New DCB president sees mending bridges for unity as first task
By Isaiah Chappelle
November 30, 2003
FRESH start: The newly elected Demerara Cricket Board executives pose after the court-ordered elections.
WITH over 20 years experience in sport administration, Claude Raphael was elevated to president of the Demerara Cricket Board during special elections as directed by the courts.
Raphael and the new DCB executives were elected unopposed to their various posts on Friday at Malteenoes Sport Club pavilion, with Professor Aubrey Bishop as the returning officer and secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board Bish Panday as the presiding officer.
The vice-presidents are Shabir Hussain and Jerry Permaul, secretary Ian John, treasurer Sase Narine Singh, assistant secretary Judisher Rampersaud and assistant treasurer Pretipaul Gobin.
Colin Europe is the chairman of the Competitions Committee with Robert Adonis the Public Relations Officer, and Kirk Douglas the Marketing Manager.
The trustees are Edward Richmond and Alfred Mohammed, with Bisheshwar & Co. as the auditors.
Under the cloud of court petitions, elections were postponed several times, but the required quorum was in place this time around.
The new president was a first division cricketer in the late 60s and early 70s, then went for an administrative post in 1983 and in that first quest, he was elected president of Malteenoes, a post he held until this year when he did not seek election.
“I thought it was time to give somebody else a chance to inject new ideas,” Raphael told Chronicle Sport, yesterday.
One legacy of his sojourn is the establishment of the highly successful Cricket Academy that opened new horizons for 37 young players in 1993 and received such overwhelming response that now the cut off point is 150.
“But we could get as many as 500 participants easily,” Raphael disclosed.
The administrator said he saw cricketers as human beings, thus the academy was designed with a curriculum that would make the player a rounded person who would still have a role to play in the world, even if he did not make it as a successful player.
“He is introduced to various subject areas to broaden his horizon and boost his self-confidence. In the past, the thought that coaching was just to teach the child to bat and bowl,” Raphael pointed out.
Raphael served as vice-president of the Guyana Cricket Board in 1998 and was a National selector from 1999 and chairman of the Cricket Development Committee from 2000. He gave up the latter two posts in June last, because he said he was disturbed about the whole scenario of cricket in Demerara.
Now the new DCB president sees his first task as one of “mending the bridges” for a unified front and towards this end Raphael said he would meet all concerned parties.
The next plan of action is to design a programme to enhance the game in schools and concentrate on infrastructural work so that more grounds will be available for cricket to be played.
“We want to see less empty grounds at weekends,” Raphael said.