September 2, 2014

Front page September 2, 2014

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BCB honours past Test players

President Donald Ramotar toasts with Secretary of the BCB Angela Haniff, while Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony looks on

President Donald Ramotar toasts with Secretary of the BCB Angela Haniff, while Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony looks on

Eleven past and present Berbice Test cricketers, along with cricketing administrators past and present, have been honoured by the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB).

A ceremony which took place on Sunday and took the form of a dinner was held as part of the BCB’s 75th anniversary celebrations. The “Diamond Jubilee” event saw some of the past legends of Test cricket honoured.

Speaking at the event, President Donald Ramotar noted that cricket is part of the nation’s life and congratulated the BCB on its achievement. “Cricket has inspired writers and musicians, cricketers have grown to be more than just cricketers but also role models,” he said.

In explaining his Administration’s approach to the game, the President said the lights which which were recently installed at the Albion Sports Complex are a testimony to the interest that Government has in the development of the sport.

“Cricket is changing and we all have to adapt to those changes. That is why we provided the lights at Albion so that Berbice can continue to produce top cricketers, as well as cricketers for the new format of the game, which is here to stay,” stated Ramotar.

President Donald Ramotar presents former Test player Basil Butcher with a plaque

President Donald Ramotar presents former Test player Basil Butcher with a plaque

The President noted that, in 2014, 73 community grounds in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) will be upgraded. Also attending the ceremony was Culture Youth and Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony and Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy.

Those honoured were Rohan Kanhai, George Trim, Azad Fudadin, Veerasammy Permaul, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Devendra Bishoo,

Narsingh Deonarine, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Alvin Kallicharran, Joe Solomon and Basil Butcher.

Public Relations Officer of the BCB Hilbert Foster noted that the first major achievement of the Board took place in 1948 when John Trim became the first Berbician to play Test cricket for the West Indies. To date, 16 males and one female have followed in his footsteps.

Speaking of some of the achievements of the BCB over the past 75 years, Foster said these include hosting the Pakistan International Airlines team in 1973 and 1975, and a three oversees tours by Berbice teams in 1974, 1978 and 1984.

“The BCB also hosted the MCC team in 1974 and created history when in 1977 it hosted the first ODI match in the Caribbean, West Indies versus Pakistan at the historic Albion Cricket ground,” he said.

Cricket administrator Carl Moore (right) honoured for his contribution to cricket development

Cricket administrator Carl Moore (right) honoured for his contribution to cricket development

Over the last six years, the BCB has undergone a remarkable transformation which some have described as a revolution, Foster noted.

The Board in 2009 formed a Special Events Committee which has been able to raise in excess of $20 million since that time. This has allowed the game to continue at the club level, although the BCB has not received any sponsorship from the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) for the past four years.

Other activities planned by the BCB as part of the celebrations include renaming on the BCB office in New Amsterdam in honour of the late Leslie Amsterdam, erecting of a Hall of Fame for administrators, distribution of school bags, unveiling of Kanhai’s portrait, a musical evening, a televised panel discussion, handing out food hampers, an essay competition, renaming of pavilions, and a quiz competition.

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Fernandes slips 3 places in world ranking

Nicolette Fernandes

Nicolette Fernandes

Guyana’s premier squash player Nicolette Fernandes has slipped three places down the world ranking, which was updated on Monday by the World International Squash Players Association (WISPA).

Fernandes, who was sitting on a career-best 19 for the past five months, dropped to 22, but will have chance to move further up in the coming months. She is slated to compete in a few tournaments before the end of 2014 and will have a chance to improve on her current ranking.

The dip in ranking was a direct result of suffering a first round loss in the main draw of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open 2014 in August. The 31-year-old Fernandes lost to England’s Victoria Lust 8-11, 9-0,10-12, 0-11, 10-12.

That tournament was won by the long-standing world number one, Nicol David, of Malaysia. The win solidified David’s status as number one, a position she has held since January 2006.

Despite this small setback, Fernandes is credited with making a remarkable turnaround in her career.

At the start of 2009 she was rated a lowly 249 after a recurring knee injury that kept her out of competition for a protracted period of time.

Since returning from injury however, Guyana’s most decorated squash player has been on the rise, significantly moving up the ranking with each passing competition.

Such was her outstanding performance that at the end of 2009, Fernandes, who is based in England and is under the expert guidance of award-winning coach Carl Ince, had taken her ranking below 100, ending the year at 88.

Ever since then, it has been a steady climb up the ladder for the multiple Sportswoman-of-the-Year, consistently racking up points and making her way up the WISPA leaderboard. (Avenash Ramzan)

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Monedderlust win Hope Memorial Football title

– beat NA United on sudden death penalty

Monedderlust are the new Hope Memorial Football Champions, defeating NA United in an exciting final which went down to the wire and into the dark on Sunday.

The team from Number Five Village West Coast Berbice won against NA United on sudden death penalty after a 2-2 draw.

Sporting two national players, Monedderlust were off to an early start when Atlyn Brown sent a powerful right foot shot which rocked that back of the nets two minutes into the game leaving Goal keeper Omari Bentham sprawled on the ground as Brown registered his fifth goal of the tournament.

An equalizer did not seem did not seem likely as defender Dowet Watts was equal to any advances made by forwards Steffon Boucher and Gladwin Grant from NA United.

Meanwhile Kevin Layne playing in the middle for Monedderlust created problems for NA United defense. His passing was excellent as controlled the game but the defense of NA United spearheaded by Bentham ensured that the final kept its interest.

Determined to beat the New Amsterdam team in their own back yard, Monedderlust continued their efforts and was rewarded in the 27th when Layne took things into his own hand, but used his foot and Bentham could not hold on to the ball on that occasion.

Down 2-nil NA United were forced to go against the breeze in the second half and Monedderlust saved their energy and watched the clock as the outcome of the game seemed already decided.

Without any warning Striker Glenton Lyte found a burst of energy and got away from the defenders taking the ball with him but his shot was over the cross bar.

Minutes later he did the same thing this time sending the ball between the uprights but failed to get pass Goalkeeper Sherwin Jack. It then seemed that a goal was in the making and Monedderlust started to counter attack.

In the process as the lights started to fade, Watts was tackled just outside of the 18-yard-box. To the surprise of all Bentham decided to face the shot without a wall being created between himself and the ball.

His team mates breathed a sigh of relief when he held onto the ball and sent it into the mid field where it found the feet of a lurking Glenton Lyte who this time sent it over to Howard Smith who pushed it to the right of Jack as he moved to his left. The back of the nets rocked and the score was 2-1 in the 74th minute.

Two more shots were sent to Jack which he saved. The third in the 88th minute was another from Lyte who came one on one with the goalkeeper but kicked the ball over the uprights and it seemed all over.

Grant was given the ball in a last effort to find an equalizer but just could not find the right player to give the ball to. It was taken from him and sent out of play giving NA United a corner.

With only seconds left in regulation time Boucher took the shot, it crashed into the up rights and rebounded to be sent into the goal by Lyty in the 90th minute. It was almost too dark to see and the match referee decided that there will be no extra time play and the game will decided from the penalty spot.

Monedderlust did not score in their first three shots and when NA United did not score off their last two shots the games was forced into sudden death. Eight shots were needed before the winner was decided in almost total darkness.

Bentham was asked by Referee Sherwin Johnson weather he was able to see and he said yes before he faced his last shot. He did not move. The goal was scored.

The MVP of the tournament went to Kevin Layne who received $20,000. Vice President of Hope Football Club Mark Adams using the lights from as vehicle to conduct the presentation ceremony admits mosquitoes noted that organizes were not just looking for someone who could score goals but lifted the performance of the entire team in arriving at the MVP.

Akeem Watts of Monedderlust received the best midfielder trophy while Jason Drakes of NA United was adjudged the best defender. Jack received $12,000 for being the best Goalkeeper of the tournament and Brown $15,000 for scoring the most goals.

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Burnett’s heroics stop Sonics final surge to win Trifecta title

Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

Explosive guard Travis Burnett led the Trinity Grid Holding Pacesetters to a 75-71 win over the Pepsi Sonics on Sunday in the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) Trifecta First Division tournament, held at the Burnham Hard Court.

Holding an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, Pacesetters seemed on cruise control with the game in hand. However, Jason Squires came alive in the early part of the fourth [period nailing a couple of daggers from beyond the arc to cut the lead to single digits.

Squires play ignited a 15-0 run as Sonics took a 65-61 lead before Burnett went into overdrive, made a move into the lane at the five minute mark to stop the drought. Burnett’s aggressive attitude in the final five minutes of the intense ball game seemed to lift the spirit of his team at the Pacesetters played with a renewed edge that eventually won the game with help from teammates Royston Siland and Joslyn Crawford.

Burnett scored a team high 24 points while to help lead his team while Crawford had 12 points to contribute to the win. Jason Squires who was named as the Most Valuable player of the final lodged a game high 28 points while Earl O’Neil had 11 points in the loss.

The win for the Pacesetters was their first major win in a year after the Dynas Ravens basketball club dominance of during the last year.

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VVR knockout tourney starts with a bang

Travin Dryden

Travin Dryden

Three of the four top clubs advanced to the semifinals of the 20th anniversary of the Victory Valley Royals knockout basketball tournament held last weekend at the Mackenzie Sports Club Hard Court in Linden.

Host, VVR was the first team to advance to the semis after a 53-44 win on Friday against Block 22 Flames. After trailing early in the first quarter, VVR took control in the game to end the first half ahead 21-15.

Block 22 Flames played more aggressive in the third quarter to close the gap to four points with the score on 34-30. However, in the fourth VVR pulled away to close out the game behind 19 points by Orlando Glasgow. Chris Williams also had 10 points in the win.

Selwyn Henry and Shane Carmichael netted 17 and 15 points respectively in the loss. The second game of the night saw the Amelia Ward Jets defeating the Falcons with a game high 17 points from Allister Webster. Guard Amaniniki Archibald had 16 points in the game as well.

On Saturday, The Kashif and Shanghai Kings delivered a 70-33 blowout to Blueberry Hill when the second day of the tournament got rolling. Steve Neils, Jr, was on fire from downtown pouring in six three pointers to score 23 points while teammate Quincy Easton also had 23 in the win. Eon Reddock also supported with 12 points.

Meanwhile in the weekend’s final game the Half Mile Bulls created an upset against the Retrieve Raiders with a 63-62 win.

Bulls always looked positive with their post play to gain an early advantage over the Retrieve Raiders who was obviously missing the presence of their power forward in Dwayne Roberts who was suspended by the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF).

Terron Welch scored a game high 23 points, while Kevin Easton had 11 and Travin Dryden 10 points.

Meanwhile, the Half Mile Bulls will now play the Kashif and Shangai Kings in the first semifinal on Friday while the Amelia Ward Jets will trade buckets against the Victory Valley Royals.

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National U-19 team to participate in senior Inter-County tournament

Tagenarine Chanderpaul

Tagenarine Chanderpaul

Guyana’s successful Under-19 cricket team, which won both the three-day and 50-over titles for the first time in the history of regional youth cricket, will be competing in the senior Inter-County competition starting on Thursday.

This confirmation came on Monday from Territorial Development Officer of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Colin Stuart.

The Under-19 team will join the senior Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice teams, as the GCB moves to develop the next generation of cricketers in a more effective manner.

This year the Under-19 tournament hosted by Guyana, Brian Sattaur became the first captain to win both the three-day and 50-over titles in the same year.

The batting was led by openers Shimron Hetmyer and Tagenarine Chanderpaul, who both scored hundreds in both formats, as well as the supremely talented Kemo Paul, who followed his two 50s in the three-day tournament with four half-centuries in six innings in the 50-over version.

Shimron Hetmyer

Shimron Hetmyer

The bowling was centred on spinners Sharaz Ramcharran, Balchand Baldeo, Steven Sankar and Daimon Waldron, who consistently combined to bowl out the opposition.

Meanwhile, the GCB is expected to release more details on the Under-19 participation and the fixture for the tournament sometime today.

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PPP/C identifies 2958 dead persons on PLE

PPP/C General Secretary Clement Rohee

PPP/C General Secretary Clement Rohee

… GECOM claims party is being “malicious”

BY SVETLANA MARSHALL

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has been placed in the spotlight once again; this time over the discovery of close to 3000 dead persons on the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE).

But GECOM claimed that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is being “malicious” over an electoral process that has been well established.

In an interview with Guyana Times on Monday, GECOM’s Deputy Chief Elections Officer Vishnu Persaud said the names of persons now deceased are included in the National Register of Registrants (NRR) but these names are “flagged” when the Preliminary List of Electors is extracted.

It was further explained that the names of persons now dead can only be flagged by GECOM if the General Register Office (GRO) provides authentic information/documents (death certificates), indicating that an individual or a group of persons have died.

GECOM’s Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally

GECOM’s Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally

Until authentic documents are provided, the names of decease are left on the PLE.

“Anywhere in the world, there will always be deceased persons on Preliminary Lists of Electors,” he said.

However, he stated that during the extended Claims and Objections period, scrutineers representing political parties and electors who are listed in the division or sub-division of the decease can make representation to GECOM, but authentic documents such a death certificate must be provided.

GECOM’s Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally said the PPP/C’s request to remove names of deceased from the PLE without the relevant documents, would be asking GECOM to break the law.

“The Deputy Chief Elections Officer had addressed this issue hours after the PPP/C General Secretary Clement Rohee accused GECOM of list padding.

At a press conference held at Freedom House, Rohee said party activists have found 2958 dead persons on the PLE with the majority in Region Six.

According to him, in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine, the names of 450 dead persons were found on the PLE while 232 were found in Region Three; 345 in Region Two; 430 in Region Five; 925 in Region Six; 288 in Region 10; and another 288 in Region Four.

GECOM’s Deputy Chief Elections Officer Vishnu Persaud

GECOM’s Deputy Chief Elections Officer Vishnu Persaud

Empty plot of land

Compounding the situation, he said, the PPP/C field workers operating in Prospect, East Bank Demerara visited an address in the area to verify information that 10 persons were residing there, only to discover that it was an empty plot of land with over grown vegetation.

Rohee said the land has been unoccupied for the past eight to 10 years.

According to him, these are clear cut cases of list padding. He said GECOM should explain the significant increase in new registrants. The PPP/C has been complaining bitterly over the increase from 11, 000 to 78, 000 new registrants.

“GECOM owes the nation a proper explanation for the massive increase for almost 80,000 new registrants when previously the increase was recorded at 11,000 annually.

“Our country will now have a list of over 550,000 electors whenever elections are called,” Rohee told journalists during a press conference.

He also expressed disappointment that GECOM has blatantly refused to conduct physical verification of claims that 18 electors are registered to a single address in Georgetown, but are placed on different divisional lists.

Rohee maintained that GECOM should ensure that a credible list of electors is produced at the end of the Claims and Objections period. “The PPP/C has always advocated in favour of a list that will not disenfranchise any eligible Guyanese,” he said.

He said GECOM should take corrective actions now and refrain from issuing ambiguous statements in an effort to cover for a list that is highly questionable.

“Our quest is straight forward and simple; all we would like to have is an election that are free fair and transparent,” added Rohee.

He said the PPP/C would not want to see the List of Electors being rejected by stakeholders due to allegations of list padding.

If the list is rejected, he opined that there is a likelihood that new exercises of continuous registration and Claims and Objections would have to be done.

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Rockers give Warriors ‘walkover’, but remain in competition

New Amsterdam Warriors gained a ‘walkover’ from Smythfield Rockers in their playoff game in the Legend Classic Basketball Tournament on Sunday.

The Rockers failed to show up for the game, disappointing basketball fans of the ancient town.

Both teams had already qualified for the knockout stage of the competition following wins over Ithaca Hardliners.

The result means that the Warriors have topped the group and will meet Canje Knights on Sunday in the first semi-finals at the New Amsterdam Basketball Court.

The second semi-finals will be between the Rockers and Fyrish Black Sharks to be played at Fyrish the following Sunday.

Meanwhile, organisers are to meet to decide on the penalty which the Rockers will have to face for not turning up to play on Sunday.

The competition is being played on a round robin basis and is being sponsored by Ponai’s Pharmacy, A Ally and Sons and Nand Persaud Rice Mills.

The event is being organised by Vibert Garrett.

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Republican Boxing Gym dominates Intermediate Boxing tournamnet

Republican Boxing Gym won the best gym award after the second night of action in the National Intermediate Boxing Championship organised by the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) concluded on Sunday at the East Ruimveldt Community Centre ground, also known as California Square.

Clifton Graham out of Republican Gym was named as the best boxer of the tournament after tactically taking after Jason Phillips of Young Achiever’s in the men’s 69k bout. Graham’s tight defence as well as excellent use of the jab allowed the boxer to move at free will while controlling the bout for a 3-0 judge’s decision.

Anandram Dharamray also of Republican won against his own gym mate Claude Daniels via a 3-0 judge’s decision. Christopher DaSilva also of Republican was in fine form as well as he boxed his way to a 3-0 judges decision over the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Rupert Gillis in the men’s 60 kilo category.

Republican’s Kevin Alicock dominated Dewayne Kawall in the men’s 52 kilo bout to win by way of a 3-0 judge’s decision as well. However, not every Republican boxer was able to produce wins for the gym as Ravendra Bisoondai suffered at the hands of Victor Low, falling to the canvass in the second round for the referee’s 10-count.

In the youth category Colin Hinds of Rose Hall Jammers (RHJ) lost to his gym mate Joel Williamson byway of a 3-0 judge’s decision while in the junior category Dwayne Harris scored a 3-0 from the judges to win against Shoquincy Wright of Essequibo.

Meanwhile, the GDF was given the best runner-up gym after the two day event that started on Saturday.

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