Guyana Cricket Board election postponed
The Guyana Cricket Board election, set for noon on Friday, was put off to another date, despite the presence of two of the three county boards- Berbice and Demerara- which constitutes a quorum under the Guyana Cricket Administration Act.
Each board has nine delegates, and 15 delegates constitute a quorum. The Essequibo Cricket Board did not submit a list of delegates, as Boards were mandated to do by 16:00h on Thursday (February 25).
Cricket Ombudsman, Kamal Ramkarran, who was otherwise engaged, and arrived at the Umana Yana at 12:45h, told the delegates and media operatives that the Essequibo Cricket Board, through its Attorney, had raised some complaints with regards to verification of clubs in an email to him on Thursday evening.
This development led to him putting Friday’s proceedings on hold, much to the ire of the two sets of delegates present.
“I believe on the issue of fairness, to be fair to the people who have raised contentions about the elections, about the process, that we should hold off on elections until such time as those complaints have been resolved, if not to the satisfaction of the people who are raising those complaints, at least objectively speaking, everybody will give their opinion, everything is clear and above board, and if elections are held there would be no contentions. I think it is better in light of the acrimony that exists in the cricket administration at the moment.”
Ramkarran pointed out that the issue outlined in the email was “not about the putting forward of delegates”, but rather “my function of verifying registers.”
“If the Essequibo Cricket Board has last (Thursday) night raised the issue of the verification of registers, I could not in good conscience proceed to elections in their absence in light of that allegation that there are issues to be resolved,” Ramkarran pointed out.
The Cricket Ombudsman, having been appointed by Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr. after consultation with Cricket West indies, has two functions- to verify the Register of Clubs and perform the functions of Returning Officer for the first election of the membership of the Guyana Cricket Board.
Ronald Williams, who a week ago was elected Assistant Secretary of the Demerara Cricket Board at a Court-supervised electoral process, pleaded with Ramkarran to proceed with the Guyana Cricket Board election, given two of the County Boards were represented.
“I honestly believe there is no reason why the election should not go on, and bring an end to this prevailing trauma that has beset our cricket for so long. Sir, if there is anything you can do to assist in facilitating the elections and having it done, you have our full support on that. I plead of you,” Williams commented.
Ramkarran responded: “As you have said, two of the three Cricket Boards are ready, but there is one which is not, and I would like to do everything which is possible to bring that one prodigal son back into the fold, so that everybody can be satisfied, so everybody can participate, so that the elections of the Guyana Cricket Board, at which I am the Returning Officer, will go with the participation of everyone.”
“You have waited for a long time for elections, and another short wait is not going to cause any irreparable harm in my opinion, but the short wait can possibly bring a sort of coming together of the three cricket boards in Guyana.”
The Ombudsman further added that his desire to have the issues raised by Essequibo resolved is to avoid further contention in litigation, noting that the Court, in his opinion, may not be the best option in resolving issues in the sport.
“Surely these issues can be resolved without the Courts, without further litigations, without further acrimony, and that is what I’m trying to do,” Ramkarran posited.
Like Williams, newly-elected President of the Demerara Cricket Board, Bissoondyal Singh, argued that based on the Guyana Cricket Administration Act, the presence of two County Boards and full quota of delegates meant a duly constituted meeting could have been held on Friday.
“What we’re looking for here by the action that you (the Ombudsman) propose is more litigations and years of problem,” Singh asserted.
Singh’s Attorney Arudrunauth Gossai was surprised at the turn of events, stating that himself and the Ombudsman had on Thursday successfully fought against an interim Order to stop the Guyana Cricket Board elections.
“Now the law is clear; the Minister sets a date for the first elections, which the Minister did, and so in my mind anybody to change that election (date) must be the person who fixed it. And so in the absence of the Minister directing the Ombudsman that the election is not to be held today, the Ombudsman was bound under the law to conduct the election,” Gossai told the media via telephone.