DCB making a mountain out of a molehill From Orin Davidson in New York
Stabroek News
September 26, 2003

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Guyana has a long-standing reputation in the West Indies for producing outstanding batsmen and one exceptional spin bowler, but the country may soon be better known for battles outside the playing arenas.

Especially in Demerara, when it is not one club seeking to defame and destroy another ,it’s the area board officials who are at each other’s throats.

Presently it’s the Demerara Cricket Board that has jumped into the ring, daring the Guyana Cricket Board to a fling that has been simmering ever since the elections for executive positions of the latter body failed to elicit major changes earlier this year.

Based on the reaction of the DCB to the appointment of Shivnarine Chanderpaul as captain of the Guyana Red Stripe Bowl team, its executives are seemingly more hurt than the anticipated choice Ramnaresh Sarwan.

The strongly-worded press release denouncing the GCB’s decision issued on Tuesday, veils little of the antagonism the DCB has for the Guyana Cricket Board which could only add to the problems plaguing the country’s cricket.

Apart from calling on the GCB to rescind Chanderpaul’s appointment, the DCB gets into a lengthy lamentation on the issue, as if the sport’s future in Guyana is in danger of destruction due to the appointment.

Indeed, it was a big surprise when Sarwan was overlooked for the position, given his recent elevation to the vice-captaincy of the West Indies team, and by not following suit in making him Guyana

captain, the Guyana Board went against the grain of a policy used by most of the West Indian territorial ruling bodies in similar circumstances.

It was an opportunity for the DCB to get nasty and they wasted little time in setting the stage for an unnecessary fight.

Even if they were overruled technically after naming Sarwan, Demerara captain ahead of Chanderpaul for the just concluded Five Star competition, one cannot help but feel the DCB is making a mountain out of a molehill.

In calling for Chanderpaul to relinquish the position, the DCB is fanning the flames of disenchantment and division within the team and among the nation’s cricket population.

And this is hardly a situation we need at this time when Guyana is about to compete in a major competition.

The issue of captaincy of a Guyana team is important, but it should never be used as a weapon by one association against another.

That is exactly the conclusion one gets when the DCB uses strong language such as... This decision can only be described as unbelievable, ludicrous and autocratic. The DCB calls on the GCB to hold themselves accountable to its constituents and the Guyanese nation as a whole for their actions. It is really difficult to fathom or understand the rationale behind the GCB’s decision.”

Such language even goes beyond the line of respect as its tone suggests none for the nation’s parent body which overlooks DCB and the other area boards in the country.

Indeed, it was unexpected the GCB chose Chanderpaul and we all must share Sarwan’s disappointment, yet the issue should not be made out to be the crime of the century.

The captaincy is important to any player, and everyone knows that it carries tremendous prestige and improves the earning capacity of the West Indian who wins it, but at this time a row over the Guyana appointment will do this country’s cricket no good.

Sarwan will miss out on an opportunity to have hands-on experience to aid his grooming for the West Indies position but surely the West Indies selectors will not go back to Ridley Jacobs or Wavell Hinds for the W.I. vice captaincy because of the decision.

Thus our administrators must understand that raising hell about it should not be Guyana’s priority right now.

Both Sarwan and Chanderpaul are unproven captains and whether or not either is appointed, it is unlikely to be a big factor in Guyana winning the Red Stripe Bowl.

Instead the officials of the Demerara Cricket Board could have made their feelings known in a less antagonistic manner rather than stir up trouble within the ranks and influence fans to take sides.

We want our players to perform 100 percent but this ruckus could have the opposite effect.

Like any other player, Chanderpaul is one with aspirations and it is downright degrading to ask him to be a man and give up the captaincy.

Not even Sarwan it is certain, would desire such humiliation for any player.

Unfortunately many sports administrators in Guyana do not share such sentiments and are only interested in satisfying their personal thirst for power and publicity at the expense of everyone else.

For the said reason, no cricket has not and will not be played in Demerara in 2003 because of a similar fight among administrators that has gone to the courts.

No one seems to care that the inactivity is stalling the development of the young and not so-young players and will further drive the established ones away to Trinidad and Tobago, New York and elsewhere.

From all indications the Demerara stalemate will continue well into 2004 as these s- called warriors continue the fight without letup.

Little do these people realize that they are not the most important stake holders in the sport. Some think they are bigger that the players and the sport, and not only in cricket.

But the sooner they realize their folly, Guyana’s sport will be better prepared for real development.