GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- The government of Guyana said it notes with deep regret the decision of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to relocate the Third Test between West Indies and New Zealand, from Guyana.
“We observe with even greater concern, certain assertions made by the WICB regarding this matter and we feel compelled to respond,” the ministry of culture, youth and sport said in a press release on Sunday.
Last Friday, at about 4.35 pm, Dave Cameron, president of WICB, wrote to President Donald Ramotar, raising certain concerns in respect of the Guyana Cricket Administration Bill. In that letter, Cameron requested an opportunity to study the bill and the constitution, in order to be able to provide more detailed comments at a later stage. In the interim, he requested that the president not assent to the bill until there was agreement in relation to the matters raised. The letter requested a response by 6 pm that day.
At or about 6.22 pm that day, the minister of sport, Dr Frank Anthony, responded. In a covering e-mail, the minister explained that the president was out of Georgetown and that he was duly instructed to respond on the president's behalf.
At 6.54 pm, the minister received an e-mail from Cameron, indicating that the response was "unacceptable" and that the response which he requires "must be done under the Seal of the President". The email then said that the WICB will proceed with its decision to move the match.
“It is hoped, that the arrogance and contempt assumed by the WICB, as it purports to give directions to a sovereign government of a CARICOM member state, is noted. That aside, the statement issued by the WICB was clearly structured to convey a very jaundiced impression of their exchanges with the government on this matter,” the ministry’s release said.
The Guyana government added that it does not discount the fact that the WICB may be looking for a scapegoat in this matter, since their agents in Guyana were restrained by a court order from acting or holding themselves out as officers of the Guyana Cricket Board and as agents of the WICB. The net result being that WICB has no agents in Guyana to act on their behalf in relation to hosting of the third Test between West Indies and New Zealand.
The government continued that the bill which was found so offensive, seeks to bring transparency, accountability, and good governance to the administration of cricket in Guyana and to address the plethora of allegations of rigged and fraudulent elections, financial irregularities and lack of accountability in respect of cricket administration, inter alia, because of the absence of legal personification in its structure. This bill does not, in any way whatsoever, allow or permit, directly or indirectly, government's involvement in the administration of cricket in Guyana, save and except a singular instance, where the minister is ascribed a function when the act comes into operation. After that initiating act, the minister's role disappears.
“Government, therefore, rejects all or any contention or insinuation that this bill presents an opportunity for governmental intrusion into the administration of cricket in Guyana. It is recognized that these charges are emanating from a particular grouping and their sponsors who perceive this bill as an end to their dominance over administration of cricket, and who many feel, are the architects of the chaos which the bill is designed to arrest,” the ministry concluded.