By Calvin Roberts
LAST Sunday 29th June, the Drubahadur steward Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) held another one of its Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) at the Georgetown Cricket Club, where several decisions were made as it relates to the development of cricket in Guyana.
Coming out of that OGM also, was a decision being made as it relates to cricket in the Ancient County of Berbice, wherein the GCB decided that while the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) may see things differently, the clubs should not be made to suffer.
In this regard, Honorary Secretary of the GCB Anand Sanasie made a call to vice-president of the BCB in Anil Beharry, informing him of the GCB’s intentions to donate to all active first division clubs in Berbice, $100,000 and a practice net, with Beharry being asked to spread the word around.
Last Thursday afternoon at the Albion Sports Complex ground, representatives of the 11 playing first division clubs in Berbice met with Drubahadur, Sanasie and GCB’s Marketing Manager Rajendra Singh, where they were brought up to date with developments within the operations of the GCB, while they received the promised donations.
Said Sanasie, “As I have indicated at the Albion Cricket Club presentation last Sunday, the GCB at their last OGM decided that the clubs attached to the BCB should not suffer, even though the BCB sees things differently when it comes to the GCB.
We made a decision to give to the active first division clubs, $100,000 and a practice net that is huge, hence today’s gesture, while sometime in the not too distant future, those vibrant second division clubs within the BCB will benefit from a similar gesture.”
Sanasie informed that same will be done in Essequibo, whose clubs will receive $50,000, while the GCB plans a similar programme for clubs on the East Bank of Demerara and Linden, even as he charged the clubs present to register with the Friendlies Society Act.
In relation to the setting up of the GCB’s commercial arm known as DEB Essentials, Sanasie informed that same was done to access easily, funding from the GCB’s parent company, namely the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), who advised that same be set up.
Drubahadur informed that despite the numerous court battles the GCB faced from the BCB, they still managed to keep their heads above water and while they are cognizant of the fact that cricket in Guyana needs the input it receives from Berbice, in relation to personnel.
“You need to know one thing, while the BCB is there to administer the game professionally and appropriately, you are the BCB and you are the ones who have to require of the BCB, to look after your interest more, as the BCB is not a sect of individuals” said Drubahadur.
Singh informed his audience which also included Human Resources Manager of the Albion Sugar Estate Vemen Walter and former national Under-19 skipper Shawn Pereira that cricket in Guyana is poised for a lot of positiveness and the gesture by the GCB is the first of many more to come.
“Time and time again, I have heard the BCB saying they have not received any subsidies from the GCB, but it is tough for us to give to somebody who does not recognize us and if you the clubs affiliated to the BCB can really see and understand the position of the GCB who has been taken to court time and time again by the BCB, then you will understand things from our standpoint as it relates to their subsidies.
We worked with the BCB, through Anil (Beharry) to get you all here, as we did not wish to do anything clandestine and I can see that he spread the word, as every first division club in Berbice is represented here, for which we at the GCB is thankful” stated Singh.
According to Singh, what many persons don’t know is the GCB conducts lots of chopping and changing from revenues received for hosting matches in Guyana, as they are unable to do much due to the detractors who are going around to the various sponsors and encouraging them to severe ties with the GCB.
“For us to run off our four day tournament that involves the three county teams and the President’s XI, it will cost about G$8M. Last year we got two sponsors to come on board with us and assist with some of that funding while the GCB funded the rest.
Our detractors have been going around to the sponsors and getting them to pull out of their partnership with the GCB, but despite that, we have been able to keep our heads above water and will continue to do so with the little resources we have, coupled with your support as well “said Singh.
In an invited comment, Deonarine Seepersaud of Edinburgh Cricket Club, applauded the GCB for the gesture saying, “This is nice what they (GCB) are doing for the clubs here in Berbice. If the BCB had gotten their subvention, I doubt whether we would have gotten this much amount of money from them.”
Meanwhile, Walter enquired what steps the GCB will take as it relates to Albion being ostracized by the BCB for personal reasons, to which both Singh and Sanasie give their opinion then asked Walter to pen a letter to the GCB, seeking their assistance on the matter.
The 11 clubs present were West Berbice Cricket Association, Blairmont, Bermine, Police, Young Warriors, Edinburgh, Albion, Port Mourant, Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club, Skeldon and Upper Corentyne.