Cricket battles should remain on the pitches Orin Davidson's Eye on Sport
Stabroek News
March 3, 2002

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Cricket battles are supposed to be fought in the playing arenas, in like manner of the Guyana senior team's undertaking in the preliminary rounds of the current Busta Cup competition.

However, another fight of an internal nature seems to be brewing among local administrators in the boardrooms.

It might not have yet reached damaging proportions, but the Berbice Cricket Board's public show of disagreement with the selection policy of the national panel, appointed by the Guyana Cricket Board (BCB), hints at a small problem within the nation's ruling body which grow into one of a serious nature.

The age old controversy of selectorial decisions has reappeared this time in the form of an unprecedented act of disapproval by Berbice over the dropping of Homchand Pooran from the national team, via the letter columns of the two local daily newspapers.

The move was even more surprising than the omission itself of Berbician Pooran from the current Guyana squad opposing West Indies `B' in their Busta Cup encounter which must have shocked the GCB to its core.

The fact is that the BCB is an affiliate member of the GCB and its representatives are supposed to be part of the decision making process which appoints selectors and other officials. Thus, there ought to have been some measure of agreement among the parties involved, on the competence of the appointed officials.

Therefore it is surprising the Berbice board has voiced its disapproval publicly with the work of the appointees, after only two months of the appointments.

One gets the impression though that the BCB was pressured into taking action by Berbicians for an apparent injustice perpetrated on one of their own. Even more worrying is the thought that Berbicians may feel that the Guyana Board executive is obligated to them for contributing significantly to their reinstatement to office following the highly competitive and much publicised elections in January.

If such is the case, and good reason abounds to justify that feeling, it spells big trouble for the nation's cricket which presently needs every ounce of collective human energy inside and out of the country, for its development thrust.

Cricket may be the biggest sport of all the disciplines practiced in Guyana and the best organised of the lot, but from all appearances, some administrators have adopted the wrong mentality.

It is very obvious those administrators are averse to working towards the broad development of Guyana's cricket, but are obsessed instead with personal gain.

Why must Berbice clubs or any other in the country, believe that the national board members from their areas must only represent the interests of players and officials from their areas even to the detriment of national objectives?

This mentality is primitive and counter-developmental and is the extreme opposite to the thinking of administrators from the rest of the world, where the rapid pace of development is making our situation a backwater existence.

In this day of age when computer technology has become a vital resource base of most international teams, it is embarrassing many people here still cannot comprehend that administrators at the national level should perform only in the national interest and not favour individuals because of a common affiliation of club or county.

Homchand Pooran may have been unjustifiably omitted from the Guyana team which could be if one takes the current Busta Cup statistical factors into consideration, but Berbicians must not feel that the rest of the country has a vendetta against them.

Clubs and individuals have a right to demonstrate their disapproval but the Berbice board must not allow itself to be pressured into taking such strong action, because it could lead to a dangerous precedent where they will be forced to do likewise for the omission of Berbice players and officials for every future team picked by the Guyana Cricket Board.

Presently the GCB has to deliberate on selecting players and officials for the regional Under-15 competition and subsequently for the Under-19 series, and one expects it to pick the very best personnel who can guarantee success for the nation, and not because they are from Berbice or Essequibo, who might have helped the GCB executive win the elections.

The January GCB elections were the most competitive in years and the results have caused unwanted repercussions. As a result much bitterness exists in administrative circles which could a deep divide among the opposing groups.

But now is hardly the time for negative reactions as it is of great urgency now that this country's best resources are mustered to help maintain our status as an international venue.

West Indies' staging of World Cup 2007 will determine whether the Georgetown Cricket Club could be transformed sufficiently to meet the requirements for the competition and others in the future.

The reality is that we are nowhere nearer accomplishing that goal now, than at the time West Indies Cricket Board was awarded the World Cup two years ago.

And in-fighting will only carry us further away from that objective rather than closer.