Beharry Praises Amsterdam, Moore
At 44, Anil Beharry possesses tremendous experience as both cricketer and cricket Administrator and last Sunday was elected as the youngest ever President of the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) when the County Board held its AGM at the Board Office, Dr Cheddi Jagan Street, New Amsterdam.
He was competing against Port Mourant Cricket Club’s President Vickram Seubarran who lost 22-16. Beharry, who served as first Vice-President under Keith Foster for the last two-year term was also a former Assistant Treasurer on the Guyana Cricket (GCB) while he played for Berbice at the 50-over level from 1995-1997 as a big hitting left-hander who bowled tidy left-arm spin and was good enough to be invited to the 1996 Guyana One-Day trials.
In his professional life, Beharry is a career Banker and has been in the banking sector for 28 years after joining the Guyana National Co-Operative Bank (GNCB) in 1986 where he worked until 1991 when he joined the ranks of the New Building Society (NBS). He is now a Senior Manager of New Amsterdam Head Office of NBS.
In Berbice club cricket, Beharry, who disclosed that Guyana’s most successful National under-19 Coach Albert Smith has been the biggest influence in his cricketing career, first played for New Amsterdam team Bermine. He represented Berbice Police, Upper Corentyne and Young Warriors Cricket Club where he still plays at the Second Division level. He has been an executive member for the last 13 years at the Cumberland, Canjie based club.
Beharry made his entry into this world on January 14, 1970 in Number 19 Village on the Corentyne and was born to Harold and Rohonie Beharry. He got involved in cricket at a very early age.
“Like most little boys in the Corentyne, cricket was the only game we knew, so naturally after seeing the older boys playing cricket I soon joined in and I was hooked on the sport,” Beharry told Kaieteur Sport from his home in New Amsterdam (NA) on Monday.
“Before we got married Anil told me he was a cricketer and that cricket was his main interest and it would prevent him from spending more time with me, especially on weekends when cricket was played. He said he wanted me know what cricket meant to him before we got married,” his wife Sharda, whom he married on September 11, 1993 and who has two daughters (Annalisa & Arianna) and a son (Aaron) with him, chimed in.
Beharry has been at NBS for 23 years and moved to NA to live with his sister in 1976 and attended the Berbice Education Institute (BEI) before he joined Bermine Cricket Club where he made the youth team.
“Albert Smith was the Coach there and he was the person who really influenced my cricketing career. I have always loved cricket with a passion, especially as player, but when the late Leslie Amsterdam, the former BCB President, asked me to serve as Treasurer in 1997 and I agreed, I had ventured into cricket administration. I have been an Executive on the BCB ever since and Mr. (Carl) Moore has been another person who has influenced my life as a cricket administrator,” Beharry said.
In between playing at the First Division level where he scored three tons and a had a six-wicket haul at the T20 level, which included a hat-trick, Beharry started to work at the NBS Skeldon Branch where he was the Manager from 1997-2001. It was during this time that he played for Upper Corentyne.
Beharry was then moved to Rosignol to manage the NBS Branch there before again being moved to the NA branch and while he admitted that it was hard for his kids to be moving from school to school, it was a necessary sacrifice which had to be made to get him to where he is today.
Beharry’s hobby is sports, especially cricket and Sharda says her youngest child Aaron who is 13, is showing an interest in cricket while her second daughter ‘Anu’ is a big cricket fan and even assists the BCB in the area of the media.
Beharry also represented Guyana in Softball cricket in 1990 and has played for Berbice in this format for close to 17 years. He has also been an executive on the BCB for 15 years and has been instrumental in the success and transformation of the Young Warriors ground into one of the better venues in Berbice.
Beharry holds several public portfolios including Chairman of the Albion Lights Committee, serving council of the Regional Democratic Council, Region 6, heading the Health, Youth & Sports Sub Committees and Vice-Chairman of the recently resuscitated Region 6 Road Safety Association.
He claims that the biggest challenge for his Administration is to ensure that cricket is played at all levels. “At present there is a lack of three-day cricket and we need to get three-day cricket back. I have already written to big prospective sponsors to sponsor the tournament. If I don’t get one sponsor I intend to start a drive by all stakeholders and call it the ‘Friends of the BCB 3-day first division competition,” Beharry disclosed.
The new BCB Head plans to work with the Education Ministry to reintroduce school cricket at U-15, U-17 and if possible, add U-13 school cricket. He also hopes to improve relationships between cricket clubs and develop strong discipline among the players.
“I plan to make strong representation for Berbice umpires and help them to recruit and educate more umpires. We have plans to construct our own Board Office and to be more professional in the way we conduct our business. We are hoping that at the completion of the next GCB elections we could have more dialogue with our parent body,” Beharry explained.
“Being President never really crossed my mind but I was encouraged to go for it because of my experience in cricket administration and because I was a former player. I want to see Berbice cricket take off and I want the best people on my team.
“Mr. Moore told me before the elections that he would be supporting Mr. Seubarran because he was the sponsor of the team that Mr. Moore managed. So I knew that Mr. Moore would have voted for him. However, as President I am willing to offer Mr. Moore a position on my Board because it does not matter who you voted for. Once you are the best for any position and would work for the interest of the cricket that’s the important thing,” Beharry, who has Vemen Walter, who also voted against him as his First Vice-President, concluded.
Can Beharry be the man to take Berbice’s cricket forward for the next two years? Only time will tell but he comes to the job well equipped to deliver.