The new executive of the Berbice Cricket Board elected on February 18, 2018 must be congratulated. The Honourable Justice Navindra Singh should also be thanked for his patience and dedication to the rule of law and tireless search for the truth.
The hostile takeover of the Berbice Cricket Board and Berbice cricket by a few radicalized individuals in March 2017 has left an indelible scar on the reputation of our organisation.
What is even more painful is the fact that although the BCB elections on October 8, 2017 were tainted by these individuals they still had the gumption to canvas and contest the elections of February 18, 2018.
In 2017, we thought we were living in an autocracy. In 2018, we now know that we are living in a democracy, thanks to our valiant members who stood tall and said no, and our brilliant young Attorney at Law, Mr. Arudranauth Gossai.
Under this new administration, we see great potential for the future of Berbice and Guyana cricket, but success will depend upon cautious recognition of circumstances that have hindered our progress so far.
It should be clear that our task is enormous, but we have risen from the ashes before. We must be honest, fair, dedicated, loyal and productive. We must have a sound knowledge of the game, its laws and rules, our constitution and the Cricket Administration Act of 2014. We must communicate, be Available, Accessible and Accountable.
Some have passed on at a time when, for practical reasons, they were in service of Berbice cricket. We speak of thirty-six year old umpire Pyandi Rengasammy, who in 1981 voluntarily stood in on a semi-final match at Port Mourant and passed on at the Port Mourant Hospital within half an hour of him exiting the field. He left to mourn his young wife Yvonne and six young children. Assistant Secretary Detective Inspector Norville Simpson, who died by accident on the # 19 Public Road in 1985, and was described by his President as a dedicated, motivated and outstanding member of the Board. Our first Special Member -1973- Attorney at Law J. Maurice Haniff, was a stalwart who served as Legal Advisor, Vice President and Representative on the Guyana Cricket Board. He also served as Chairman of Region #6 and Mayor of New Amsterdam. He passed on in 1986.
The great Leslie Lennox Amsterdam AA, who died by drowning in the Berbice River in 1999, at a time when he was serving as Vice President of the GCB and President of the BCB. Amsterdam also served as Vice President of the BCB, Berbice and Guyana Chairman of the Selection Committee, Berbice County team captain and national cricketer. In 1983 he managed the West Indies senior team in the Caribbean during the Indian tour. He is the only individual to have been honoured -posthumously- with inductions into both the Cricketers’ Hall of Fame and the Administrators’ Hall of Fame. In 1991 he was honoured by the Government of Guyana with the Golden Arrow of Achievement. We all felt as though we too had been honoured.
As we move forward, we must remember that we stand on the shoulders of these great ambassadors of our beloved sport. We stand up today because they stood up yesterday, and we are thankful for their service of an exceptionally high quality. We wish to emulate them, our great cricketers, and many others who have and continue to serve our organisation and the game we love with pride and passion.
In expressing these sentiments, I am joined by my fellow Life Members and Hall of Fame Administrators Lennox Phillips and Ancel Hazel, both of who have served as Vice President of the GCB and President of the BCB.
Former Secretary Berbice Cricket Board