Guyana set for four-day tourney
ST JOHN'S, Antigua CMC – An official Guyana team – sanctioned by the Guyana Cricket Board – will play in the Regional Four-Day tournament starting on Friday, but they will spend plenty of time on the road.
The West Indies Cricket Board announced on Sunday that Guyana’s first four matches in the tournament will no longer be played at the Guyana National Stadium as originally scheduled.
The regional governing body also reiterated its support for the Guyana Cricket Board in a media release related to the continued standoff between the Guyana Government and cricket official.
Also, the WICB indicated a decision about the staging of the third Test between West Indies and Australia scheduled for March in Georgetown would come at a later date after discussions with various stakeholders.
These decisions stem from the Guyana Government’s takeover of the running of the game in the country, following a court decision by Chief Justice Ian Chang, when the legitimacy of the current GCB executive was challenged.
Directors of the WICB took part in a teleconference on Saturday evening, when the situation in Guyana was given top priority with the regional championship scheduled to bowl off next weekend.
Against the backdrop that two sides had been selected to represent Guyana in the tournament, the WICB executive committee reassured GCB officials of their support.
“The WICB reiterates that the GCB is the sole authorised governing body for cricket in Guyana,” the WICB media release stated.
“The WICB restates its full support to the Government of Guyana’s interim management committee functioning as an advisory body. The WICB will not recognise or approve any entity other than the GCB as the authorised governing body for cricket in Guyana.”
The media release added: “The WICB deeply regrets the undue delay by the Government of Guyana in responding to CARICOM. The WICB appeals to the Government of Guyana to allow the GCB access to its offices in order that it can proceed with the management of cricket in Guyana.
“The WICB is concerned that given the actions of the IMC (Interim Management Committee), the Guyanese players are being unnecessarily affected in the lead up to an important regional tournament.”
With their support firmly behind the GCB, the WICB moved to safeguard the viability of its principal regional tournament, ensuring that the Guyanese had a place in the tournament.
“The Guyana team will play its first and second round matches at Windsor Park in Dominica,” the WICB media release indicated.
“The venue(s) for Guyana’s third and fourth round matches will be decided and announced at a later date.”
This decision means that Guyana will face both Leeward and Windward Islands in their first two matches in Roseau.
The WICB said it noted that the Guyana Government had proceeded with a number of actions concerning running the game without acknowledgement of an agreement brokered between the three parties by CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque.
“Following the meeting of January 10 in Guyana with the West Indies Cricket Board, the Guyana Cricket Board and the Government of Guyana, the Secretary-General circulated to the parties an agreement document which was drafted based on discussions in the meeting,” the WICB release stated.
“The representatives of the Government of Guyana indicated that it needed to have final consultations before signing.”
The WICB media release continued: “WICB President Julian Hunte on Thursday, January 19, and Monday, January 23, wrote Secretary-General La Rocque requesting an update on the situation given the Government of Guyana’s outstanding position.
“On both occasions, Secretary-General La Rocque responded to President Hunte that the Government of Guyana had not responded on the matter of its agreement or otherwise.”