Sides clash as Berbice cricket infighting continues

In recent years Guyana’s cricket has been plagued with issues that are hampering development within the sport as well as structural programmes to ensure quality players emerge on the scene through the necessary process. This has led to a decline in the sport.
Speaking subsequent to his re-election as the President of Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) on January 31 2017, Roger Harper, made it clear that he does not recognized the GCB as a legal Board. “I do not believe that the people holding themselves out as the GCB were duly elected,” according to Harper that has been the crocks of the matter.

Like Harper many others have shared their views about the state of cricket in Guyana and their respective counties while journalists continuously question the manner in which the board functions.
CEO of the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club (RHTY&SC), Hilbert Foster, is the latest individual to publicly criticize the operations of the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) and the GCB.

Hilbert Foster

Dhieranidranauth Somwaru

In his outburst at the two boards during his presentation at the 27th annual award ceremony of the RHTY&SC, which was featured in the April 27, 2017 edition of the Guyana Times, Foster said Berbice cricket is in disarray due to the lust for power at the county and national levels thus he is calling on those in the highest office of this land to intervene so that the sport could see brighter days.

According to Foster, absolutely no cricket is played for clubs in Berbice, no coaching is done on and off the cricket field, unqualified coaches are selected to coach inter-county teams, five clubs move a motion to remove a hardworking, dedicated and honoured senior administrator while unqualified umpires are used in practice and inter-zone matches. In that said article he stated so much other matters that are alarming.
Apparently this has prompted a response from the Acting President of the BCB, Dhieranidranauth Somwaru, who said Berbice cricket is striving despite some negatives that are being portrayed in the media.His comments were made on Saturday after Berbice U-17 dethroned archrivals Demerara to win the GCB Igloo Ice Cream U-17 title.

An article in Stabroek Newspaper dated May 1 and headlined “Somwaru says B/ce cricket on the move,” quoted the Acting President, who said; “I want to tell the detractors in Berbice that even though we have been facing a lot of fire in the media with a number of letters, I wish to tell them that cricket is on the move and that we are trying our best, without finances at present, to train our boys and get them ready to win.” Subsequent to the article being published in Stabroek News, this publication contacted Somwaru to clarify and verify some issues. All questions were in relation to his statement that “Berbice cricket is on the move.”
When asked about the hosting of matches by the BCB for clubs and selection of county teams, especially at the junior levels? Somwaru stated that there were inter-zone matches to select the u-15 and u-17 teams and in a matter of weeks there will be an inter zone competition to select the u-19 team to play the inter-county tournament.

Secondly Somwaru said he wrote former Secretary of the BCB, Angela Hanniff to get updates on cut off points of tournaments so he could continue those events and that proved futile.

In addition, he said since the resignation of former President Anil Beharry, he is yet to gain access to the board’s finances due to the usual systematic process. Thus there is no money to organize matches.

Somwaru dismissed the claim that all the coaches involved in inter-zone matches are unqualified, identifying two of the qualified coaches, namely Randolph Latcha and Quacy Maltay, who were both selected to represent Guyana at some level.  However, he admitted that the umpires were not qualified but there were no problems at the conclusion of matches. Since he has no access to the Board’s money he said it is difficult to pay umpires.
He asked that the detractors, mainly Foster, name five coaches in Berbice, who are qualified with coaching certificates.
Somwaru insisted that the BCB is making efforts; “In the U-17 team there was a guy from Tamarind Root a place hardly known to Guyanese outside of Berbice that says a lot. Berbice cricket is striving and give us (BCB) another two months and you’ll see what I’m talking about.” Apart from that we have gained success at the U-15 and U-17 inter-county tournaments.

To further verify some claims several persons were contacted. Foster insisted there were no U-15 neither U-17 club matches hosted by the BCB, neither were there any inter-zone matches at the u-15 level.

According to Foster all under-15 club matches were organized by the RHTY&SC and these matches cannot be used to select the Berbice team.
He said Maltay and Latcha are not qualified coaches and it is clear that Somwaru is unaware of who are the qualified coaches. When asked to list the qualified coaches from Berbice he listed a dozen. The coaches are, Andre Percival, Julian Moore, Delbert Hicks, Adrian Amsterdam, Hubern Evans, Albert Smith, Tremayne Smart, Winston Smith, ‘Smokey’ Benjamin, Anston Barrington, Travis Hardcourt and Michael Hyles.
In relation to the accessibility of money to host tournaments, the CEO said that he find something strange about the situation since Somwaru was the first vice president under Beharry and a known signatory to access funds.

The state of cricket in Guyana is very ugly and has been on the decline rapidly. Would it get any better? That is a question many cannot answer but believe it is possible if the current GCB administration is removed from office.According to Foster it is unclear how Somwaru ascend to the summit of the BCB without the knowledge of other executives.

Qualis Winter attest to what Foster revealed, saying it was only through the media that he was informed that Somwaru has taken up the role of acting president.

In relation to Berbice successes at the inter-county level, Foster made it clear that it is not the performance of the BCB but due to diligent efforts by hard working clubs in Berbice. A sentiment similar to the one he shares about Guyana Jaguars performance in the last three years, which he said mainly due to efforts of officials at several clubs, namely RHTY&SC, Demerara Cricket Club (DCC), Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC), Albion, Everest Cricket Club, Tucber Park and Young Warriors, who work diligently daily to make a difference.
This is the situation in Berbice very similar to the state of the game in Demerara. These are the two key areas in the country that produce top cricketers. And there is no stability in those counties..

Taken From Guyana Times

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