Big Man Cricket given green light by Sport Minister

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The Big Man Cricket tournament, a 25-over competition featuring 10 teams of players above the age of 45, has been given approval by Minister of Sport, Charles Ramson Jr.

In a letter to the Minister seeking approval for the tournament to be held between November 22 and December 8, Director Raj Singh of Big Man Cricket- Guyana (BMC-G) said the event is a private one funded by sponsors and will be used as a yardstick to select a representative Guyana Over-50 side to compete in the Regional 25-over tournament being planned by Cricket West Indies Masters Association.

That tournament is slated to be held in Guyana in February-March 2021 and will feature teams from Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward Islands, the Leeward Islands, Canada and the USA.

From this Regional tournament, the West Indies Over-50 team will be selected to face Canada in a bilateral series in August 2021.

Minister Ramson Jr., in response to the letter, conferred the Ministry’s “approval and/or ‘no objection’ to the hosting of the tournament.”

Singh, in his letter to the Minister, had also highlighted that the organisation did not receive the “blessings” of the Guyana Cricket Board, a decision they believe was made purely on “non-cricketing reasons.”

BMC-G Director Raj Singh

The reasons put forward by the Board “were mostly frivolous, vexatious and anti-cricket”, Singh claimed.

“GCB stated, firstly, that it was because they had a sanctioned Over-40 tournament planned. It is public knowledge the GCB has never held an Over-40 competition countrywide in its 77 years of existence. The BMC-G is an Over-45 tournament and the GCB tournament could have served well as a feeder competition for our Over-45 BMC domestic cricket and our Over-50 Regional cricket. The other reason put forward by the GCB was that they did not get an early application even though it was sent about two and a half weeks before the commencement of the competition,” BMC-G said in a release this week.

Minister Ramson Jr., addressing the stance taken by the GCB, noted: “As it relates to the other issues raised therein, regardless of any arrogating appreciation to the contrary, it is important to be advised, as I hereby do, that the approval or imprimatur for any sport tournament by respective sport Associations/Federations, while inherently beneficial, is not strictly required unless it is a vehicle for advancement within the structure of a world/international sport body.”

“In addition, it is also important to be advised that the extant status of the Guyana Cricket Board is in a state of flux as a result of the recent restoration of all of the provisions of the Cricket Administration Act 2014 previous irregularly suspended. Every effort is being made to return legitimacy to the process and the Ministry is monitoring the situation very closely.”

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