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Guyana still defying WICB, ICC

Tony Best

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Guyana’s new leader has vowed to continue defying the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) by pushing ahead with his government’s plan to reform the game’s management in his country.
And Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar, who is convinced the WICBis harming the region’s premiere sport,is planning to enlist the active supportof CARICOM’S presidents and prime minister in his battle to rescue the game from the board.
 “Yes, we are continuing to pursueour plan,” president Ramotar told MIDWEEKSPORT in New York.
“The last thing I heard before leaving home [for the United States] is that [the Clive Lloyd-led panel] have a draft constitution that we have to look at tosee if it’s what everybody wants, all the stakeholders in the country to look at and then to have elections for the Guyana Cricket Board. Then my job would have been done.”
In an interview before leaving New York for Barbados to join the region’s other Heads of Government at last Monday’s Mexico-CARICOM Summit, Ramotar said that he wanted stronger support for his efforts fromhis CARICOM colleagues.
Active support
“My colleagues in the region . . . have been supporting generally what we have been doing but in a passive way. NowI think we have to look for more active support in this regard,” he said.
“I don’t want to and I don’t think anyone, any leader in the region wantsto administer sports. I don’t want to interfere with sport. I have enough politics to deal with to be worried about cricket politics.
“But at the same time there are some things that need to be fixed and I am willing to work in fixing thosethings so that cricket in the Caribbeancan be transparent and can workto the benefit of the people, so we can reinvest money into cricket in the region as a whole.”
The Guyana president, who wasin New York to address the United Nations on behalf of CARICOM andto meet with Guyanese nationalsin the city acknowledged that he wasn’t “really” a big fan of WICB and charged that it was mismanaging the game and hurting the various countries.
“What’s happening with cricket is oneof the things I will bring up with my counterparts because I think the West Indies Cricket Board is slapping the whole Caribbean in its face by moving someof the international matches that are coming up [against New Zealand]to Florida,” he charged.
“We, the governments in the Caribbean have invested hundreds of millionsof dollars in building stadia in the different parts of the Caribbean. That’s one of the [problems] we have in Guyana with the cricket board and the harm they are doing to cricket itself.”
Both the ICC and the WICB have vigorously objected to the Ramotar administration’s efforts to restructure the Guyana Cricket Board, so much so thatno ICC-sanctioned international matches have been scheduled for Guyana sincethe impasse developed between the board, the WICB and the government.
The ICC opposes government interference in the management of cricket in any of its affiliated bodies.