Minister Bharrat inducted as Patron of Berbice Cricket Board
- Makes financial contribution and hails BCB’s outstanding leadership
The Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) on Saturday inducted Minster of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, as its new Patron during a simple but impressive ceremony at the St. Francis Community Developers Complex in Rose Hall Town. The event was held under strict COVID-19 guidelines.
BCB President Hilbert Foster hailed the induction ceremony as another red letter day in the history of Berbice Cricket.
In his opening remarks, Foster provided a comprehensive report on the history of the game in the county, its present status and plans for the future.
He stated that the board was the first of its kind to be established in Guyana and over the years has produced 19 Test cricketers, 13 ODI and T20 players, along with six female players for the West Indies.
Foster recalled that after an internal crisis that lasted over two years, his administration inherited a board that was in deep crisis and less than G$50,000 in its coffers.
“No proper cricket tournament was being played, while the frustration level among players and clubs was at an all-time high,” Foster related.
He proudly stated that the level of Berbice cricket was now at an all-time level and predicted that in a few years, the BCB would be considered the role model cricket structure in the Caribbean.
Over the last 32 months, the Foster-led board has organised 62 cricket tournaments at all levels, raised over $30 million in cash and kind, assisted clubs with over $10 million worth of items, implemented dozens of developmental projects, upgraded the board office, become self-reliance and assisted a combined 200 youth cricketers with cricket gear and bicycles.
Regional Vice-Chairman Zamal Hussain hailed the work of the board and stated that the RDC of Region Six would always offer support as it understands the value of sport.
He praised the board for its open-door policy and for working along with all stakeholders. Minister Bharrat was inducted as Patron by Secretary Angela Haniff and Treasurer Dr. Cecil Beharry and received a sash, trophy, medal, framed certificate and his official list of duties.
Among the duties of the Patron are to be the public face of the board, to be a role model to youth cricketers, to counsel if necessary youth cricketers, prepare a Patron message for all publications, to be the guest speaker at the annual award ceremony and to assist the BCB to fulfill its mandate.
The new Patron stated that he was very proud to be associated with the BCB as he was quite aware of its outstanding record of activities and achievements.
He noted that while his dream of becoming a cricketer never materialised, he would work along with the Board to make sure that every Berbician has the opportunity to become the next Rohan Kanhai or Basil Butcher.
He pledged that massive improvements would be made in Berbice Cricket during his five-year term in office. He disclosed that he follows Berbice cricket very closely, and hailed the outstanding leadership of the board.
The Patron also spoke on the importance of discipline and on the need for young cricketers to remain focused as it is very easy to be led astray.
In his first official duty as Patron, Minister Bharrat handed over a donation of a box of cricket balls, two scorebooks and a warm-up football to the Edinburgh Cricket Club.
He then announced to loud applause, a financial contribution of one million dollars to the BCB coffers and a donation of cricket gear, worth about G$200,000.
The financial donation would be used for the 2021 historic semi-professional tournament, while the gears would be shared out to less fortunate youth cricketers across the county.
The Minister committed to working very hard in his capacity to make sure that the tournament becomes a reality and fulfills all of its objectives.
The gear would be handed over under the newly established Patron Fund. Among those in attendance at the induction ceremony were national and West Indies players, including Devendra Bishoo, Veersammy Permaul, Gudakesh Motie, Shemaine Campbelle, Erva Giddings, Shabika Gajnabi and Kevin Sinclair.