… Justice Holder quashes application to stop the process; ECB fails to submit list of delegates
By Rajiv Bisnauth
THE deeply divisive administrative struggle, which at times has threatened the future of cricket locally, is almost over after Justice Franklyn Holder quashed an application to prevent the holding of a free and fair election of executive members of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB). As a result of this, the elections will go ahead for the first time in 11 years, which will end the politicking, controversies, and drama that have been regular features in the administration of the game locally. Information reaching Chronicle Sport last evening indicated that an application for the injunction to stop the GCB elections was refused by Justice Holder yesterday afternoon on the basis of no reasonable grounds. The election process is billed for noon today at the Umana Yana, and from all indications, businessman Bissoondyal Singh is favoured to win the top post. Up to late last evening, Singh, who is the current Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) president, and also president of the legally installed East Coast Cricket Board (ECCB), remains the lone presidential candidate.
Singh is expected to garner all nine votes from both DCB and Berbice Cricket Board (BCB), the two County boards which were in full compliance with the Cricket Ombudsman, Attorney-at-Law Kamal Ramkarran’s notice, where the three boards were asked to provide their list of delegates at 16:00hrs yesterday.
The Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) which also has nine votes at the GCB elections, failed to submit their list of delegates when the deadline for submission expired.
It is somewhat surprising that the ECB decided not to take part in today’s GCB elections, since they have done so in every other election in the past.
Meanwhile, all attempts to ascertain why the ECB decided against the submission of delegates proved futile. Both the secretary Otto Christiani and the board’s marketing manager, Andy Ramnarine, refused to respond when asked on issue. Only yesterday, former Essequibo cricket administrators, Elroy Stephney and Sheik Ahmad, who have endorsed Singh as
“absolutely the right man” to lead the local governing body for cricket, called on the ECB to be a part of the electoral process, taking into consideration the enormous challenges facing the game both on and off the field in the Cinderella County.
Today’s long-awaited election was set by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. The minister’s move stems from consultations with CWI, pursuant to the requirements of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act and on the heels of the DCB elections held last Friday. Elections at the GCB level have not been held since 2012. The Cricket Administration Act was restored to its original condition last September. It clearly states that 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). 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 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).