretary/CEO to contest the Berbice Cricket Board Elections which were recently declared illegal by the High Court.

Despite being one of the best fast bowlers in the three-day format since its formation, Keon Sinclair was not invited or selected for the Upper Corentyne Team with no explanation given. As everyone in Berbice can testify, Keon Sinclair along with Clinton Pestano and Romario Shepherd are the best all-round fast bowlers who are brilliant fieldsmen and capable middle order batsmen who have contributed with the bat numerous times for their teams, Rose Hall Town Gizmos & Gadgets and the Upper Corentyne Franchise Team. Only recently against Upper Corentyne he showed his class with a fiery spell of 6 for 29 but he continues to be sidelined for reasons unknown. Keon Sinclair is known for being a committed and disciplined individual and has never once been accused of indiscipline.

Eon Hooper in 2016 took the most wickets in the three-day league ‒ 42 ‒ and in 2017 took 36 impressive wickets from just five games. Like Keon Sinclair, Hooper is also a brilliant fieldsman and a solid middle order batsman who once opened the batting for Berbice at the junior level. Hooper who represented Guyana at the senior level in 2016 was left out for two matches in 2017 for reasons unknown and without a properly laid out discipline structure. To our surprise, he was left out completely of the Upper Corentyne Franchise 20 man squad for the current one-day tournament with no reasons given. We were informed through the grapevine that he was accused of using rude language in the presence of some Berbice Cricket Board executives. Neither Hooper nor the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club was ever informed of any allegations of indiscipline, he was never invited to any discipline meeting much less given the opportunity to defend any accusation against him. While Hooper is suffering, many others who have committed worse crimes are allowed to play because they belong to a certain club, whose head is the new Czar of Berbice cricket. It is public knowledge that while returning from a wash-out match in West Berbice, numerous players including senior players were involved in the drinking of alcohol and used the dirtiest of language in the team’s bus in the full presence of management, of course, and no disciplinary action was taken. What was sad about the situation is that Keon Sinclair and Eon Hooper have to watch on while players who do not have five per cent of their abilities are on the team.

The Upper Corentyne Team has players who have never played first division cricket, never came close to a Berbice or Guyana selection and one who is known as a softball player. An Under-19 player who is totally unknown is regularly in the squad because his father was promised that he would be selected in the 2018 Berbice Under-19 Team if he votes for a particular candidate. Meanwhile outstanding junior cricketers, Junior Sinclair, Sylus Tyndall and Keith Simpson who are very productive in Berbice cricket are left out to pasture.

The Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club, demands justice for our cricketers who are being told openly by certain Berbice Cricket Board executives and even selectors that if  they want to play for Berbice and Guyana, that they have to leave the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club and join a certain cricket club. One selector even visited the homes of our junior cricketers and advised them to take their sons out of the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club. Of course, he was rejected. Our players including junior cricketers are targeted for the smallest things and feel that they are being victimized for reasons best known to the Berbice Cricket Board officials. If any of our players break the discipline code, they should face the full penalty only after the proper hearing where they are given an opportunity to be heard.

In closing, we would like to question how one team can get about thirteen cricketers in a twenty man squad in the Upper Corentyne Franchise League when that same team has not won a single cricket title since 2004 and imports players from Georgetown to play first division tournaments. Matches against Rose Hall Town and Albion are postponed until certain players from Georgetown are available. Surely, if you are good enough to be in a Franchise League team, the highest local cricket tournament, then how can you not make your own club team?

Yours faithfully,

(Name and address provided)

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