The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS), the honourable Charles Ramson Jr, is steadfast in his resolution to get the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) to host an election that would make way for a legitimate cricket authority to be in place in Guyana.
He had advocated staunchly for the GCB to carry out the process of electing office-bearers following the restoration of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act (GCAA) in September 2020, and Ramson Jr has indicated that a legitimate cricket authority in Guyana is still high on his list of priorities; and as a result of the current board’s recalcitrance in this respect, his ministry would not be engaging them.
The Minister took this position while addressing claims that a football tournament hosted at the National Stadium at Providence had left the pitch in disrepair, and players were unable to carry out any upcoming cricket activities.
He has said, “As I’m on the subject of the GCB, I want to make it very clear that the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport does not engage with the body that calls itself the GCB, because it is an illegitimate body that does not represent the association that is supposed to be compliant according to the laws of Guyana.”
In a very impassioned exchange with Guyana Times Sport, Ramson Jr revealed that this is the reason why the Ministry has not been engaging directly with that body.
“I want to make it very clear that one of the reasons you have seen since the restoration of the Act, which (had) happened in September-October, that until there is legitimate election for the sports organisation that is responsible for cricket in Guyana, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport will not engage with the body called the GCB as a representative thereof,” he explained.
Further, this subject Minister for Sport said, “And until those elections are conducted, that body that is calling itself the GCB and attempting to hold itself out to be the legitimate representative of cricket in Guyana is not the body the Ministry recognises as being the legitimate body we will engage with.”
The GCAA, Chapter 21:03, was passed back in 2014 with support from both major parties. However, in the subsequent years, the Act was challenged in the High Court.
The Act was challenged in 2014 through a Fixed Date Application (FDA), and in 2018 in the High Court before an appeal by the GCB et al was taken to the Court of Appeal.
While the proceedings were going on, the Court had ordered that the then Guyana Cricket Board could act in the interim as the GCB until the matter has been concluded. However, it is alleged that then Attorney General Basil Williams and Sport Minister George Norton, along with the attorney then representing the GCB, consented to having the provisions of the Act suspended.
Concerning the election, the Act reads, “17. The Minister, after meaningful consultation with the West Indies Cricket Board, shall,
(a) be responsible for the appointment of a Cricket Ombudsman, who shall be responsible for the verification of the Register of Clubs and for performing the functions of Returning Officer for the first election of the membership of the Guyana Cricket Board,
(b) have no part to play in respect to the holding of subsequent elections of the said cricket board and the election and the appointment of the Ombudsman.
18. Subsequent elections to the Guyana Cricket Board shall be held in accordance with the provision of this act (Sections 7 and 8) and subsequent elections of the Ombudsman shall be held in accordance with Section 10”.
According to the Sport Minister, a Court Order will soon give direction on when the elections should be held.