Minister Mustapha fulfills promises to Berbice Cricket Board

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One month ago, Region Six Member of Parliament and Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, met with the executives of the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) at the Fyrish Primary School during one of his outreaches in Berbice.

The Minister, a Berbician, had committed to playing a major role in the development of Berbice Cricket and the two delegations discussed a wide range of plans.

On Thursday last, the Minister started to fulfill his commitments to the board by handing over two cheques, valued at G$500,000 combined for a University of Guyana scholarship and the hosting of an Under-15 cricket tournament for clubs in the Ancient County.

BCB President Hilbert Foster, who accepted the cheques in the presence of Public Relations Officer Simon Naidu, stated that the one-year scholarship was awarded to Neem Khan of the Albion Cricket Club.

The 17-year-old all-rounder, who bowls off-spin, attended the New Amsterdam Multilateral School and obtained 10 subjects at CSEC. He has been accepted at the Tain branch of the University of Guyana to study for a Bachelor Degree in Agriculture.

Khan is the son of former Berbice all-rounder Zamal Khan and also plays part time for his home village of Chesney.

The Ministry of Agriculture Under-15 tournament would bowl off the BCB 2021 cricket season and would be played on a round-robin, 50 overs per side basis.

About 18 teams drawn from across Berbice are expected to participate in the tournament, which would be used to select the Berbice Inter-county team.

Among the teams expected to participate are Number 73, Scottsburg, Port Mourant, Rose Hall Town Farfan and Mendes, Albion Community Center, Number 19 Kendall’s Union, Rose Hall Canje, Mt. Sinai, Edinburgh, East Bank Blazers, Blairmont, Achievers, Bush Lot United and Bush Lot All Stars.

Foster stated that the tournament would be very important for the BCB since the board was uncertain of the current status of many of the players, owing to the forced stoppage of cricket over the last nine months in the county, owing to the coronavirus.

The date of birth cut-off for eligible players would September 1, 2006, and they are expected to be attending school if they desire to play in the tournament.

The BCB President announced that 2021 would see a very active calendar for the board with the hosting of 30 cricket tournaments at the Under-13, Under-15, Under-17, Under-19, Under-21, Female, Internal Zone, Intermediate, Second Division, Double-Wicket and First Division levels.

Additionally, special emphasis would be placed on expanding the coaching programmes of the BCB and providing assistance to clubs and less fortunate cricketers. Foster expects the BCB assistance programme to players and cricketers to exceed over G$3 million in 2021.

The BCB President extended gratitude to Minister Mustapha and the Permanent Secretary for their cooperation. He pledged that the tournament would be well organised, while the BCB would monitor the performance of Naeem Khan on a regular basis to make sure he upholds the required standards.

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