More turmoil in local cricket as GCB questions Berbice financial report

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Unrest surfaced again in local cricket with the GCB questioning a financial report from the Berbice board and replacing its leader Hilbert Foster on the CWI board with Essequibian Deleep Singh.

Statements from the GCB and the Berbice Board of Directors follow:

(Guyana Cricket Board Communique) On Saturday, March 26, 2022, the Guyana Cricket Board Executive Committee elected Mr. Deleep Singh, Chairman of the Essequibo Cricket Board to replace Mr. Hilbert Foster as the new Director of Cricket West Indies.

Mr. Singh, originally from Charity, is a popular and respected businessman who previously served as President of the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Essequibo Technical Institute and Vice -president of the Guyana Coconut Growers Association. .

Mr Singh’s impressive profile includes prominent positions in religious educational and social organizations including Sanatan Dharm Par Upkaaric Sabha, Shri Sookdeojie Ashram, Charity Development Committee and Guyana School of Agriculture where earlier as a student he graduated with distinction. A graduate of Lousianna State University (USA), Mr. Singh currently owns WD’S hotel & Mall at Charity. Also, he is a large-scale coconut, cattle and rice farmer as well as a licensed gold miner.

On the cricket front, Mr Singh played club cricket in Essequibo for several years and in fact founded and chaired both the Enterprise Cricket Club in Pomeroon and the Pomeroon Cricket Committee. From 2002 to 2004, he served as Vice Chairman of the Essequibo Cricket Board and now as Past Chairman of that board, he is automatically an Executive Member of the Guyana Cricket Board.

Mr. Singh’s election as a director of CWI is consistent with a traditional practice of rotating the selection of directors. He is the first Essequibian to occupy this prestigious position since Mr. Beni Sankar some twenty-five years ago.

A hugely popular figure, Mr. Deleep Singh gave assurances that the trust placed in him would drive him to work diligently and responsibly in the interests of Guyana and West Indian cricket. He is committed to carrying out his duties with professionalism and to ensuring that Guyana is meaningfully represented at the regional level.

The amendment to facilitate the rotation of directors was approved at an extraordinary general meeting of the Guyana Cricket Board held on March 06, 2022. This meeting was called for two specific purposes: proposed amendments to the constitution and submission and ratification of audited financial reports. county councils.

The Berbice Cricket Board report, however, sparked much debate as the figures presented could not stand up to scrutiny. The meeting resolved that in the interest of transparency and accountability and in accordance with the Guyana Cricket Administration Act 2014, the financial report of the Berbice Cricket Board would be subject to a forensic audit.

This decision was made despite explanations given by Berbice Cricket Board Chairman Hilbert Foster which were deemed unacceptable. The Berbice Cricket Board then wrote to the Guyana Cricket Board requesting the withdrawal of its audited financial report. This case, which has raised a lot of concerns, will be closely followed by the GCB.

(Berbice Cricket Board Release) The Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) noted with astonishment and disgust a press release from the Guyana Cricket Board that left us totally speechless. The BCB has remained silent in recent months despite having been targeted by elements of the board since the recent elections in Essequibo.

Our support is no longer wanted or needed and it seems that our success is a source of jealousy for some. BCB submitted audited financial statements for 2018, 2019 and 2020 by a highly respected auditor and we received full clearance in all three reports.

The 2020 audited report had a correction page which addressed the incorrect names of our officers for the period under review. The auditor has since corrected the error. At the last Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) meeting, our treasurer was unable to answer a question regarding a claim of $30,000.00 as he did not have the necessary information on hand. The simple answer is that the contractor for the repair of our office had not completed the work at the time the report was submitted. The work was done shortly after the start of our new fiscal year.

GCB executives met today for their monthly meeting and no discussion of the financial statements took place and no one was authorized to issue a press release. What is notable in all of this is a statement that was made in the GCB newsgroup that said people would be unceremoniously fired or resign in shame.

The GCB Finance Committee has not met to date to accept our report, but the Board, in its wisdom, has seen fit to issue a defamatory statement. The treasurer and his assistant were unaware of the statement, as were the two vice presidents of the board and a few other executives. Over the past few months, all of our suggestions have been rejected and all we hear is the word – Rated. The BCB would also like to state that our President has never attempted to explain anything about the statements, as has been done by our Treasurer, Dr. Cecil Beharry, and his Deputy Rovin Bahadur.

The BCB is therefore totally shocked by this statement as well as the press release since this discussion took place more than three weeks ago. We wonder why this unauthorized press release was issued on the same day that a senior Demerara GCB executive had informed executives that he would brief the media on events within the council.

The BCB had been leading the fight for more than twelve years for the return to normal of Guyanese cricket and it is a pity that the situation has worsened. We wish to reassure the Guyanese cricketing public that we are committed to the development of the game in our beloved country and although we can say much more, in the interests of unity we will maintain our silence.

BCB Chairman Hilbert Foster would like to express his thanks to the GCB for the opportunity to serve as CWI Director for one year and wishes Mr. Duleep Singh all the best in his new position.

Deep Singh
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