By Rawle Toney
IT has been exactly six years four months since the country’s first Cricket Administration Act was drafted and passed in the National Assembly.
Since then, there has been a series of events surrounding the Act’s implementation which also led to a number of court action between the Government of Guyana and the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB).
Behind Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson, Government won an appeal against a High Court injunction at the Appellate Court, which now paves the way for the restoration of the Cricket Administration Act.
However, Minister Ramson told Chronicle Sport in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the National Assembly on Monday, that given the time the Act would’ve taken to be functional, he believes that it should be revised, taking into consideration the evolution of cricket and the administering of the sport over the last six years.
“At some point, we all will have to review the Cricket Administration Act because it hasn’t been in operation over the last few years,” Minister Ramson reasoned, while also noting, “You’ve had the suspension of the provisions just a couple of years ago, which is something not only prescribes to have the Act functioning and for persons for to have the ability to assess it. The fact that it was done by a Court Order, is something that is irregular.”
Minister Ramson said that though he’s happy the matter was brought to closure following the Court of Appeal’s ruling, it is now time for Cricket stakeholders to “quickly advance the process” of having the Act revised.
Meanwhile, Minister Ramson, an Attorney-at-Law by profession, reiterated, that as Minister of Sport, he intends to work with all stakeholders of the ‘Gentleman’s Game’, in an effort to preserve the rich history of Cricket in Guyana, and safeguard the future of the sport.
“I want the public to be assured that I’m not working in isolation from all the bodies involved. So I’m in communication with all the relevant stakeholders and I’ve said to them that I don’t have a dog in the race. My function is to make sure that everybody is compliant, and everyone is operating according to the law,” said Minister Ramson.
According to the minister, it is not for him to “cherry-pick individuals who would represent Guyana’s interest, it is the process that is important to me. I’ve said that to all of the stakeholders and that is what I intend to stick by.”
Based on the Act, the first elections of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) by law should be called by the Minister of Sport in consultation with the West Indies Cricket Board (now Cricket West Indies).
Under former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony (now Minister of Health), the Act was tabled in 2014 and sought to firstly make it legal for GCB 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 Act also addressed 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 role of the minister under the legislation will be only to appoint the Ombudsman and his/her role ceases.
The Act, as a previous article in Chronicle Sport had pointed out, also provides for better financial accountability with the cricket board being required to present timely audited financial reports to the National Assembly, as well as the National Sports Commission (NSC).