A number disgruntled cricket stakeholders yesterday protested the office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Legal Affairs Carmichael Street office, in an effort to have Minister Basil Williams intervene into the legal matter which has stalled the holding of elections at the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB).
In an interview with Stabroek Sport, Claude Raphael, labelled the current cricket situation in Guyana a crisis and he also described the modus operandi of the current executive as corrupt and illegal.
“Essentially we have decided to protest today [Monday] because we have got this cricket impasse or crisis, for want of a better word which has been going on for nearly eight years; from 2009 they held an illegal elections and a group got into the cricket board and have been buying and paying themselves to stay in that position without having any elections at all,” Raphael said.
Raphael, who appears to be one of the main persons behind the movement to “shake things up” added: “In between 2009 and now, there was an Interim Committee set up by the previous government which was set out to design the laws so that the cricket board would become a corporate body. That stemmed from the fact that during the earlier days, there were quite a lot of court injunctions going to and fro and the Chief Justice [Ian] Chang had ruled that all the bodies were, what he called, legal non entities so, as a result, you couldn’t sue nor be sued so you couldn’t have any definite decisions being made on these applications and it was a confusing thing.
“As a consequence of that, the previous government decided to enact a law that would make everybody legal now. That law was done in 2014 and it was passed when this current government was in opposition and it ratified by them and enacted in August 2014. Of course this government went into office in 2015 and we would have thought that since they were the proponents of all the issues and got the past and all that, that they would have been glad to have the cricket situation legalized and that hasn’t been so, apparently Mr [Anand] Sanasie, the guy who is in the chair at the Guyana Cricket Board challenged the law immediately after it was done which made the Minister of Sports and the AG the defendants and they had to respond. And up to now, they haven’t which prompted this response.”
Raphael highlighted the inadequacies of the current cricket administrators and expressed his dismay.
He alleged that the board has ostracized some sections of the cricketing community from funding and technical support.
When asked why he did not take the matter to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and even the International Cricket Council, Raphael expressed his disappointment at not receiving much support since those avenues were already tried and tested with not many fruits to show. It was also alleged that approximately 2.5 billion dollars in public assets were transferred to a private body incorporate as a company No 6850 titled, “Cricket Guy Inc.”
The former Guyana and West Indies Cricket Board executive indicated that he was “fed up” with inaction by the current administration after several meetings with the President, the Attorney General himself, and the Minister with responsibility for Sports.
As a result, Raphael, who sat in the presence of Malcolm Peters and Winston Boston who have all vested their interest in ensuring that the situation is normalized, assured that they will instigate more protest action and forums until their voices are heard and the requisite action taken. Representatives from Upper Demerara (Linden), East Coast, Berbice, Georgetown and North Essequibo cricket bodies were among the protestors yesterday.