BCB plans month-long activities for Diamond Jubilee celebrations
Guyana Chronicle article.
Georgetown, Guyana - Whenever an entity is founded, the first thing the administrators look at is sustainability for a period of time, especially if the newly formed entity is a sports-related one.
In September of 1939, the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) was formed to administer the gentleman’s game of cricket in the Ancient County and last Sunday at the St Francis Community Development Centre, the BCB hosted a 75th anniversary dinner, which kick-started their Diamond Jubilee month of celebrations.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) and head of the Special Events Committee of the BCB, Hilbert Foster, told his audience which included His Excellency President Donald Ramotar, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy as well as former Test players Basil Butcher and Sewdat Shivnarine, that a month of activities is planned to celebrate the achievement.
The Ancient County of Berbice has contributed significantly towards the development of cricket in Guyana and the West Indies, with their first Test player being the late John Trim, who in 1948, made his debut for the West Indies.
After Trim, 16 males and one female have followed in his footstep – Rohan Kanhai, Ivan Madray, Basil Butcher, Joseph Solomon, Roy Fredericks (deceased), Alvin Kallicharran, Leonard Baichan, Sewdat Shivnarine, Clayton Lambert, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Narsingh Deonarine, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Devendra Bishoo, Brendon Bess, Veeresammy Permaul, Assad Fudadin and Candace Atkins.
Milton Pydanna and Royston Crandon have played limited overs matches for the West Indies, while Erva Giddings, Shemaine Campbelle, Tremayne Smartt and Subrina Munroe have represented the West Indies female team, with Campbelle, Smartt and Munroe being regular members of that unit.
Numerous Berbicians have played for the Rest of the World, West Indies ‘A’, Under-19, Under-15 and Sixes teams including Deryck Kallicharran, Sudesh Dhaniram, Leslaine Lambert, Randolph Ramnaresh, national coach Esaun Crandon and Hemnarine Chattergoon.
According to the burly Foster, the BCB has over the past 75 years of its existence produced many major achievements, including the hosting of the Pakistan International Airline team in 1973 and 1975 and the overseas tours by Berbice teams in 1974, 1978 and 1984.
They also hosted the MCC team in 1974 and three years later created history in Guyana and the Caribbean, when they hosted the first One Day International match in the Caribbean which was played between the West Indies and Pakistan at the historic Albion Sports Club ground.
“Over the last six years, the BCB has organised cricket at all levels for both males and females while special emphasis was placed in the West Berbice area and among some of the activities planned for this month is the renaming of pavilions after our Test players, across the county,” said Foster.
He told his audience that the BCB also has plans to unveil a portrait in honour of Kanhai, hold a musical evening with the Guyana Police Force Band, donate cricket balls to four clubs, host a quiz competition and make a presentation to the winners of the essay competition.
Foster expressed gratitude to Anil Beharry, Angela Haniff, Alisa Moonsee, the Media, Bobby Deonarine, Mortimer George for his research on Berbice cricket, Deonarine Shane, Jameel Mohamed, Mr Motie, Ansa McAl, Demerara Distillers Limited, Guyana Beverage Company, Banks DIH, Guyoil and Metro.
He also said thanks to Ramesh Sunich of the Trophy Stall, Bissoondyal Singh, D. Arjune and Sons, Impressions Printery, St Francis Community Developer, Berbice Chamber of Commerce, The Government of Guyana, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Public Service for their support over the years.
During his remarks, President Ramotar said that the game has changed tremendously, making reference to the T20 format, while adding that the recent installation of lights at Albion, is to ensure Berbice produces top class T20 players, who will not only entertain at home, but across the world.
President Ramotar got a loud round of applause when he informed that the Government will upgrade 73 grounds in Regions 5 and 6 and they will continue to work for the development of cricket. Both Dr Anthony and Dr Ramsammy, along with Regional Chairmen of Regions 5 and 6, offered best wishes.
BCB president Keith Foster, during his brief remarks said that cricketers from Berbice have made the county and all of Guyana proud, adding that Berbice has contributed tremendously to West Indies cricket at the female level and he one day hopes the males can do the same and be permanent figures.
First Published In The Guyana Chronicle.