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AFC broadsides govt for cricket ban on Guyana

FLASH BACK: Cricket administrators in the National Assembly when the Cricket Administration Bill was passed.

The Alliance For Change (AFC) on Sunday castigated government for Guyana being blacklisted by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

The Antigua-based WICB has announced that the New Zealand Test match would be moved from Guyana because the recently passed Cricket Administration Bill essentially allows for governmental interference in the running of the game.

While the AFC had noted voted in favour of the Bill, the minority governing Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) administration received the support of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).

With the WICB’s decision to pull the Test Match from Guyana, AFC said it felt vindicated by its position that there should be no state involvement in

“The AFC’s position has now been wholly vindicated. The blacklisting of Guyana by the WICB is totally a result of the Guyana Government,” stated the party which holds seven seats in the National Assembly. The PPPC has 32 and APNU 26.

The AFC lamented that the WICB’s decision painted a “dark time for cricket in Guyana.”

“The WICB had made it clear that it will not tolerate interference by any Government in the running of cricket in the Region but the controlling nature of the PPPC and their belief in autocracy has forced this dark day upon us.

By its cavalier attitude, the Government has shown a total lack of understanding of the significance and authority of regional and international organisations and bodies like WIBC and the ICC,” stated the party.

The AFC believed that the WICB’s decision would demoraliseyouths who dream of representing this country or the West Indies on the cricket field. “The PPP government has dashed the dreams of many young people. This will have a long lasting effect not only on cricket in Guyana but also in the Region.”

In making the announcement on Saturday, the WICB said “The WICB has serious reservations that the Cricket Administration Bill which was passed in the Guyana National Assembly thrusts the administration of cricket in Guyana from an independent body to the Government of Guyana. This the WICB views as undesirable and inconsistent with International Cricket Council tenets.” The regional governing body said it had tried in vain to lobby the Donald Ramotar administration not to sign the bill into law.

The Cricket Administration Bill now makes it legal for the Guyana Cricket Board to be established as a corporate body comprising the Demerara, Essequibo and the Berbice Cricket Boards, all of which will also be made corporate entities.
A section of the Bill will address the issue of phantom voting for the election of persons for administrative positions and at the same time will give limited power to the Minister of Sport.

The Minister’s role would cease only after he has appointed an ombudsman to verify and register clubs.

Under the law, the GCB would now be required to present timely audited financial reports to the National Assembly, as well as the National Sports Commission aimed at ensuring greater scrutiny and oversight of financial records to reduce allegations of financial impropriety.

Guyana now joins two other Caribbean nations, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados which made the governing bodies for cricket legal entities.
This bill also will bring to an end the life of an Interim Management Committee which was established following a court battle and the Chief Justice’s ruling in 2011.