The Raj Singh faction of the Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) has been forced to shelf plans for this year’s Hand-in-Hand 40-over second division cricket competition after the company officially requested that all preparations for the tournament be put on hold.
The company is contending that based on the legal developments affecting the DCB, it has requested the organisers to suspend all preparations for the competition until it is satisfied that the legal problems within the DCB are resolved.
“We are obviously very concerned about these developments and the impact they may have on the good reputation of this company. Management has therefore decided to request the current organisers to suspend all preparations for the competition immediately until we are satisfied that the legal problems are resolved,” stated a letter issued by the company’s Director/Fire Manager, Howard Cox.
“We would like to emphasise how special this competition is to Hand-in-Hand Group of Companies and our management would really be very pleased if it could resume this year. However, the only way this seems to be likely is if there is collaboration between all of the involved parties,” the letter concluded.
From left: Raymond Barton, Nayatanand Manbodh, Bissoondyal Singh, Roger Harper, Esse Peters and Mark Harper at Saturday’s press conference
The tournament, which was officially launched on April 11, was expected to commence by month end at various venues across Demerara with over 100 teams in the four associations set to participate.
Meanwhile, at a joint press conference between the East Coast Cricket Board (ECCB) and the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) on Saturday at the Sleep In Hotel on Brickdam, head of the ECCB, Bissoondyal Singh indicated that persons purporting to be the executives of the DCB and attempting to run cricket in Demerara by soliciting sponsorship or in any way perform any function or duty of the DCB will be in contempt of court.
He therefore warned businesses, interest groups or individuals who are desirous of contributing to cricket by way of sponsorship or otherwise to be very careful of their involvement as they may be unwittingly supporting an illegal regime.
Singh further indicated that in the present circumstances the GCA and ECCB are mindful of their obligation to the cricket and the cricketers and would be prepared to participate in any cricket competition that is properly organised through a competent and fair process by an acceptable oversight body.
“We wish to record our condemnation of the many illegal and subversive attempts to undermine the well-intended parliamentary process by some misguided individuals who are clearly preoccupied with hijacking our cricket. The GCA and the ECCB take this opportunity to reiterate our support for the parliamentary process which is expected to bring a permanent resolution to the chaos, confusion and illegalities that has consumed our dear national game,” Singh concluded.
Currently, the Guyana Cricket Administration Bill has been sent to a Special Select Committee. The bill seeks to establish and incorporate the Guyana Cricket Board, the Demerara, Berbice and Essequibo Cricket Boards.
The DCB had been facing criticism ever since it’s January 25 elections and the current situation has invited more wrath, especially since a cloud of doubt continues to hover over who were the members elected to hold positions on the board.
The DCB, for the past three years, has been blanketed in one court case after the other, caused by a crippling power struggle that resulted in factions led by businessmen Bissoondyal Singh and Raj Singh.
Eventually, a court ruling in the High Court prohibited both factions from acting on behalf of the entity after both factions held separate elections back in January of 2010.
The injunction was granted to plaintiffs Roger Harper and Davteerth Anandjit and the defendants named in the court document were Rajendra Singh, Lalta Digamber, Anand Sanasie, Alfred Mentore, Anand Kalladeen, Ravindranauth Persaud, Ronald Sarjoo, Nazimul Drepaul, Colin Europe, Ray Persaud, Krishnchand Mangal, Chetram Singh, Lionel Jaikaran, Ramsey Ali, Fizul Bacchus, Drubahadur, Troy Mendonca, Terrence Holder and Rayon Griffith.
The interim injunction restrains the defendants “by themselves, their servants and or agents acting collectively or individually… from convening or causing to be convened or holding an annual general meeting of the Demerara Cricket Board on January 25, 2013 or any other date for the purpose of the election of office bearers to the Executive Committee of the Demerara Cricket Board for the period 2013 to 2015 term of office.”