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ICC backs WICB on Guyana issue

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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DUBAI – Cricket’s world governing body has condemned the Guyana government’s takeover of cricket in that country and has reemphasized its stance against political interference in the running of the sport.
Coming out of its two-day board meeting in Dubai which ended yesterday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) also said it was “concerned” by the current impasse and threw its support behind the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), which has continued to back the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB).
Guyana’s government assumed control of cricket administration there through an Interim Management Committee (IMC) last year, after the GCB had its legitimacy challenged in the High Court and was declared a legal non-entity.
“The ICC board reiterates the principle of non-interference in the sport by governments and were concerned to learn of the developments in Guyana where the government has dissolved the Guyana Cricket Board and replaced it with an Interim Management Committee,” an ICC statement said yesterday.
“In condemning this government intervention in the strongest possible terms, the ICC board reaffirmed the principle of non-interference and that the only legitimate cricketing authority is that recognized by the West Indies Cricket Board.”
Last year, the ICC mandated that its member associations should be free from government interference in elections and other administrative affairs.
The latest ICC statement is a big fillip for the WICB, which has come under fire from the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), the regional players’ union, for its stance.
Following a meeting last weekend, the WICB said it supported the IMC as an “advisory body” but would not “recognize or approve any entity other than the GCB” to govern cricket affairs in Guyana.
It subsequently pulled Guyana’s first four matches of the Regional Four-Day Championship from the government-owned National Stadium at Providence and said it would also make an announcement shortly on the third Test between West Indies and Australia that was scheduled for the same venue.
WIPA criticized the WICB earlier this week over its support for the GCB, querying why it would continue to support a body that was unincorporated. (CMC)