FORMER Essequibo senior Inter-County captain and CWI Level 11 coach, Elroy Stephney, has once again lashed out at the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) citing poor leadership and inactivity.
Stephney, who once served as Chairman of the senior selection panel and the Cricket Development Committee, lamented that “the Board has outlived its usefulness and so are the jaded members who remain visionless and incompetent”.
“I am indeed saddened that the state of affairs is one of despair given that the Board has not held a competition for the past two years and none of the executives are active participants,” he told Chronicle Sport recently.
Stephney who also served as a former National Under-15 and U-19 manager cited gross dereliction of duty and called for the constituent members to demand results from their leaders.
“It is unimaginable that you have a leader who doesn’t even command an ounce of respect within his constituent, yet he has been at the helm of the highest cricketing office in the country for the past five years,” stated Stephney.
He further questioned the omission of Essequibo players from the senior national Super50 squad stating that once again the leadership of the ECB has failed to represent players during a time when they needed such support.
“ECB players will remain sidelined until the lenses of our representatives and those from GCB are replaced”.
“It is unfortunate that Essequibo players continue to be questioned for the wrong reasons, given that they are repeatedly sidelined.” Stephney recalled that under the stewardship of Kayman and Beni Sankar cricket flourished with a number of highly competitive competitions both at the junior and senior levels.
“The Sankars’ leadership is unmatched in the history of Essequibo’s cricket and unfortunately their legacy is being ruined by a group of inept and disorganised group of people purporting to have our interest at heart.”
The former successful captain, who captured the first-ever Neville Sarjoo Under-16 national competition and was Man-of–the- Match in the final against Albion at DCC way back in 1993, argued that a complete overhaul of the structures and personnel is required to transform the game in the Cinderella county.
Stephney referred to the likes of Trenton Peters, Jaimini Singh, Ramcharran Singh, Rovendra Mandolall, Mark Stephney, Ramesh Narine and the late Berchmore Reid, who, he stated, played with pride and soul during the glory days – a period he referenced that has never been replicated.
“I have seen a number of talents here but they will really need the blessings of the Creator if they are to succeed to the highest level.”
“Simply, our cricket is in a war zone; battered and bruised by the irresponsibility of visionless leaders, disowned by the cowardly act of our own selectors and gross disrespect to our female cricketers,” Stephney continued.
“This manifestation has been raising its ugly head for far too long, yet there are those executives who remain on high horses and continue to enjoy personal benefits”.
The elegant left-hander is appealing for the restoration of the ECB Hostel and for the Board to implement a strategic plan that will lead to the reunification of the game among the eight committees.
“I have lasting memories about the glorious encounters I had played against Bartica, Wakenaam, Leguan, East Bank. there was great rivalry and it lifted the hopes when we played back then,” Stephney went on..
“Unfortunately, I can’t speak the same for the players now. In fact, what I can say on behalf of them is that there is absolutely no hope with the current executives whose tenure has been a dismal failure,” he concluded.
Stephney, who remains an executive of the North Essequibo Cricket Committee, expressed his commitment to serve once the environment is conducive and there is a genuine overhaul of the system in Essequibo.
“I stand ready to bring back respectability and soundness to Essequibo’s cricket and I appeal to other stakeholders for us to do this through a systematic, transparent and democratic process, Our cricket remains in a mess due to our incompetent leaders,” remarked Stephney in disgust.