West Indies news August 27, 2011

WICB asks Guyana government to convey intentions

ESPNcricinfo staff

The WICB has requested for written communication from the Guyana government on how it intends to involve itself in Guyana cricket. The West Indies board issued a release saying it had been informed that the president of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo had called a meeting of various stakeholders in the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), and had therefore asked Guyana sports minister Frank Anthony to inform the WICB what the government's plans were for the GCB.

The meeting called by Jagdeo was to help end the ongoing discord between the boards of Guyana's three counties - Berbice Cricket Board, Demerara Cricket Board and Essequibo Cricket Board - and the GCB. The main issue within the GCB was the election of Ramsey Ali as GCB president on July 10. The Berbice Cricket Board filed a court injunction to restrain the functioning of the Ali-led administration, which was struck out. The judge in the case had recommended the intervention of the sports ministry in the issue, which ultimately led to Jagdeo calling a meeting.

The result of the meeting was the appointment of an interim management committee to run the GCB's affairs, which means Ali's executives will for the time being not be in charge of the board. Keith Foster, president of the Berbice Cricket Board, told Guyana's Government Information Agency that Jagdeo had requested that consultation be facilitated more frequently at the board level in the different counties. "It is a work in progress so we will have to wait and see because the different boards obviously will be having different ideas," Foster said.

What may be of concern to the WICB is that, at the ICC's annual conference in June, the game's global body took a firm stand against political interference in cricket boards. The ICC had given all its member boards two years to free themselves of government influence. Jagdeo, however, has repeatedly stated that the Guyana government needed to be involved in the running of cricket in the country. "Given that sports are so important to our wellbeing, particularly cricket in the West Indies to our psyche and everything else, we cannot help but be concerned about the state of cricket in the region," he had said in July.

Jagdeo had also taken up the case of Chris Gayle, when he was excluded from the West Indies team, criticising the WICB and appealing to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government to intervene.