Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) Chairman of Competitions Committee, Shaun Massiah, said that 2018 has been a challenging year for the GCA but that he was pleased at the association’s accomplishments while listing a few areas to improve heading into 2019.
Massiah said that this year, several players and the GCA “had grown leaps and bounds” despite the hindrance of unavailable grounds along with other external factors.
“It was a challenge to get these competitions to complete because grounds become unavailable, teams had invitations to attend, the inclement weather, local government elections, umpires seminars etc.” Massiah said as some of the challenges his association faced in 2018.
Nevertheless, he credited the year as being better compared to previous year in terms of ground availability.
“We have seen several players who have performed in our GCA competitions go on by leaps and bounds to the highest level of cricket.
“Some of these players started from our Pee-Wee league and Under-15 competitions,” he added. For the year, the GCA has managed to complete eight tournaments, six of which were won by the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC). The GCA season began in September 2017 with the Carib Beer T20 competition which concluded 14 months later with DCC beating rivals, Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) in the final. The same was the outcome when the two teams met in the New Building Society 40-overs, second-division tournament. DCC also defeated Transport Sports Club in the final of the Toucan Under-15 and Guyana Diabetic Association Under-17 tournaments. Transport would have its revenge with victory over DCC in the final of the V-Net Under-13 tournament.
However, DCC’s dominance extended over Malteenoes Sports Club in the New York Tri-State Under-19 final and over Police Sports Club in the GISE/Star Party Rental first-division, two-day competition.
Police also finished second behind GCC in the Noble House Seafoods two-day, second-division tournament.
Massiah extended gratitude to the sponsors, GISE, Star Party Rentals, Trophy Stall of Bourda Market, Ansa Mc Cal/Carib Beer, New Building Society, Noble House Sea Foods, Toucan Industries, Guyana Diabetic Association, V-Net Communications, GCA Tri State USA (Linden Fraser) and GCA Friends of Cricket as well as all affiliated clubs and associates for their support in 2018.
Looking towards the new season, Massiah was wary of the financial constraints clubs and associations face but advised them to seek assistance from the Ministries of Finance and Social Cohesion, suggesting that they ask for waivers on utility bills and to remind them of their non-profit nature.
Massiah recommended that the clubs seek the Ministries to employ their groundsmen to assist in the maintenance of the grounds as well as coaches in schools. The Chairman of the GCA Competitions Committee stressed the need for motorized rollers, grass cutters, rubberized covers and other equipment needed to have more play.
“[They should] write a letter to the Minister of Culture Youth and Sports and Director [of Sports] asking for the ministry to acquire much need machinery for each club such as motorized rollers, motorized grass cutters, adequate rubberized covers and other necessary tools and equipment so as to make the groundsmen work easier and quicker. Gone are the days of pulling rollers to prepare pitches,” Massiah said. The Transport Sports Club member suggested that clubs be given a subvention of one million dollars from the Ministry of Finance.
“Clubs in Georgetown are struggling to keep afloat with the heavy bills, lunches, teas, cricket balls, curators salaries, caretakers salaries, staff salaries, cutting of their grounds on a weekly basis and fuel all of this is done to keep our children occupied and keep them from crime.”
He also suggested that it would be good should the ministry facilitate the upgrading of grounds, singling out Transport Sports Club which has not been just used since 2005. Massiah pointed out the issue of drainage that has hampered clubs such as DCC, Malteenoes, GCC and others.
In preparation for the 2019 season, the GCA has already began with the New Building Society second-division, 40-overs tournament which is played with colored clothes for the first time and the semi-finals and final set to play under lights. When the season begins on January 12, the GCA will commence its Under-19 competition as well as the two-day, 50 overs and T20 first-division tournaments ahead of the body’s election which is set for January 21. The body also tends to have tournaments in the Under-13, 15 and 17 divisions in addition to those played last season.