BCB/Shimron and Nirvani Hetmyer Cricket Development Trust Fund: Thirty UCCA clubs each receive a box of red balls
…Fund rejects BCB President’s resignation letter and expresses confidence in his leadership
Thirty clubs which are members of the Upper Corentyne Cricket Association (UCCA) last Sunday each received a box of red cricket balls from the Berbice Cricket Board under the BCB/Shimron and Nirvani Hetmyer Cricket Development Trust Fund.
Presentation was done at the No 72 Cut and Load Cricket Ground by BCB President Hilbert Foster and UCCA President Dennis D’Andrade, along with other executives of the BCB and UCCA.
The Hetmyers first invested in the fund in 2021, and earlier this year contacted Foster, with whom they enjoy a close friendship, to inform him that they would not only renew their support, but would increase sponsorship from $1m to $1.5m for this year.
Foster has indicated that he plans to step down from leadership of the BCB on July 31st this year, in order to concentrate on his duties at the RHTY&SC, but the Hetmyers have informed that their support to the fund would continue only as long as Foster remains as President, as they have full confidence in his leadership and vision for Berbice cricket.
This year, the fund would invest one million dollars in cricket balls for clubs, two hundred thousand dollars in educational grants, and three hundred thousand dollars in a one-day grassroots tournament and a female three-team tournament.
Foster has urged the clubs to use the balls for the intended purpose, and also to support Hetmyer in his cricketing career. He said he has been very impressed with the current state of cricket in the Upper Corentyne area, and the dedication that all the clubs have been showing.
This year the BCB and UCCA have already completed the Vitality Inc 20/20 tournament, while the Vishu Superstore 40-overs round robin is currently being played and another 20/20 tournament would start later in the year. Under Foster’s leadership, clubs in the area have received balls for five successive years, and have also benefited from donations of cricket gear, scorebooks, bicycles, educational materials, stumps, catching cribs, cricket uniforms, water pitchers, trophies, medals, rain coats and a pitch cover among other things.
UCCA President Dennis D’Andrade has said that when Foster became President in 2018, cricket in the area was in total decline, and in just six months, he was able to spearhead a total restoration; and today, the game is at its highest level.
He said the BCB President has visited the area a total of 110 times since his election in 2018, and is always available to offer assistance or advice, or to resolve conflicts.
D‘Andrade has said that Foster has by far been the best leader that the county has ever had in cricket, and Berbice could not afford to lose his leadership at this crucial state. The veteran cricket administrator noted that, like the executives of the BCB, the UCCA would also like to make it quite clear that it rejects the planned resignation of Foster, and would like to urge him to reconsider his plans for the future.
Representatives of the different clubs also shared the same view, with one even telling Foster that they would be very disappointed with him if he walks away from them. Another delegate stated that Foster was the only hope that youths have in cricket, and because of him, they believe they have the best shot at fulfilling their cricketing dreams.
All of the clubs at the fully attended meeting voted to support a motion moved by the UCCA President to reject the resignation and to express confidence in Foster.
The BCB President has listened to the pleas of the clubs, and while not making any announcement to them, has said he is happy that they have confidence in his administration’s leadership. He has also said that Berbice cricket would be in safe hands once everyone on board develops a culture of hard work, dedication, and looking after the interest of the youths and the game.
He warned that personal ambition must never get in the way of the game.
Distribution of the balls would continue this Sunday, when 14 clubs in the West Berbice area would each receive a box of balls.