Sean Devers responds to the GCB...
‘Let’s put the cricket first’
September 25, 2003
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The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) issued a press statement in the media yesterday in response to a story I wrote for the Tuesday issue of the Stabroek News under the headline ‘GCB’s selection shocker....Chanderpaul gets nod over Sarwan.’
While it is the right of the GCB to take issue with the content of the story, I was very disappointed and hurt that the GCB suggested that I fabricated the statement that the national selectors had recommended Ramnaresh Sarwan as the skipper even though I did mention in the story that this information was provided by sources close to the GCB.
By giving the public the impression that I had fabricated part of the story, tarnishes my credibility as a cricket journalist and cricket commentator and suggests that I am a very dishonest person who has very little respect for journalistic ethics.
I think the GCB acted very irresponsibly by suggesting that I felt that the GCB has a pro-Chanderpaul or anti- Sarwan lobby within the board.
Although I honestly felt that Sarwan should have been appointed Guyana captain to better prepare him for the job of West Indies vice-captain which he now holds, I do not believe that the GCB’s decision to give Chanderpaul the Guyana captaincy has anything to do with the GCB being anti-Sarwan or pro-Chanderpaul.
I WAS told by two members of the GCB that Sarwan was recommended by the selectors and I told the president of the GCB Chetram Singh this without giving names to protect my source of information.
It might have been a case of the GCB members lying to me when they provided me with the information for my story or it could even be that the GCB lied about the matter in their media release. But to say that I made up things that were never told to me by GCB members to support my campaign of Sarwan for captain is very unprofessional of the GCB.
I swear that I was given that information by GCB members and, after a long conversation with the president of the GCB yesterday, I think he realises that I did not make up the story. He even suggested that I might have been intentionally misled by the GCB officials so as to cause disunity among the board.
The GCB took offence that I mentioned that Neil McGarrell and Mahendra Nagamootoo, who captained Guyana before, were bypassed for the job.
It is a fact that the two players were bypassed. I never said it was wrong that they were bypassed and in fact I would never expect the two to be given the captaincy ahead of Sarwan or Chanderpual so I don’t understand why the GCB had a problem with me mentioning that the two players were bypassed.
While I still think Sarwan should have been appointed captain, I hope that the two players and all those involved realize that Guyana and West Indies cricket is bigger than the players and administrators, some of whom seem to be bent on destroying the game because of politics and the hunger for power.
I am satisfied from my discussion with the GCB president yesterday that the GCB has no personal problem with me and have no intentions of restricting what I write about cricket run by that board.
I am presently being paid by the GCB to promote the GCB raffle programme and it would be very unfair of me to say that the GCB is a dishonest and mischievous board, which wants to swindle the public because the monthly draw of the raffle, which was promised by the GCB has not come off.
Because of the circumstances beyond the control of the GCB the preliminary raffle drawing had to be pushed back to this month end.
It would have been much easier for the GCB officials to contact me to find out if I was in fact told that the selectors recommended Sarwan instead of running to the press to accuse me of fabricating the story.
So many negative things are affecting our cricket at present, that I implore all those who say they truly love the game to put aside their pride and ambition to be the most powerful and put cricket first by working together to help revive the game, especially in Demerara.