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Minister Henry to meet Ombudsman on cricket issue

- “Rise above differences; forge a way forward”- Henry to GCB and Cricket Stakeholders

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By Avenash Ramzan

Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry, who has ministerial responsibility for sport, has promised to meet with the Ombudsman in the new week to streamline efforts geared at having elections at levels of cricket in Guyana.

Minister Henry was at the time speaking at a forum at the Attorney General’s Chambers where Guyana Cricket Board officials and representatives of the Cricket Stakeholders group were present on Friday.

Minister Henry said attempts have been made to engage the Ombudsman, but due to some personal commitments he was not readily available. However, the Minister promised that meeting with the Ombudsman would be a matter of priority in the new week.

“It’s subject to his availability which I anticipate should be within three working days,” Henry told the gathering.

The Minister further stated that a timeline for the process to get started could not be given at this time.  This was requested by Cricket Stakeholders member, Ronald Williams.

“I do want to point out that from the level of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry that has responsibility for Sport, we’re going to be working with the earliest possible timeline,” the Minister stated.

She continued, “That being said, I would first have to engage with the Ombudsman to determine the specific timelines and that’s when I can pronounce on a date. It would not be very prudent of me and certainly not fair to the Ombudsman to be given timelines without even consulting with him, so far as having regard to the volume of work that will be required to be done by that person.”

Minister Henry said her aim is to have the matter resolved in the earliest possible time, given the urgency of the situation.

“And I do want to take the opportunity also at this forum, given that I have audience here in terms of the Stakeholders, that we find ways to collaborate, we find ways to move forward and we find ways to resolve issues,” Henry advised.

She added, “To the extent that we’re able to all sit around the same table and come up with ways of resolving issues amicably I think it will do a lot better for the sport, for the sport fraternity and particularly in the case of cricket. I think we need to rise above differences and to forge a way forward in the very immediate future.”

Attorney General Basil Williams, who revealed two days ago that an injunction against the Cricket Administration Act by the Guyana Cricket Board had been quashed, paving the way for elections, urged the administrators and stakeholders to find common grounds and help to move the process forward.

“We hope that there would be a genuine intention to resolve issues, and in this day of mediation, community and otherwise, gentlemen and ladies ya’ll need to get together and try and resolve the issue, because you see what happens when it goes to court,” Williams stated.

As to the role of the Ombudsman, the Attorney General explained. “What I know he has to do is to prepare for elections, and in doing so, my recollection from the Act when it was up in parliament, he has to actually produce a clean voters list, so to speak. And in doing so, he has to examine all the records of all the relevant associations and cricketing bodies to determine who would be qualified (to vote),” the AG explained.

With regards to elections at the county boards, two of which have been embroiled in matters engaging the courts, Williams pointed out. 

“If the Order impacted all the counties, because they would have been held under the aegis of the Guyana Cricket Board, then they would be impacted; they would be affected. So if they were impacted they would be relieved accordingly,” he said.

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