‘Not in the business of satisfying or responding to egos’- President Ali on cricket matters
President of Guyana, Dr. Irfaan Ali, on Friday said his government supports the proper functioning of sport bodies in the country, and would not be lured into controversies within those administrations.
With the Cricket West Indies election race heating up, and Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr. on Friday announcing a new date for the Guyana Cricket Board election, the Head-of-State in a comment to News Room Sport, candidly stated: “The Government has no intentions of being dragged into issues of controversies within sporting bodies and administrations.”
“I have communicated this to the relevant Ministers, Agencies and Ministries. We are not in the business of satisfying or responding to egos.”
President Ali added: “We support the proper functioning of sporting bodies, but will not get involved in any high-handed manner in determining outcomes. Cricket administration is no different. In relation to the CWI election, no official or government must exercise seeming bias for any contestants as this will be unethical.”
The Cricket West Indies election is set for March 28 with the incumbent Ricky Skerritt and Vice-president Dr. Kishore Shallow facing a challenge from Guyana Cricket Board Secretary Anand Sanasie and his running-mate, Vice-president of the Barbados Cricket Association, Calvin Hope.
The Guyana Cricket Board election, as announced by Minister Ramson Jr., is now fixed for March 29.
Guyana’s cricket has been mired in controversy, numerous court cases and warring factions, with legal election not held in over a decade.
The latest attempt at an election was February 26 this year, but that 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 February 25.
Cricket Ombudsman, Kamal Ramkarran, 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 the eve of the election.
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.”
The Cricket Ombudsman, having been appointed by Minister 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.
Meanwhile, the Sport Ministry in its statement on Friday announcing the new election date, said: “A meeting was convened and held with the Cricket Ombudsman, the Attorneys-at-law for the stakeholders and the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport.
The Ministry maintains its confidence in the Cricket Ombudsman, Mr. Kamal Ramkarran, Attorney-at-Law, as a professional and as someone with the highest integrity capable of executing his function thereunder.
The Guyana Cricket Board election must be held as required by the Guyana Cricket Administration Act and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport holds firm to this position.”