– head of state expresses interest in resolution of cricketing issues
WICB President Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron affixes a pin on President Donald Ramotar as Culture, Youth and Sport Minister, Dr Frank Anthony looks on
By Marlon Munroe and Rajiv Bisnauth
President Donald Ramotar expressed his willingness to assist in the resolution of the cricket saga that has plagued the game for some time now in Guyana, reiterating his support for the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), according to Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron, WICB president.
Ramotar, along with Cameron, and Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony held closed door talks at the Office of the President on Monday and according to the WICB head and Anthony the talks were fruitful.
“I think it was very, very fruitful. Again the president reiterated his support for the West Indies Cricket Board and that he is more than willing to assist in resolving all the matters in Guyana and seeing everybody going back to playing cricket”, Cameron revealed after the meeting.
In addition, Cameron revealed that that international cricket will be returning to Guyana shortly should the issues be resolved and a more amiable environment exists. Further, Cameron said that he is pleased with the relationship between the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and the Government of Guyana (GoG), which has been strained for the past two years.
“Yes I am! And the minister is here and he has done everything in his power and continue to…there is a bill before Parliament and I think we will get that resolved in another couple of weeks and you will have international cricket in Guyana in very short order,” Cameron revealed when asked about the relationship between the GCB and GoG by a Government Information Agency (GINA) media officer.
On the other hand, Cameron stated that there is a role for Guyana and West Indies legend Clive Lloyd, who headed the government-established Interim Management Committee (IMC), to run cricket in Guyana in December 2011.
Cameron added, “Well I would hope that once everything is resolved Clive will play a part but at the WICB level I certainly have some ideas to utilise Clive. Clive will be in cricket moving forward.”
Minister Anthony congratulated Cameron on his ascension to the top post of the WICB. Anthony was optimistic, projecting that under Cameron’s leadership a lot of new innovations will be seen.
“We have had very fruitful discussions with him (Cameron) and the president and we expect many things to happen,” said Anthony, adding “you know that we have had our own difficulties and challenges here in Guyana but I am very optimistic that we will be able to resolve these.
“We have the Bill in the Sub-Committee and I guess as soon as budget debates are over we will get back to working on the bill and very shortly that will be out.
I think that is a way of us being able to resolve some of the issues that we confront.”
Anthony tabled the Cricket Administration Bill for its first reading last December in the National Assembly before sending it for scrutiny to a special select committee. Meetings with the relevant parties were held soon after to deal with the bill in its entirety.
Meanwhile, Cameron believes that in order for cricket to improve significantly in the Caribbean, there must be sustainable structures in every territory. This was stated at his press briefing on Sunday at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
“I don’t want we start an academy this year and we can’t sustain it next year, so whatever we are doing we need to be setting up structure that are maintainable, sustainable going forward and we are building at all times, we are not going to be chopping and changing, we must have a fix structure so the game at all levels will improve,” Cameron said.
He expressed satisfaction with the way the GCB has been conducting its business to fulfil the mandate set out by the WICB. Cameron further indicated that the GCB has been one of the best run territorial boards over the past decade, adding that their financial statements are always prepared on time and in a very good order.
“So all the arguments of financial improprieties and whatever I don’t understand where that was coming from, I am comfortable with how the GCB conduct their affairs and I have no reason to believe that they are issues there. However, I think not just Guyana but the other territories need a strong secretariat and so that is one of my mandate,” the new president noted.
On the other hand when questioned about the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Cameron said it “is a major investment where players stand to benefit tremendously.”
This tournament, will replace the existing Caribbean T20 as region’s domestic Twenty20 competition.
The financial benefits that the league will offer the players will be tremendous, saying “The WICB is elated with the agreement, which will allow for regional retainer contracts for a broad pool of players. These contracts will be funded by the CPL to the tune of US$360,000 annually. This significant investment will truly allow for cricketers in the Caribbean to pursue their profession as professionals.”