Had the third and final cricket Test between West Indies and Australia run its full duration, today would have been the penultimate day at Guyana’s National Cricket Stadium.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) stripped Guyana of the Test last February due to political interference by the country’s government. This does not sit well with former West Indies captain and administrator, Clive Lloyd, who heads the Interim Management Committee (IMC) appointed by the Guyana government after the July 2011 Guyana Cricket Board elections were disputed.
“I am really disappointed that Guyana is not hosting this Test,” Lloyd told Share in an interview. “When you look at it, this is a major blow for an already struggling economy that could have done with the money that fans coming in from the Caribbean, North America, Australia and other parts of the world would have spent. In addition, the vendors here will not have that income coming in that they depend on. What is even more disappointing is that none of the other West Indies Cricket Board members came to Guyana’s defence. As an established member of the regional cricket fraternity, Guyana was treated shabbily without justifiable cause.”
Guyana hosted the West Indies’ first ever Test win – just the region’s third – against England by 289 runs in 1930.
One of the most successful Test captains, Lloyd resigned from his role as non-member WICB director after being forced to take sides between the board and the IMC. He said it was an easy decision.
“I have served as an International Cricket Council (ICC) Match Referee and in other capacities around the world and I just thought the time was right to give back to my country,” said Lloyd who has an office at the Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sport. “Our consultations with the stakeholders went well and were very informative. Take for example the Amerindians wanted to know how come they, as an integral part of this country, have not been given a fair shake and more of a say in the sport.”
A new constitution is being drafted that will be presented to the associations affiliated to the Guyana Cricket Board and other stakeholders prior to new elections.
Lloyd will be in Toronto in June for the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital fundraising dinner. Part of the hospital was destroyed by fire in May 2010.
He along with former West Indies cricketers Lance Gibbs, Basil Butcher, Stephen Camacho, Joe Solomon and Alvin Kallicharran will be honoured at the event in June.
“I enjoy coming to Toronto and I am looking forward to reuniting with some my peers,” said Lloyd who was the first West Indian cricketer to win 100 Test caps. “I also have family members and friends in the Greater Toronto Area so it’s always nice whenever I can get up there.”
Dashing West Indies opening batsman and Guyana Sports Minister, Roy Fredericks, who passed away 12 years ago, will be recognized posthumously.
Retired Royal Bank executive and cricketer, Joe Castanheiro, heads the local committee that is organizing the event. He represented Georgetown Cricket Club, the Queen’s Park Club in Trinidad and the Young Men’s Progressive Club (YMPC) in Barbados.
By RON FANFAIR