WICB will have realistic look at crime in Guyana
By Ezra Stuart
Guyana Chronicle
January 30, 2003

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - Admitting violence and security were now the “bug words in world cricket”, President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Reverend Wes Hall says the regional body will be looking at the crime situation in Guyana realistically.

Hall was speaking in an interview at the Grantley Adams International Airport on Tuesday following concerns by the Australia Cricket Board (ACB), who wrote their West Indian counterparts expressing concern about the rising level of crime in Guyana.

The West Indies are due to host Australia in a four-match Test series during their tour of the region after the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

The first Test is scheduled for the Georgetown Cricket Club, Bourda, April 10-14, following a three-day President's XI tune-up match.

“Everybody is very conscious of violence but if you were to look around the world in all these cities that we play in, there is a lot of violence in it,” Hall said.

“I am not minimising the whole aspect of violence but I think as we look around in that corridor where you play cricket in Pakistan, India, Zimbabwe, Kenya and in South Africa, we’ve had some violence and I think it is very important that you look at the security,” Hall declared.

Hall, who is chairman of the Staying Group in the International Cricket Council (ICC) for safety said he was “very cognisant of the fact that violence is not necessarily on places and the things that they (ACB) are talking about.”

“It is also inside the cricket ground, even if it is throwing bottles and things like that. That is a violent act in a game that is a gentlemen’s game,” Hall noted.

“We have been looking at many areas where we can minimise any disturbances at all. You may well recall that I’ve had reason to complain to the ICC about some of our games (during the recent One-Day series in India).

When asked whether the WICB had considered switching the first Test from Guyana, Reverend Hall said he prefers to wait on feedback from the cricket officials in Guyana.

“The match is two months from now so really what you need to do is to take a day-by-day check and see exactly how things are going,” Hall remarked.

“I had a teleconference meeting (Tuesday) and obviously, the President of Guyana will give us a blow-by-blow description of what is happening in Guyana,” Hall revealed.

“I daresay that we will be monitoring the whole of the West Indies actually. It is not a matter of being prepared to switch matches,” added Hall.

“All like now they are trying to switch matches in Zimbabwe. They are trying to switch matches in Kenya. I think that what we will do is to have a helicopter view of the situation.

“We will look and see what is happening and we will not be party to exposing anybody to violence but we just don’t want to count our chickens before they are hatched,” Hall declared.

“I think that the West Indies Cricket Board will look at it (crime situation) realistically. We have Board members in Guyana that will appraise us of the situation,” Hall said.

“When that happens, we’ll deal with it but we don’t know what is going to happen from day to day and therefore, I can only say to you that the West Indies Board will be looking at the situation.

“We have able administrators in Guyana and they will let us know what the position is,” added Hall.

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