Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for sports, Dr. George Norton believes the amount of injunctions involving the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and the other area boards and sub associations is the reason there is a delay in ironing out the issues relating to cricket administration in Guyana. Minister Norton spoke exclusively to Stabroek Sport at the National Sports Commission (NSC) Awards Ceremony on Tuesday where he explained the intricacies of cricket administration on the local scene.
When asked what was the reason for the delay in the organisation of cricketing administration Dr. Norton said: The delay is because of the amount of injunctions, everybody going to the court, I remember a day like today, a past president of the GCB, said the boards living in the court and here I am years after hearing that when I was in no position to do anything and it’s the same. There has been so much injunctions and that is really unfortunate.”
Norton said he was pondering whether the GCB is a legal entity or not.
“My agreement is that the present cricket board that exists, has it outlived its time it was appointed for, then it stands to reason that it is not legal,” he declared.
Recently the GCB held an Extraordinary Meeting where a new Ombudsman, Attorney-at-Law, Steven Lewis, was elected.
But according to Dr. Norton, he is the one who should appoint the Ombudsman.
“I think the Minister should go ahead and appoint because of the law which says meaningful consultations and I have been communicating with stakeholders,” he said.
He added that the law dictated an appointment but was silent on the functioning of the appointee, thus leading to him seeking legal advice.
“The law states that the person is appointed, it did not say if the person did not do this what happens next, the law was silent on that. For that reason I have gone to the AG seeking legal advice and that is where I stand,” he said.
“The Ombudsman was appointed to do a certain job, he did not get to do that job because he had resigned before. The law was silent as to whether I could go and appoint again or whether I can’t appoint and that is why one has to seek legal advice as to what is legal and what is not,” he reiterated.
The ideal outcome, according to Dr. Norton, would have been the consultations with stakeholders locally and the breakdown of about five names which could have been worked with to determine the Ombudsman.
As the issue currently stands, Dr. Norton says it has been assigned to the Solicitor General, Kim Kyte.
The Berbice Cricket Board had earlier this month applied for a motion to quash the GCB’s appointment of the Ombudsman while an interim injunction was granted to halt the functioning of the elected Ombudsman.