ECB hostel in Anna Regina remains a white elephant, says Elroy Stephney

The current state of the ECB hostel situated in Anna Regina

.., ECB, GCB should intervene, salvage some pride

FORMER Essequibo Senior inter-county captain and CWI Level 11 coach Elroy Stephney is critical about the deplorable and depressing state of the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) hostel which is situated in Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast.

In an invited comment, Stephney views the dysfunctional state of the ECB as a sordid reflection of what the facility should be. The building is in dire need of repairs and security.

Stephney further lamented that the building was constructed with funds from the infamous Allan Stanford era about a decade ago. It was well furnished and it was a dream come true for Essequibians.

“I was among the first (batch) including senior national player Ricardo Adams, who was an Under-15 cricketer then, to be encamped at the building, and we were impressed and happy with its layout,” added Stephney.

“The facilities included furnishings, kitchen utensils; reliable water supply, electricity, a telephone, television, washing machine, fans and a practice area at the back of the building,” Stephney disclosed.

He also stated that there is an Administrative Office which was supposed to be used by the ECB’s paid Administrator.

“That person never worked in the office and it is indeed sad that the financial input and the Region’s fortuitous offer of state land have been ruined by a lack of vision and incompetency.”

According to Stephney, the practice facility was never utilised since additional work needed to be done seemed unimportant to the authorities. “In fact, the Board’s bowling machine which was donated by the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) was intended to be placed at the facility; but instead, it found a niche at one of the executive’s home for a number of years,” Stephney disclosed in disgust.

A visit to the site will reveal that the building is stained with brown, rusted pipe water and it is over by bushes especially around the fence and the practice facility.

It is unclear whether there are proper beds, sheets, cooking utensils and working wash-rooms since Stephney insists that players had complained bitterly in the past

“The hostel is not welcoming in its current form and it remains a mystery why this priceless facility cannot be developed into an institution to advance the enormous reservoir of talented cricketers in Essequibo,” added Stephney.

He has since appealed to ECB and GCB to intervene swiftly and salvage some pride.

“The GCB has constructed practice facilities at Everest and East Bank Essequibo. I now implore them to do likewise at the hostel where there is existing space for same and to rename it ‘Courtney Gonsalves Centre’, in memory of one of Essequibo’s finest fast bowlers and coach,” Stephney advised.