When I penned my most recent column (Dictatorship and Racism in Guyanese Cricket—Can we talk about this, Mr. Jagdeo?), I anticipated that there would be quite a stir from the usual suspects. Guyana has some of the most hypocritical and barefaced people when it comes to the issue of race and ethnicity. Bias by the opposite ethnic group is always seen as discrimination and racism, but when it’s perpetrated by our group, its meritocracy. The major point of my column is two-fold. First, that control of decision-making in cricket was part of the PPP’s programme of ethno-political domination. Second, such domination has consequences for the larger society. In the case of our cricket, it determines who are the key decision makers, how and where resources are allocated and who gets selected to national teams.
Cricket is our national sport—it is played by members of all ethnic groups. So, it is logical to expect that the decision-makers and team selection would generally reflect that multi-ethnicity. However, that is not the case in Guyana. If the PPP’s executive consisted 90 percent Indian Guyanese, it wouldn’t bother me, since the PPP’s membership is mostly of that ethnic group. But the same logic cannot hold for our cricket.
Not for the first time I have been called the worst racist for merely saying what we all know and are either too afraid or hypocritical to say. The Guyana Cricket Board, the governing body of cricket has eleven members—nine Indian Guyanese and two African Guyanese. All the major office holders on that executive are Indian Guyanese. The two West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) directors are Indian Guyanese. The two representatives on the WICB are Indian Guyanese. This information is there on the Guyana Cricket Board’s website. For the benefit of the public, this is the GCB Executive which is taken from that organization’s website.
Executives of the GCB
Mr. Drubhadur – President
Mr. Fizul Bacchus – Vice president (Administration)
Mr. Anand Sanasie – Secretary
Mr. Virendra Chintamani – Assistant Secretary
Mr. Anand Kalladeen –Treasurer
Mr. Colin Europe – Competitions Chairman
Mr. Rajendra Singh – Marketing Manager
Mr. Andy Ramnarine – Public Relation officer
Mr. Rayon Griffith – Chairman of Senior Selectors
Mr. Nazimul Drepaul – Chairman of Junior Selectors
Mr. Anil Beharry – President of Berbice Cricket Board
Directors on WICB Inc.
Mr. Anand Sanasie
Mr. Anand Kalladeen
Guyana Representatives on WICB Inc.
Mr. Rajendra Singh
This is the decision-making face of Guyana’s cricket. Is it surprising then that the recent Under-15 team was disproportionately Indian Guyanese? During my engagement of this matter, I have heard countless stories of Black boys and a few non-conformist Indian boys whose careers have been destroyed or severely hampered by this state of affairs. This ethnic bias has been reproduced over the last decade as there have been no open elections to the GCB during that period. The member-boards which are multi-ethnic are excluded from participation.
The matter has occupied the attention of the courts, the parliament and the cabinet. So, I am not inventing anything or stirring up trouble. All I am doing is lending my voice to a campaign to de-racialize and re-democratize cricket management in Guyana.