Sanasie challenges appointment of Cricket Ombudsman as illegal
— 7-day period for holding elections unreasonable and non-compliant
The Attorneys of current Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Secretary Anand Sanasie have written to the Culture, Youth and Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr and Attorney Kamal Ramkarran. The letters claim that the appointment of Ramkarran as cricket Ombudsman is illegal AND that the seven-day period given to the GCB to hold elections is unreasonable and does not comply with the Cricket Administration act.
Below are the letters in FULL.
Letter to Mr Ramkarran on his appointment as Cricket Ombudsman
We act as Attorneys-at-Law for M. Anand Sanasie, Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and Director of Cricket West Indies Inc (CWI), formerly the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). We have read the announcement made by the Honourable Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr Charles Ramson Jr MP purporting to appoint you (KAMAL RAMKARRAN) as the Cricket Ombudsman acting in accordance with Section 17 of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act, Chapter 21:03, Laws of Guyana (Cricket Administration Act).
This is the third such appointment to be made by a Minister of Sport. The first person appointed under that section was Professor Winston McGowan. He served in the office for some time and then resigned. The Minister is only once required to exercise his power to appoint a Cricket Ombudsman. The Minister claims to have “just” consulted with CWI in his Notice appointing you as Cricket Ombudsman, which was published on the 19th February 2021.
We are instructed that the Minister did not meaningfully or at all consult with CWI. There has been no meeting with CWI convened for this purpose. Our client is aware that the Minister shares a close relationship with the current President of CWI and supports his re-election as President of CWI in elections slated for March 2021. Our client is his challenger for the post of President at the upcoming CWI elections.
The consultation which was critical to the validity of your appointment was improper for the foregoing reasons and was motivated by an improper purpose and was taken in furtherance of the interest of the current President, Mr Ricky Skerritt who did not raise the issue of the Cricket Ombudsman of Guyana with the Board as is required by the Cricket Administration Act.
Meaningful consultation could not in the circumstances take place by a phone call between the Minister and a single member of the Board of CWI. Your appointment is, therefore, illegal and we call upon you to decline the appointment and/or resign. The Minister has fixed a time frame of less than seven (7) days with which you are to fulfil your obligations of the establishment and verification of a Register of Clubs.
In our view, this essential statutory function of the Cricket Ombudsman is to be performed before the holding of the elections. This has not been done and our instructions are that you have not even commenced this process. In the circumstances, the date fixed is unreasonable and does not comply with the Cricket Administration Act.
We expect to hear from you before 9am on Monday, 22nd February 2021, failing which we will institute legal proceedings to quash your appointment and have the office of the Cricket Ombudsman declared vacant. You are reminded that any and all acts done by you pursuant to your appointment, which was invalid, will be deemed invalid and of no effect.
Letter to Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson
We act for Mr Anand Sanasie, Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and Director of Cricket West Indies Inc (CWI), formerly the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). We have read your notice published on the 19th February 2021 purporting to appoint a Cricket Ombudsman and fixing the date for the elections of the GCB acting in accordance with the powers vested in you by Sections 7 and 17 respectively of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act, Chapter 21:03, Laws of Guyana (Cricket Administration Act).
The Minister of Sport was only once permitted by the said Act to appoint a Cricket Ombudsman. Your recent purported appointment by Notice of 19th February 2021 is the third such appointment of a Cricket Ombudsman by a Minister. Your predecessors in office, Dr George Norton and Dr Frank Anthony had done so in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Professor Winston McGowan was the first Cricket Ombudsman to have been appointed by Dr Anthony and although he later resigned his office, his appointment was never declared to be invalid. In the circumstance, your appointment of Mr Kamal Ramkarran, Attorney-at-Law, as Cricket Ombudsman is unlawful and of no effect.
Your acts are in excess of the powers conferred upon you by the Act. Our client notes the rushed manner in which the date for the GCB elections was fixed. Our client is aware that you share a close relationship with the President of CWI, Mr Ricky Skerrit who is being challenged by our client for the Presidency of CWI at the upcoming CWI elections to be held in March 2021.
The period of 7 days for the holding of elections is unreasonable and does not allow the Cricket Ombudsman to carry out his statutory function of establishing and verifying a Register of Clubs before the holding of the GCB elections. The time frame fixed is not in accordance with the Constitution of the GCB, Schedule I of the Cricket Administration Act.
The membership of the GCB has a right to and/or a legitimate expectation that a period of at least thirty (30) days would be given before the holding of any elections. Members must be allowed a reasonable period to identify delegates and contestants and to canvas support for the elections. The rules of the GCB also permit the presentation of Motions for consideration at the meeting.
You committed an egregious error of law when you purported to consult with the President of CWI alone. The President has an interest to serve in this matter and the Cricket Administration Act clearly requires that you engage in meaningful consultation with the Board of CWI. No such consultation took place. Our client is a Director of the Board and no meeting to discuss the appointment of the Cricket Ombudsman and the fixing of a date for GCB elections was called or ever took place.
In all the circumstances, the decisions to appoint the Cricket Ombudsman and to fix a date for the holding of elections of the GCB are illegal, invalid, null, void and of no legal effect. Former Minister of Sport, Dr George Norton had fixed a date for elections. Your powers under the Act are clearly at an end if they ever existed in you at all at the time of your notice on the 19th February 2021. We have written to the Cricket Ombudsman and copied you. If we do not hear from the Cricket Ombudsman by 9am, Monday, 22nd February 2021, then legal proceedings will be filed to quash your decision and for a declaration that you have no power under the Cricket Administration Act or at all to fix or further fix a date for the elections or to make any appointment or any further appointment of a Cricket Ombudsman.
The Attorneys-at-Law representing Sanasie are: R Satram, BSocSC, LLB; CV Satram, LLB; M Satram, LLB; Visal Satram, LLB, LLM, MCIArb (Trinidad Bar) and Ron Motilall, LLB from Satram and Satram Attorneys-at-Law Patent and Trademark Agents.