Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr George Norton, was recently reassured of Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) commitment to Guyana. This assurance was given by the newly elected President of CWI, Mr. Richard Skerritt, in light of the circumstances surrounding the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) in relation to hosting of international tournaments.
“You have a strong partner in development…we want to see the continued development of cricket in Guyana,” Skerritt said.
The engagement, which was held at Minister Norton’s office, also comprised of CWI’s Chief Executive Officer, Johnny Grave; CWI’s Development Manager, Fawwaz Baksh; along with the Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, and Assistant Director of Sport, Melissa Dow-Richardson.
As the engagement commenced, Minister Norton congratulated Skerritt on his recent appointment, expressing confidence in the development of West Indies Cricket.
Dr Norton was particularly persistent about the hosting of the Under 19 Tournament in Guyana.
“I believe this would really go a far way in inspiring young cricketers, and that is what we want, young Guyanese to nurture their talents and make their country, and the West Indies proud,” Dr Norton said.
The meeting discussed the challenges involving the GCB and ways of minimising its impacts on the hosting of international tournaments here in Guyana. The most immediate of these is India’s Tour of the Caribbean, which is slated to begin in August.
In this regard, given the current situation, Minister Norton has given his commitment to ensuring that CWI is equipped with all that it needs to successfully host these matches in Guyana, with agreements for India’s Tour being confirmed by the Government of Guyana.
The meeting also touched on the development of cricket programmes for youths in grassroots communities and the hinterland regions.
Herein, President Skerritt informed the meeting of CWI’s intention to develop the sport using approaches that will allow for greater productivity in West Indies cricket.
“…We want to have a bottom–up approach, especially when it comes to youths in the rural areas; they are always so appreciative and willing to work with what is provided,” Skerritt said.
Meanwhile, Assistant Director of Sport, Melissa Dow-Richardson, also emphasised the need for CWI to ensure that its programmes are geared towards gender parity.
Skerritt responded favourably, noting that the CWI is certainly becoming more gender conscious.
As the meeting wrapped up, Skerritt lauded Guyana for its Cricket Administration Act.
“As far as the Act is concerned, Guyana is way ahead of many other countries…it is important to properly regulated sports … it just needs to sort out this situation with the GCB,” Skerritt said.