Guyana Cricket Board critical of Roger Harper's comments regarding Guyanese players overlooked for contracts

By May 17, 2021

The Guyana Cricket Board has written to Cricket West Indies expressing what it says is its disappointment at public comments made by Chairman of Selectors Roger Harper relating to four Guyanese players, who were not awarded retainer contracts by the governing body.

Earlier this month, CWI West Indies released the names of 18 players who were offered retainer contracts for the different formats of the game. Kyle Mayers, Joshua Da Silva and Nkrumah Bonner were all rewarded with contracts after standout performances against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka earlier this year.

However, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul and Romario Shepherd, were not among the players who will be retained for the year July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022.

Subsequently, the GCB wrote to the CWI requesting the criteria for being offered contracts as it began what it says was an investigation into why the players were overlooked by CWI.

Asked about the matter, Harper, while speaking on the Mason and Guest show in Barbados last week revealed that GCB President Bissoondyal Singh and Vice President Hilbert Foster, Directors at CWI, were in attendance at the CWI Board of Directors meeting where the players that were being considered for contracts were discussed. He said they were fully aware of which players were being offered contracts before the names were made public.

“The opportunity was there to ask as many questions as they needed to so I am not quite sure what’s going on,” Harper said.

Harper’s statements prompted a charged response from the GCB.

“We write to you with great astonishment and much disappointment on the media statements by the Chairman of Selectors of the CWI as they relate to the issue of the non-retainer by CWI of male Guyanese cricketers,” the letter said.

“We at GCB thought that we were doing the proper and decent thing by first, writing to CWI requesting the criteria which were used for the retention and/or non-retention of our male cricketers, prior to making any public statements on their non-retention.

“It is most unfortunate and quite disappointing that while we are still patiently awaiting the submission of the said criteria, the Chairman of Selectors thought it best, whether on his own accord or with the support of the CWI, to make the comments in the media that two of our Directors were present at the meeting when the matter of retention and/or non-retention was discussed.”

The GCB said they believe Harper ought to have been aware that there was no "handing over of the mantle" to the current directors of GCB by the two former directors" and it was the first meeting of the CWI that the two new directors attended and the issue of the retention of the players was more in the form of a report after the decision was already made.

Additionally, the GCB said, the two directors could not have commented and/or usefully participated in the "report" in relation to the retention of the players without the two directors knowing or being fully apprised of the selection and/or non-selection criteria.

 “Like the Chairman of Selectors, GCB also has its own responsibility to the public and will, therefore, following the trend set by the said Chairman, to make this letter available to the media,” the GCB said.

“We are still patiently awaiting the criteria and report on the non-retention of our male cricketers and we fervently hope that CWI sees it best to provide those to us urgently rather than to have one of its officers (the Chairman), whether on a frolic of his own or not, unleash his unnecessary and unfortunate wrath on the GCB. “

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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