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Guyana govt lashes WICB’s balls on Cricket Administration Bill, removal of WI-NZ Test

WICB President Dave Cameron

The Guyana government on Sunday expressed deep concern at the decision by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to relocate the 3rd Test Match with New Zealand and denied the governing body’s assertion that the recently passed Cricket Administration Bill would result in governmental interference in the management of the game.

The government also accused the WICB of seeking to violate Guyana’s sovereignty. “It is hoped, that the arrogance and contempt assumed by the WICB, as it purports to give directions to a sovereign Government of a CARICOM member state, is noted,” said the Ministry of Sport in a lengthy statement.

The Antigua-based regional governing body has said that t decided to shift the West Indies-New Zealand match after failing to convince President Donald Ramotar against assenting the Bill.

“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 tenet,” the body has stated.

Following is the full text of the Statement issued by the Guyana government:

The Government of Guyana notes with deep regret the decision of the West Indies Cricket Board to relocate the Third Test between West Indies and New Zealand, from Guyana. We observe with even greater concern, certain assertions made by the WICB regarding this matter and we feel compelled to respond. 

On May 30Th 2014 at about 4.35pm, Mr. Dave Cameron, President of WICB, wrote to His Excellency, President Donald Ramotar, raising certain concerns in respect of the Guyana Cricket Administration Bill. In that letter, Mr. Cameron requested an opportunity to study the Bill and the Constitution, in order to be able to provide more detailed comments at a later stage. In the interim, he requested that the President not assent to the Bill until there is agreement in relation to the matters raised. The letter requested a response by 6 pm that day. 

At or about 6.22 pm that day, the Honourable Minister of Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, responded. In a covering e-mail, the Minister explained that the President was out of Georgetown and that he was duly instructed to respond on the President’s behalf. 

At 6.54 pm, the Minister received an e-mail from Mr. Cameron, indicating that the response was ” unacceptable ” and that the response which he requires ” must be done under the Seal of the President “.  The email then informs that WICB will proceed with its decision to move the match. 

It is hoped, that the arrogance and contempt assumed by the WICB, as it purports to give directions to a sovereign Government of a CARICOM member state, is noted. That aside, the statement issued by the WICB was clearly structured to convey a very jaundiced impression of their exchanges with the Government on this matter.

The Government of Guyana does not discount the fact that the West Indies Cricket Board maybe looking for a scapegoat in this matter, since their agents in Guyana were restraint by a Court Order from acting or holding themselves out as officers of the Guyana Cricket Board and as agents of the WICB. The net result being that WICB has no agents in Guyana to act on their behalf in relation to hosting of the Third Test between West Indies and New Zealand.

One cannot help but wonder, whose interests the WICB really represent, is it that of cricket or some unknown vested agenda.

This Bill which was found so offensive, seeks to bring transparency, accountability, and good governance to the administration of cricket in Guyana and to address the plethora of allegations of rigged and fraudulent elections, financial irregularities and lack of accountability in respect of cricket administration, inter alia,  because of the absence of legal personification in its structure. This Bill does not, in any way whatsoever, allow or permit, directly or indirectly, Government’s involvement in the administration of cricket in Guyana, save and except a singular instance, where the Minister is ascribed a function when the Act comes into operation. After that initiating act, the Minister’s role disappears.

Government, therefore, rejects all or any contention or insinuation that this Bill presents an opportunity for Governmental intrusion into the administration of cricket in Guyana. It is recognized that these charges are emanating from a particular grouping and their sponsors who perceive this Bill as an end to their dominance over administration of cricket, and who many feel, are the architects of the chaos which the Bill is designed to arrest.

The Government is not surprised by the chameleon outburst of the AFC. This is a party that masquerades as a prosecutor of accountability, transparency and good governance, concepts which form the very raison d’etre of this Bill. However, they withheld support from this Bill in the National Assembly having participated in the Parliamentary Select Committee that produced a consensus report. And have now joined forces with an extrinsic organ that is attempting to meddle in the internal affairs of our country and thwart our constitutionally enshrined law making process.