‘A cricketing decision’- TDO Stuart on shifting of U-19 final

- Berbice should be declared champion; play final for formality- Foster

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By Avenash Ramzan

Territorial Development Officer (TDO) of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), Colin Stuart, clarified on Tuesday that the reason to shift the Hand-In-Hand Mutual Fire and Life Insurance Companies Inter-county Under-19 50-over final to Friday (May 4) after the original and alternate days were completely washed out, was purely ‘a cricketing one.’

The final between Berbice and the Select Under-17s was originally fixed for April 27 at Lusignan Community Centre ground, but heavy rainfall meant the players were kept indoors all day. Much of the same occurred on April 28, the alternative day, as match officials rendered the ground unsuitable for cricket due to inclement weather.

Stuart pointed out that a GCB Cricket Committee, which comprised representatives from the Competition and Cricket Development Committees, and the Administrative Department met and considered a number of factors and made the recommendation for the final to be now be played at the National Stadium, Providence.

“The decision and recommendation were based mainly on providing our valued sponsor with what our committee considered favourable mileage. The GCB is grateful to all our sponsors and in a demonstration of our appreciation, we sought to have a final played- thus the scheduled final for Friday. We expect the final to be an exciting one and encourage the public to come out and see our future heroes,” Stuart told News Room.

Stuart indicated that the sponsor is happy with the arrangement, adding that playing the final would afford players another opportunity to stake a claim for national selection. The tournament is used primarily to select the Guyana Under-19 team for participation in the Regional Youth tournament later this year.

Playing Conditions

Question arose on Tuesday over the decision to go ahead with a third scheduling of the final, after the Playing Conditions were shared on social media.

The Playing Conditions under the heading ‘Finals’ state that if no result is achieved in the final of the scheduled day of play, the match shall be rescheduled to an alternative day.

If there is still no result on the alternative day, three factors are considered to derive a winner: (1) the team with the most wins in the preliminary matches, (2) if equal, the team that won the preliminary match between the two teams in question, and (3) if still equal, the team with the best net run rate from the preliminary games.

Berbice and the Select Under-17s were the top two teams from the preliminary round, hence their direct qualification to the final. Demerara and Essequibo were the other two teams in the tournament.

Berbice, the reigning Three-day champions ended the preliminary round with an unblemished record, winning all three games and racking up 26.9 points. The Select Under-17s, finished second on 10.5 points, despite two of their matches being washed out.

Demerara had 4.4 and Essequibo 2.1 points.

Given what is stated in the Playing Conditions, Berbice should be awarded the championship, as they finished with the most wins in the preliminary phase.

Foster’s take

Contacted on Tuesday, President of the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB), Hilbert Foster, indicated that the coach and manager of the Berbice team never received the Playing Conditions.

However, he was informed of the conditions with regards to the final. Foster believes that while Berbice must be declared champions, the match should be played for formality.

“Berbice never received any regulations, and at the same time, the Guyana Board should stick to its own rules and declare us champions. If they play a match on Friday, it should be a formality, just for the presentation (of the trophy). Rules are rules; they just can’t just meet and change their own rules,” Foster commented.

The BCB head made reference to the World Cup and IPL, which are governed by Playing Conditions that are strictly adhered to in the interest of fairness.

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