President’s Unity Cup cricket gets boost to prepare ECD grounds

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Preparations are underway for the commencement of the Unity Cup cricket tournament, along the ‘Corridor of Unity,’ which includes several villages along the East Coast of Demerara.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., at the weekend handed over a tractor and lawn mower to aid in the preparation of grounds that will host matches.

The cricket tournament is the brainchild of President, Dr. Irfaan Ali.

In mid-February the President announced that several communities along the East Coast of Demerara will benefit from a pilot project to enhance unity as Guyana moves forward with a singular objective of growth and development for all.

The communities targeted are Lusignan, Enterprise, Buxton, Foulis and Golden Grove.

“These villages will be part of a pilot programme that we’re referring to as a Corridor of Unity and Oneness; that oneness will be stretched all across our country, as we build a future that is sustained on unity and respect for all,” Dr. Ali had stated.

The equipment will be used to get grounds in a state of readiness for the Unity Cup later this year (Photo: DPI)

AG Nandlall, speaking to representatives of the various clubs at the handing-over ceremony at the Lusignan Community Centre, said: “We visited a couple of facilities and we observed that a lot of physical work has to be done before the competition can get going. We chose Lusignan only for convenience; Lusignan is only the custodian of these equipment. It is for the benefit and use of all the grounds in the areas identified.”

“We don’t want dispute to arise and controversy to erupt in relation to who owns what; the thing is owned by the Government of Guyana, it is not owned by any of the NDCs. It is simply being put here to be used in the geographic spans identified.”

Nandlall added that the coordinating body of the competition, the East Coast Cricket Board, and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport will determine the roster for usage of the equipment and the protocols surrounding same.

Minister Ramson Jr. said the dates for the Unity Cup will be finalised soon, as discussions are currently ongoing on the most suitable period.

“Now that people are getting their (COVID-19) vaccines, within the next few weeks and next few months more and more of our population will become inoculated and there will be less of the same kind of demands on gatherings so we’re trying to see when we will best do it, but it will more than likely be before or leading up to our Independence Day period,” Ramson Jr. highlighted.

Back in February, President Ali had told residents along the East Coast that sport brings the communities together in a non-contentious way.

He said that in addition to a trophy, which will be up for grabs at the Unity Cup, the winning team will also earn the opportunity to benefit from community development projects.

“So you are playing for your community,” he said.

He reiterated that the programme will give meaning to the message of oneness and reminded the residents of his address in Parliament in early February about his Government’s intention to unify the country.

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