No approval needed to host ‘Big Man’ Cricket, says Organiser

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On Monday, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) issued a press release, stating it has not approved the hosting of the ‘Big Man’ Cricket tournament, which starts on Saturday (March 13).

However, on Wednesday, Raj Singh, Chairman of the Big Man Cricket Committee, and former Marketing Manager of the GCB, indicated that based on legal advice they do not need the approval of the GCB to host the Over-45 tournament.

“We did not ask any permission from them on this bout, but that’s their [GCB] position,” Singh stated at a press conference.

“We have gotten legal opinions from our Attorneys who will be at the launching…we have gotten a full legal opinion, a five-page document, which I have sent to the Guyana Cricket Board, which they have chosen to ignore, that says we don’t need permission from the Cricket Board.”

According to the GCB press release, “It should be noted that the GCB finds it highly disturbing that there appears to be continued attempts to conduct Big Man Cricket tournament(s) that is/are Not approved by the GCB. The GCB views the aligned actions of individuals so interested in hosting such tournament(s) as subverting the role and responsibility of the GCB by preparing to organise and manage the purported tournament(s), as well as the probable hosting of a cricket tournament which may attract regional teams.”

But Singh is of the contention that this tournament does not fall under the purview of the GCB.

“This is not a form of cricket that they are responsible for. Why is it that the Guyana Cricket Board does not sanction softball cricket, they chose not to administer Softball cricket, they chose not to represent Masters cricket, to administer that.”

Notably, a senior Executive of the GCB recently attended the launch of a Softball tournament in an official capacity and the GCB hosted an Over-40 tournament late last year.

Singh further stated, “This is a void we are filling and they should be happy to have us do this. This is not an ICC [International Cricket Council] event, this is a private event. Guyana Cricket Board is a public body formed under the Guyana Cricket Administration Act, Big Man Cricket is a legally registered body also, it is private affair and we are not getting funding from the Guyana Cricket Board, ICC or West Indies Cricket board. As a matter of fact, West Indies Cricket Board give [US]$10,000 in the last [Over-50] World Cup.”

“We are not interfering with any of their competitions, their grounds, their umpires, we have our own panels and everything.”

The inaugural Big Man cricket tournament will bowl off this weekend across grounds countrywide and will be contested by eight Over-45 teams.

Singh said the 25-over per side tournament will have a double-header at the Georgetown Cricket Club, Bourda, and matches will also be played at the Enmore (East Coast Demerara) and Imam Bacchus (Essequibo) grounds.

The other venues to be used are: Meten-Meer-Zorg ground, Farm ground on the East Bank of Demerara, Jai Hind ground in Berbice and Number 72 ground.

The tournament will take a round-robin format with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals. The winning team will pocket G$400,000 and the runners-up G$250,000.

The competition will use the pink ball and Singh revealed they have applied for permission to play the final under lights at the National Stadium, Providence.

This tournament will be used as the yardstick to select a Guyana team to compete at the Regional tournament, which be held in October and is expected to feature Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Windward Islands along with teams from Canada and the Americas.

Thereafter, players will be selected to a West Indies Over-50 squad to participate at the Over-50 World Cup in South Africa 2022.

The official launch will be held at Georgetown Cricket Club Pavilion on Friday from 14:00h.

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