Sanasie’s power grab should be overturned

Partisan support in sport is a given in almost every country where it exits.

For the upcoming Cricket West Indies  (CWI), executive elections though, Guyanese should go against the grain.

When longstanding local administrator Anand Sanasie challenges Kittitian Ricky Skerritt for the body’s presidency on Sunday, there are tons of reasons why Guyanese should root against him.

Ricky Skerritt

Hyperbole aside,  Sanasie’s leadership  style has been tainted by autocracy  which along with  negative personal baggage, have been detrimental  to the sport,  during his long reign as a top administrator.   

Although he was never elected Guyana Cricket Board President, it is anybody’s guess why Sanasie, the designated secretary, commands so much power in the corridors of its Regent Street base.

Any local poll would bemuse fans to name the supposed presidents within the last 10 years.  

Faizal Bacchus and before him Dru Bahadur  following  Ramsey Ali,  have all sat in the presidential seat, yet  almost every decision making  information disseminated in those times have had the Sanasie stamp. 

He’s been the foremost Guyana representative at West Indies Board meetings continuously as if no one else is or was capable of undertaking such responsibility.    

At least the Berbice Cricket Board, the most productive  of three County affiliates would think otherwise.

And it is not only because that county has felt the wrath of  divisive GCB leadership, reeking of the Sanasie style.

For years Berbice board presidents have complained about being denied funding, subventions it is so described, for reasons that cannot be justified by any law of the national ruling body’s constitution.

It was never properly explained by the board’s mouthpiece Sanasie, because none can be justified under the sun.

For a county that has produced most of Guyana’s best cricketers over the years from Kanhai to Hetmeyer, to be denied much needed developmental money, is the work of someone not concerned with the sport’s growth, rather his ego instead.

If you disagree you suffer and were it not for a few strong resourceful Berbice leaders, it is a good guess where the sport there would be today.

And that reality would’ve been hitting us hard now  if attempts to deny current BCB president Hilbert Foster the opportunity to become president two elections ago, were not squashed by the courts.

Ironically, similar questionable tactics have been directed by Sanasie at Skerritt in recent days as the buildup to the elections is being highlighted by desperate moves reminiscent of American politics.

Yet, had he been in such a contest, the Guyanese would’ve been hard-pressed to survive given his track record in and out of cricket circles. 

It would be interesting to get his Barbadian vice presidential running mate Calvin Hope’s take on deciding to join forces with someone  who has been hauled before the courts on various grounds.

It resulted in high level politicians at the time calling for Sanasie’s resignation and a subsequent bid for a Government influenced takeover of the Board’s operations with attempts to install that Interim Management Committee (IMG) back in 2012.

Sanasie has somehow survived, including the bizarre postponement of the GCB elections last month when the current executive was poised to be deposed.  

Thus the divide and conquer style of the Board has continued as whoever disagrees with the dictates of the de facto President is permanently marginalized.

It doesn’t matter whether you were a former player with loads of wisdom to impart to young players ala a Sir Clive Lloyd,  the late Basil Butcher, Clyde Butts, Roger Harper, Mark Harper or Neil Barry.

In times of yore when teams were without designated coaches, players were tutored by the senior accomplished ones which proved highly successful.  Presently our current crop of players are left at the mercy of handpicked individuals with little or no accomplishments who handle GCB franchise teams in local competitions that provide opportunities more or less, for them to perfect their flaws.

Club competition, the backbone of domestic structures that hone the talents of players with vital input from retired batsmen and bowlers from competing teams, is badly lacking  GCB support here,  especially in Demerara County.

Gone are the  times when the Case Cup first division series in Demerara and its Davson Cup equivalent in     Berbice as well as the Northcote and White Cup lower divisions in the former, helped Guyana become a powerhouse supplier of talent to the Dream Team West Indies sides which dominated the world in the late 1970s to the mid 1980s.  Competition now in Georgetown is reduced to lowly two-day tournaments.   In the West Demerara, East Coast and East Bank districts comprising the other area associations in Demerara, you will be pleasantly surprised to find much organized competition.   

Despite Guyana winning five straight Regional four-day titles in recent years, which Sanasie boasts of under his watch, the substandard competition on offer resulted in local players not cutting it at international level for West Indies.   It explains why none is in the first Test against Sri Lanka.  

In his critique of incumbent Skerritt’s term of office, Sanasie claims revenue streams have dried up, but in typical doublespeak, the GCB secretary failed to acknowledge the numerous broadcast deals CWI announced  it clinched around the world in recent weeks.

Fans in America are enjoying TV coverage in all international home series and domestic matches through ESPN Plus,  BT Sport in the United Kingdom, Africa has Super Sun Sport, in New Zealand it’s Sky TV while here   Flow Sport Caribbean and  radio coverage via Vibes Radio Dominica are keeping supporters tuned.

So far Sanasie has outdone Skerritt in campaigning around the Region, thus the latter would do well to disclose the monetary details of those deals.  

Never before has any Board tenure achieved as much in one fell swoop, in that context, which ought to generate a massive income flow given its importance in the sports world today.

During the reign of former CWI President Dave Cameron who relied heavily on Sanasie’s influence, such deals were miniscule and the lack of income he complains about now started then, which resulted in the loss of the vital West Indies academy. 

In revealing his plan to source funding by establishing a base in the financial powerhouse in India and revitalizing kiddies cricket as well as placing greater emphasis in the women’s game, if elected, Sanasie has good talking points. 

Yet if such plans materialize under new CWI leadership,  it would amount to nothing under the leadership of an individual who cares primarily about the power he wields.