History of GCB
The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) was founded in 1943, assuming control of cricket throughout Guyana from the Georgetown Cricket Club. This action followed the formation of the Berbice Cricket Board in 1939. William Stanley Jones, then President of the Georgetown Cricket Club, became the first President of the GCB. Jones, who was born in New Amsterdam and who donated the famous Jones Cup to the GCB in 1954, was President of the British Guiana Sugar Company at that time.
Before the formation of the GCB, First Division cricket was played for the Parker Cup in Demerara (mostly Georgetown) and the Davson Cup in Berbice. Even though Parker Cup and Davson Cup competitions were supposedly open to players of all races, club membership often followed race lines.
In 1917, Thomas Flood, President of the British Guiana East Indian Cricket Club (now Everest) introduced the Flood Cup for inter-county competition amongst East Indians only. In 1919, the Kawall Cup was introduced for competition between East Indians of British Guiana, Trinidad and Dutch Guiana. Both Flood Cup and Kawall Cup competitions ended in 1938. The introduction of the Jones Cup for inter-county competition openedup competition to players of all races in 1954, indicating the end of race-based competitions.
When the GCB was formed in 1943, cricket was administered by the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) in Berbice and by the Essequibo Cricket Committee in Essequibo. Berbice had 2 votes in the GCB – the same number as a Georgetown First Division club. In 1969, the Berbice votes were increased to 3, when the rules were changed so that the BCB Chairman of Selectors would automatically be one of the five National Selectors.
In 1971, the rules were changed again and Berbice gained 1 more vote, bringing its tally to 4. The Essequibo Cricket Committee became the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB), with 4 votes in the GCB. Each Georgetown First Division club still had 2 votes each, for a total of 16 votes. In 1972, it was agreed that the Presidents of the BCB and ECB would automatically hold the posts of 1st and 2nd Vice-Presidents in the GCB.
In 1973, several Georgetown clubs wrote then Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports, Shirley Field-Ridley, expressing dissatisfaction with the administration of the GCB through its President Frederick Ramprashad. A Commission of Inquiry was convened, whereby hearings were held throughout Guyana, followed by new elections, which led to Ramprashad being replaced by Berkeley Gaskin. Gaskin died in 1979, while still serving as GCB President.
In 1992, the GCB handed over control of cricket in the county of Demerara to the newly constituted Demerara Cricket Board. A new constitution was adopted which gave an equal amount of nine (9) votes to each of the Counties; Demerara Cricket Board, Berbice Cricket Board and the Essequibo Cricket Board;who all became the only bonafidemembers of the GCB.
History was recorded in 1999 when local players donned coloured clothing for the first time in a local club competition, the Banks Premium Beer, which was won by GCC. This new practice was in keeping with international changes, but only clubs in Demerara seemed to transition smoothly at first.
In 2010 Chetram Singh announced that he was retiring from cricket administration. Under his stewardship of almost two decades, the Guyana senior team won five limited-over titles and one first-class championship, while the Guyana Under-19 team won six consecutive regional titles. Guyana also won the inaugural Stanford Twenty20 competition and the 2010 WICB Twenty20 championship, the latter resulting in Guyana’s participation in the 2010 Airtel Champions League in South Africa. Guyana was also the finalist of the WICB last edition of its T20 Competition, this being replaced with the Caribbean Premier League in 2013. Guyana’s Amazon Warriors was also the finalist in the first edition of the CPL.
It was during Chetram Singh’s watch too that Shiv Chanderpaul and RamnareshSarwan emerged as leading Test figures. The Guyana National Stadium was built at Providence in 2007 for the World Cup, the Chetram Singh Centre of Excellence, an indoor practice facility and hostel was completed in 2010 at LBI, a practice facility was built at the GNIC ground, as was the cricket hostel at Anna Regina, on the Essequibo coast.
On the 25th July 2008, the Executive of the GCB registered this unincorporated body as a Specially Authorised Society under the Friendly Societies Act, Chapter 36:04. This process was completed primarily to access funding from the Stanford Group which had revolutionised T20 cricket in the Caribbean with an injection of funds allocated to all cricket playing territories of the WICB.
The GCB was eventually de-registered as a Friendly Society in 2011, after the Essequibo Cricket Board challenged the registration under the grounds that the members, and not the Executive, must register the Society. Chief Justice Ian Chang ruled that the GCB could not register as a Friendly Society since it had only three members and at least seven members were required to register a Friendly Society. This was the Order that actually enabled the GCB to hold its long overdue elections on July 10th 2011 after the then Minister of Labour Manzoor Nadir had earlier instructed that the elections of January 2011 be placed on hold. Following another Order by the said Chief Justice, the GCB took steps to regularize its status through the formation of DEB Essentials Inc. in September 2011. This was a rather tumultuous period for Guyana’s cricket and the Guyana Cricket Board. The West Indies Cricket Board stood steadfastly behind its member and shareholder, GCB and publicly stated that Government control and interference in the sport was unacceptable. The GCB faced many court challenges during this period, some of them even from the Government of Guyana. Another attempt of Government intervention in December 2011 to dissolve the GCB and install an IMC was met with strong resistance from the GCB whereby the GCB’s position was eventually vindicated by a ruling by the Court of Appeal in October 2013 after the GCB had to approach the Caribbean Court of Justice in 2012.
The situation still remains fluid as the Government had introduced a Cricket Administration Bill in December 2012 in Parliament in an effort to disband the current GCB and hold fresh elections with new constitutions for the GCB and its members written by a Select Committee of Parliament. Here again, the GCB has opposed this unilateral approach by the Government and the matter still engages the attention of the judiciary.
GCB PRESIDENTS- 1943 to Present:
|William Stanley Jones||1943-?|
|John St. Felix Dare||—|
|Sir Clyde Walcott||1968-1970|
|Berkeley Gaskin||1973-1979 (Died whilst still holding Office)|
|Major-General Norman Mc Lean||1980-1991|
|Ramsay Ali||2011-2012 ( Resigned in 2012 before end of term)|