January 23, 2018

Archives for January 12, 2018

Dandrade wins Suriname’s Bigi Broki Wacka 10K

Trinidad and Tobago-based Guyanese athlete Lionel D’Anrade got 2018 off to a great start for his homeland flying the Golden Arrowhead high in Suriname over the weekend. He copped his fifth win in the “Bigi Broki Wacka 10K” road race finishing first out of 389 participants in a time of 38 minutes 19 seconds.
This was the 38-year-old’s fifth win in the annual event after participating in the competition for the past decade, finishing second on a couple of occasions behind the likes of former National Champions, Cleveland Forde, Cleveland Thomas and Kelvin Johnson.

Lionel D’Anrade

The last time D’Anrade won the event was two years ago (2016), however the seasoned veteran failed to defend his title last year finishing fifth. He rebounded nicely this time around in the absence of Forde and Thomas.

Hetmyer hoping to play his part in ensuring Windies is Number 1 again

BY Akeem Greene

Graced with an overwhelming amount of talent Windies newest batting prodigy Shimron Hetmyer knows a successful future lies ahead but it will not come easy and calls for him to further adapt to the rigours of international cricket.

The 21-year-old wants to make the number three position his own in years to come ©Sarah Ansell / Stringer

While there is no question of the arsenal he posses with the willow, his five Tests to date has yielded a high score of 66 against hosts New Zealand in a series late last year.
Batting at number three, the dashing left-hander took a toll on seasoned campaigners Neil Wagner and Trent Boult but just as the picture was being painted for a maiden ton, he lobbed a catch to extra-cover.
With an appreciation for his positive approach, the player is conscious that he needs to find the equilibrium to his innings.
“Yes I’m trying my best to balance [my aggression] off as much as I can with the head of the batting coach [Toby Radford]. I try as much as possible to focus on my job which is scoring runs,” he explained.
Reflecting on his highest Test score, an innings which spanned 89 deliveries, eight of which were fours and two travelling for maximums, he summarised it as “playing his natural game.”
“Well after I got out in the first innings in that way, I went back and had a talk with the coaches and they told me to play my natural game and have a clear mind set as well, so I just executed well.”
Captaining the regional youth team to ICC Word Cup glory in 2016 and playing 24 First-Class matches (debut in 2014) for Guyana Jaguars would have been the weight of his CV for the intricate number three position but for the 21 year-old, the challenge to succeed is what propels him to never give up.
“Well I don’t really see it as something difficult but rather as a challenge for me and I’m taking as much advice as I can from the rest of the team to conquer the challenge.”
In his first three Tests, a home series against Pakistan, he had a high score of 25 and accumulated 96 runs in six innings. Ultimately, it was an opposite reflection of the vast talent he possesses and questions become lingering over his readiness for the level of the sport.
Though not flatteringly, he answered any possible critiques with an improved showing in the two Tests against New Zealand, by being the regional team’s second leading run-scorer with 122 at an average of 30.50.
“I didn’t really make that much of a change [from Pakistan] actually because the pitches there [in New Zealand] were really good with the ball coming on and was a bit easier to play my shots”.
Fast growth
On the Blackcaps tour, he made both his One Day International and Twenty20 International debut which a capped the rollercoaster experience for the Guyana Cricket Board player senior male cricketer of the year.
“It was a great experience with my age and everything. Like being 21 and playing for West Indies in all formats. Yes, it was actually surprising.”
Now having a taste in all the formats, battling it out for five-days remains his most favoured since it carries a nostalgic value from his years of watching the former greats play. His modern idol is Australian pocket-rocket David Warner.
With an action-packed year of cricket scheduled for Windies, the man from Canjie, Berbice plans on filling his appetite with runs to prolong his promising career.
“Well I’m going to try to get as much game practice I could get and make some big scores in the process. I try to focus more on making runs than anything else since I want to play as long as I can and make the West Indies number one again in all formats.” An improved showing by himself and the Jaguars in the upcoming Super50 is first priority as he hopes to stake a claim for a 2019 50-over World Cup spot should the regional side be successful at the qualifiers in March.

GCF season pedals off January 28

The Guyana Cycling Federation’s (GCF) 2018 calendar of activities will kick off come January 28 with the staging of its first “points” race.

Jamual John will be looking to start 2018 on the front wheel
when he competes in GCF’s first Points race on January 28

This will see the top cyclists of the country converging for the first time in the New Year as they each seek to prop up their individual chances of drawing first blood in the sense of racking up points.
Jamual John was last year’s most consistent rider after tallying the most points across all GCF races ahead of Paul DeNobrega; the two had a great rivalry in 2017 and will be sure to provide great entertainment this year as well. However, DeNobrega will want to push himself further while John has already signaled his intention of crowning 2018 with more success than 2017, the latter has already started a rigorous training regime and will be hoping to carry over his form from last year.
Not to be ignored is the ever evolving Alanzo Ambrose who proved his self to be a formidable opponent last year as he pushed John and company to the limits even winning the last points race of 2017.
This year should make for intriguing contests as all the cyclists will seek to develop and push each other in their quest to reach the pinnacle of success in 2018.
On January 27 the cyclists will get some much needed track time in as National Cycling Coach Hassan Mohamed is organizing a meet at the inner circuit of the National Park; the feature 35-lap Schoolboys Invitational race will be sure to attract the country’s top cyclists and provide top quality entertainment for cycling fans and enthusiasts.

‘Biggest Party in Sport’ to bowl off in Guyana

…5 matches likely for Providence

By Clifton Ross

Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Pete Russell confirmed that the sixth edition of the “Biggest Party In Sport” will bowl off in Guyana and that the cricket crazy nation will also see an increased number of matches being played at Providence.
Russell who spoke exclusively to Guyana Times International Sport on Wednesday during an official visit to Guyana said that in addition to the tournament’s curtain raiser being held in Guyana there is a possibility that the Guyana Amazon Warriors will have ‘two bites of the cherry’ at home.

The crowd has asked for more CPL and in 2018 more matches are planned
for Providence, the home of the Guyana Amazon Warriors

The COO said that the local franchise will likely host three matches at Providence at the start of the tournament and will wrap up the competition with an additional two matches towards the back end of the five-week tournament.
According to Russell, Guyana will indeed be hosting the opening matches this year, making it a first for the country since the launch of the competition back in 2013.
The COO noted that while the previous player-drafts were held in the Caribbean, this year may see the March 1 draft taking place in London. While Russell did not fully confirm London as the final destination he was upbeat, stating that the London time is prime for most audiences especially in Australia, New Zealand and in India and the other parts of Asia where there are likely to have a lot of eyeballs.
Also, the COO added that it was critical for more young players to be introduced to the CPL as it is in their plans to use the league as a direct feeding system into the Windies team.
He pointed out that emphasis will be placed on roping in more Under-19 players as they have been making significant impacts over the seasons while some of them have even gone onto play for their countries at the senior level or West Indies.
Regarding teams’ player retention rule and salary cap, Russell said that no changes were made to the rules, adding that CPL wants to build a fan base for its die-hard followers with regards to minimizing players being shuffled around the respective franchises every season.
From a financial perspective, Guyana recorded some US$14 million or 2.8 Billion Guyana dollars in turnovers from last year’s CPL, prompting the COO to hail the tournament’s value as a marketable product which has been slowly reshaping the landscape of the sport Regionally.
This year’s CPL is set to bowl off early in August and will run up until September the same window period that was used in 2017.

8-lane synthetic track for Linden

By Utamu Belle

Assistant Director of Sport Melissa Dow-Richardson has announced that instead of a four or six lane synthetic track proposed for Linden, the community is on the cards to receive an eight lane synthetic track, complete with security fencing.

Assistant Director of Sports Melissa Dow-Richardson presents Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland with a sports magazine following the synthetic track discourse on Tuesday

She made the disclosure on Tuesday, as she, along with a team comprising officials of the Public Infrastructure Special Projects team and the Buildings team within the Ministry of Education made their third site visit to discuss the synthetic track in the presence of Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland. Evaluation works continue to move apace on the setting up of synthetic track, slated to be constructed at the Bayroc Ground at Wismar. According to Dow-Richardson, the team is working towards completion of the track by this year-end.
“What I can say is that this project is unique…the company responsible for it, they’ve already sent in their consultants, they’ve already sent in their engineer and they have done evaluation…the site identified is suitable, it’s actually quite welcoming. They’re expecting us to forward the surveys to them…and we have a hope and expectation to begin work in this region within this first quarter, certainly in February,” she said.
The Assistant Director of Sport added that she foresees the Linden track creating an environment for competitive development and training among national athletes in a high altitude environment. Mayor Holland, who had initially proposed a six-lane track, noted how ecstatic he was by the news. He said this will boost the sports capacity in Linden tremendously.
“If you’re looking at development, we need an eight-lane track. That would give us full competition standard…We can have the National Championships there…I know this will be very impactful for Linden as we can now look at our timings effectively. We have the second fastest 400-meter runner in the world in Linden…We have Compton Caesar and they’re expected to be heading to the Commonwealth Games, these things will help them for international meets…With the eight-lane, we can do well. With Linden being a sports loving community, we can host international meets,” he pointed out.
Holland further proposed for a training centre, an upgraded pavilion and a football area during the discourse on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Lawrence Menthis of the Public Infrastructure Ministry Special Projects unit said the team will focus on having the ground totally surveyed and the soil tested. A team was expected to visit the site on Wednesday to conduct tests.

CPL gives massive boost to Guyana’s economy

– over US$14M injected in 2017

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has announced the tournament’s economic impact for Guyana. The 2017 event, which took place between 4 August and 9 September last year, created a total economic impact of US$ 14,183,035 in the country.

Chief Operations Officer Pete Russell

This figure has been arrived at by using organiser spend, visitor spend and media value and was calculated for Hero CPL by world-renowned researchers, SMG Insight.
In addition to that economic impact figure the Hero CPL created 492 jobs in Guyana. The tournament also filled 4097 hotel rooms during the event and broadcast matches played in Guyana to a cumulative TV audience of 19.1million.
There was significant value for Guyana in terms of the country being given that coverage through the television broadcast of the event. The total brand exposure for Guyana has been calculated at US$ 3,294,323 with more than 37 hours coverage of the country across the tournament.
The Hero CPL spent just under US$ 1million in Guyana during the 2017 event with over 40% of that figure going to local staff and suppliers. This organiser spend represents a 17% increase from what Hero CPL invested in 2014.
Speaking about the report from SMG Insight the Hero CPL Chief Operations Officer, Pete Russell said: “Guyana is a hugely important market for Hero CPL and we are delighted to have such a strong set of figures to share with the country. We know that we will continue to see excellent numbers from Guyana, a country that loves its cricket and has been so supportive of Hero CPL over the years.”

Cricket-crazy fans packed in at Providence during the Hero Caribbean Premier League 2017

First started in 2013, the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is a franchise-based T20 format cricket tournament that combines two of the most compelling aspects of Caribbean life – dramatic cricket and a vibrant Carnival atmosphere. Combining broadcast and digital viewership over 197 million fans watched the 2017 season to make it one of the fastest growing leagues in world cricket. Trinbago Knight Riders are the current Hero CPL champions and the other competing teams are Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, St. Lucia Stars and Jamaica Tallawahs.

A political problem…

…demands a political solution
It’s great when you’re the Government, isn’t it? Look at the high-priced Bajan lawyers – Queen’s Counsels to boot! — that Basil Williams just had sworn in to help him out in the “Case of the Foisted GECOM Chair”. And yes, dear reader, you read that right – the lawyers never practised before the Guyanese Bar, and had to be “sworn in” a couple days before! These fellas don’t come cheap; they’re Bajans!
Now, Lord knows the AG needs all the help he can get. Lawyers, like boxers, are rated by their wins against losses, and Williams has been 0 to 15 as of now!! Why should Guyanese taxpayers pay for Williams’s ineptitude? He’s AG only because he’s the PNC Chairman, and not so incidentally – as the Mafia would say; he knows where the bodies are buried. Right, Bannuhs?
Your Eyewitness won’t comment substantively on the case, since Justice George-Wiltshire asked that it not be tried in the public arena. Your Eyewitness has the greatest respect for this jurist – even though the Government obviously does not. How could the Government ask her to apply for a position she’s already accepted? The President’s unilaterally advertising for applicants was insulting in effectively rescinding her appointment. Justice George’s professionalism, learning and commitment to the law speak for themselves — since the days when she was a public prosecutor. But maybe that’s the point, isn’t it? How dare she rule against the President’s unilateral decisions to rescind leases to those Region 5 farmers which the PPP had granted?
But returning to the GECOM Chairman’s appointment: this really isn’t a legal matter, is it? The Carter-Price formula was devised to address a POLITICAL problem back in 1992. After the PNC had rigged elections in 1968, 1973, 1980 and 1985, with the connivance of the GECOM chairs — who were all judges — the criteria was broadened to include “other fit and proper” persons. And more to the point, the lack of trust engendered in the Opposition parties after being cuckolded so many times, the appointees had to come from a list the Opposition Leader would provide.
This was designed to enforce political compromise, since the Opposition Leader’s list had to include persons whom the President couldn’t object to, and obviously, the former would pick persons not unobjectionable to himself. Of the three lists of six submitted by Jagdeo, it shocked the sensibilities of even PNC supporters that past GECOM Chair and ex-Army General, Joe Singh, was unacceptable to Granger!!
That the matter has reached the courts means the political arrangement has broken down.
The Justices cannot raise this POLITICAL Lazarus from the dead. Rigging is constructively back!!
…not an economic one
Your Eyewitness isn’t surprised no one in Guyana cares about the tragedy unfolding in Berbice after 4000 sugar workers were fired by GuSyuCo – which is owned by the Government. Actually, it should be “no one in Georgetown cares”…but since to those who matter, for all intents and purposes Georgetown is Guyana, it’s all the same, isn’t it? It’s not just Berbice…Wales’ 1700 were fired last year, and that also didn’t create a ripple!
The President of the Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce, Mohamad Raffik, however, exclaimed in disgust: “You just cannot send home 4,000 people and you have no alternative.” But Raffik’s premise is all flawed: to the Government, sugar workers were fired and not given alternatives not because they were “people,” but because they were “voters”. The wrong kind of voters: voters who never voted for them, but generally for the PPP.
When Jagan was negotiating a coalition with Burnham in the seventies, one of his criticisms was the PNC’s “racial discrimination”.
Burnham replied, “Comrade, it’s not racial, just political!”
…gets an economic solution
The one “political” problem that can be solved economically is when a POLITICAL investment wasn’t repaid to a media owner — who then exposes the dirt.
The Muckraker’s owner was just awarded a radio licence!

Don’t go breaking your heart

By Anu Dev

“Fast food is popular because it’s convenient, it’s cheap, and it tastes good. But the real cost of eating fast food never appears on the menu.” -Eric Schlosser

When I first arrived in Trinidad, I was amazed at all the different types of fast food places they had: McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Pappa John’s, Wendy’s and a whole host of others. At the time, Guyana only had a couple.
And then I came across a 2013 report that Trinidad was the number 1 obese nation in the Caribbean and the 6th most obese nation in the world. Guyana was way, way below them.
Was there a connection between the two facts? There sure was! And the connection wasn’t just a matter of correlation – it was causation. What had happened was that the First World countries – especially the leader, USA — had wised up to the connection between fast food and obesity, and had started to regulate them. That, of course, meant paying more attention to any number of factors – which in turn meant less profits.
Just as the cigarette manufacturers had done a few decades before, their fast food chains didn’t waste any time moving down to the Third World. In only the last two years, surely, you’ve noticed so many of these joints coming here to Guyana?
In the First World countries, the fast food industry’s being pressured to offer “healthy” options on their menus, and it’s mandatory to display the number of calories in each item of food. Like McDonalds in the States now also offers salads and wraps — never mind that the dressings for the salads probably have more calories than the burgers.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I get the allure of fast food. Who doesn’t? It’s tasty; a high fat- and-sodium content pretty much guarantees that. And of course it’s fast. Lying in my dorm room too tired (and lazy…mostly lazy), to cook, sometimes I give in to the urge to pick up my phone and order pizza.
And fast food’s so much cheaper than healthy food. When I’m ordering pizza, the person at the end of the line usually talks me into upgrading from a medium to a large pizza “for just $5 more” through some ongoing deal. I usually end up with a rather unhealthy amount of pizza, most of which I end up having to freeze for later.
I once had to turn down a free large pizza when I ordered a medium one. The Papa John’s worker seemed to think I was quite daft to turn down a free pizza, but as I tried to explain to her, I really had no need for both a medium and large pizza.
There’re always deals and promotions going on in these fast food places. I’ve never been offered a free larger head of broccoli when I buy broccoli. And I guess that’s why a lot of people prefer to go the fast food route, even knowing how unhealthy it is. And it’s incredibly unhealthy. One piece of chicken thigh from KFC has 290 calories, with 190 of those calories coming from fat; and it has 850mg of sodium — that’s 35% of your daily value. And many people don’t just get one piece of chicken; they get fries, soda, biscuits and more chicken.
In school, we’ve covered the systems of the human body and the type of strain your body goes through when you charge up on these fast foods. Your arteries get clogged, your heart has to strain to pump blood through those clogged arteries, and you’re more susceptible to developing diabetes, hypertension, or suffering a heart attack.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the prevalence of obesity among adults in Guyana is 16.9%; and that’s pretty low, especially compared with Trinidad’s whopping 30%.
But if we keep on welcoming fast food chains into our country, and boast about it as “development”, we may well end up going the route of Trinidad; or even passing them.
Do your heart a favour and choose wisely when planning your meals. As with anything, moderation is key. A bit of pizza once in a while won’t hurt, but if it becomes habit, that when it’s a problem.

Mo’ radio; Mo’ payoffs

Satiricus was hoping the new year would see the fellas easing up on his case. Heck, it was a free country, wasn’t it? So what if he’d voted for “change” and had gotten “exchange”? He reckoned his leaders Nagga Man and Rum Jhaat didn’t have any experience in government, and would pick that up in time and do better. At least that was the thought he shared with his friends at the Back Street Bar.
“Budday!” exclaimed Cappo. “If dem na gat experience and dem t’ief mo in two year dan de PPCEE t’ief in 23 year, me na wan’ gi’e dem mo’ experience!!”
“I’m not talking about “thiefing”!” said Satiricus huffily. “I am talking about not having experience in negotiating contracts and things like that.”
“So after the Wood Stadium contract, the warehouse contract, the pharma contract and now the oil contract,” asked Hari plaintively as he nursed his beer, “when will they get enough experience?”
“Well at least they gave out more radio contracts like they’d promised,” smirked Satiricus. “They’re learning.”
“Yea! But wha’ dem l’arn?” asked Bungi, who was listening carefully. “A only dem fr’en who bin gi’e dem money in FUCOP get radio sta-shan!”
“Trot Man explained that was “political investment” bai!” snickered Hari. “Payback time!!”
“C’mon fellas, give the Government a break!” exclaimed Satiricus. “More radio stations mean more freedom of speech!”
“Suh how come only Mook Lall and de Shart Man get radio sta-shan” asked Cappo. “Goat bite de Stabber News?”
“And de guvment check if dem ‘fit an’ prapah’ fuh run radio sta-shan?” demanded Bungi before Satiricus could answer.
“What do you mean?” asked Satiricus.
“That’s what the law demands – good character!” assured Hari. “People who did backtracking and messing around shouldn’t get radio stations.”
“An’ Sato, me friend, Nagga Man gat nuff experience wid da!” explained Cappo. “Na fuget da bin ‘e jaab wid Chuddi!”
“Na worry, Sato. Yuh guh l’arn,” assured Bungi. “Ev’ry fowl does feed pan ‘e own craw!”

Woman jailed for 12 years for murdering push cart vendor over G$1000

Twenty-seven-year-old Vanessa Baird was handed a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence on Tuesday after she admitted to killing 43-year-old push cart vendor Percival Williams, on December 21, 2013 over G$1000 at the Parika Stelling, East Bank Essequibo.
Represented by Defence Counsel, Mark Conway, the mother of one, in tears, asked the court to be lenient with her so that she can return to care for her seven-year-old child.
According to the State’s case which was presented by Prosecutors Abigail Gibbs, Natasha Backer and Tiffini Lyken, Williams was given G$1000 by his would-be killer to purchase Chinese food for her and her son. At some point however, she asked Williams, a former Hague, West Coast Demerara resident for the money that she gave him and the two exchanged expletives after he did not comply.
Baird held onto Williams’ jersey and a scuffle ensued and she then stabbed him in the lower chest area. The prosecution further relayed that the accused in her caution statement admitted that she had taken the knife from another person and committed the act.
Williams immediately fell to the ground and was pronounced dead at the Leonora Cottage Hospital. His post-mortem examination showed that he died from perforation of the lung and heart due to stabbing. Reports back then were that Williams had converted the money to his own use.
In making pleas of mitigation, Baird’s attorney observed that at the time of the incident, the woman was encountering financial difficulties being a single parent. Conway highlighted that his client has reflected on her actions and has improved her ability to have self-control. The court also heard that the woman now attends church services, sewing and drama classes whilst being incarcerated.
Presiding Judge Navindra Singh, noted that it did not make sense to kill Baird in the manner which he lost his life. He encouraged her to seek out anger management classes as she continues the rehabilitation process. Baird’s time spent on remand awaiting trial will be deducted from her overall sentence.