BCB president holds fruitful meeting with Upper Corentyne clubs

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Newly-elected President of the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB), Hilbert Foster, on Saturday last hosted a highly successfully ‘Face the Clubs Meeting’ in the Upper Corentyne area at the Riverton Suite, Corriverton.

The meeting was part of a county-wide consultation programme to inform all Berbice clubs of the Board’s plans for 2018 and most importantly to listen to recommendations from the grassroot levels.

The first meeting was held in the Lower Corentyne district and would be taken to New Amsterdam/Canje, Berbice River and West Berbice. A total of 20 teams attended the meeting.

The meeting hall was packed to capacity with some club members being forced to stand throughout the two-hour meeting. The BCB President, in a comprehensive one hour report on his Board’s plans for 2018, urged the clubs to work as a collective unit and to prepare for the busiest calendar in the history of cricket in the Upper Corentyne.

He noted that the Ramnaresh Sarwan 40-over tournament has started with 24 teams in the area, while the Magic Moments 20/20 tournament would bowl off on Saturday at venues across Upper Corentyne. Among other tournaments coming up are a double wicket tournament, Berbice-wide 40-over Second Division and another 20/20.

Upper Corentyne would also be involved in the Berbice-wide coaching programme with 50 young cricketers between ages 12 and 18 being coached by five highly qualified coaches. The Upper Corentyne would also be hosting its own cricket academy for the first time, while outstanding cricketers would be recognised and honoured at an upcoming Award Ceremony that would be held in early May, 2018.    

Trophies and medals for the Award Ceremony would be donated by the 10 cricket teams of the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club.

The BCB President also announced to the delighted club officials that the Board in 2018 would be hosting Under-15, Under-17, Under-19, Under-21, Female, Inter-Secondary School, Second Division and First Division tournaments in each of the five zones- Upper Corentyne, Lower Corentyne, New Amsterdam/Canje, West Berbice and Berbice River.

Other plans unveiled included educational cricket posters, Berbice Cricket Academy, Elite Training Programme, Berbice Award Ceremony, Cricket Review Magazine and Tribute to Heroes among others. Foster also disclosed that the BCB is in discussion with an overseas supplier to obtain cheap balls and equipment for clubs.

The BCB urged the executives of the Upper Corentyne Cricket Association to always listen to advice from clubs, to meet regularly with them and to be accountable. He pledged to meet with the clubs during the year on a regular basis and to work along with them to get them properly organised.

Foster also pledged to run the BCB in a transparent, open and accountable way and invited clubs to visit the Board Office as often as possible, to follow the BCB on its Facebook Page and to tune in to its monthly television programmes.

The meeting in progress

Club members hailed the meeting with the BCB President and Secretary Robby Saywack as historic and very fruitful. They took advantage of the open mike discussion to offer advice and seek answers to problems affecting their operations.

Among the topics covered were getting cricket equipment at an affordable cost, uniforms to be worn during matches, better level of umpiring, selection policies, female cricket and the lack of Upper Corentyne players in the Guyana Cricket Board Franchise cricket tournament.

Clubs agreed to play all Second Division teams in the mandated white uniforms, while each team would submit the name of a suitable person to perform the duty of Umpire for Upper Corentyne tournament.

Clubs were clearly upset that their outstanding performers at the First Division level were bypassed by the Upper Corentyne Franchise which has been based at the Port Mourant Ground for the last two years.

It was also revealed that the Number 73 and the popular Number 72 Cut and Load teams would field Under-15 teams, while Number 73 and the Muslim Youth Organisation would play at the Under-17 level.

The Number 48 Challenger Club and the Upper Corentyne Association would play in the Under-19 tournament, while the Association would field an Under-21 team in the upcoming Elizabeth Styles Under-21 Berbice-wide tournament.

Among the clubs at the meeting were Scottsburg United, Number 73, Crabwood Creek Cricket Club, Skeldon Titans, Number 72 Cut and Load, Number 72 Cricket Club, Number 43 Scorpions, Number 70 M.Y.O, Dukestown Warriors, Number 69 All Stars and Number 48.  

President of the Upper Corentyne Cricket Association, Dennis D’Andrade, expressed gratitude to the BCB for meeting with the clubs and stated that Berbice Cricket is in safe hands.  

The Upper Corentyne Cricket Association also used the opportunity to share out receipts to all clubs for paying their annual dues. The President announced that every club in the Upper Corentyne Cricket Association has officially registered and paid their 2018 dues.

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