– industry will not be used as political football – Opposition LeaderAs plans are moving apace to complete and ultimately presents its manifesto for the upcoming elections in Guyana, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) already has major plans for the oil and gas sector.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, at his weekly press briefing on Thursday explained that the PPP, as part of ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of the country’s oil and gas sector, will guarantee that members of other political parties be a part of its management once the party gets back into office.“So we have been looking at the oil industry and the oil and gas sector and we have been exploring models as to how this sector will be transparently managed. In fact, we would like to see the sector, even with a PPP Government in office, managed in a bi-partisan way where it rises above politics. That is the oil and gas industry and that the resources are used to benefit all Guyanese.”According to Jagdeo, the PPP has been exploring various models for the oil and gas industry that it will be implementing, should that party be returned to Government following the upcoming general elections that are to be held in the country.He noted that despite whatever advice it would receive from persons outside of the country with regard to the operations, management, and best practices for the future of Guyana’s oil and gas sector, the buck stops with Guyanese managing it.“We are not slaves to consultants who often work for the oil companies. We have been exploring ourselves, in house, using and studying a lot the experience of various countries, of course seeking technical advice and we will seek advice but the final decision will be made by the Government of Guyana. A decision that is appropriate for our country and that would benefit our people and not something that any consultant will come in, cut and paste, and hand over to us.”He stated that more often than not, in such situations the advice by consultants reflect the interests more in the favour of foreign companies than citizens of that country so the PPP will ensure that this does not occur in Guyana.The Opposition Leader also pointed out that his party has been working extensively on preparing several features of a local content policy in relation to the oil and gas industry that can be implemented once it is returned to power.“Benefits must be felt by all people wherever they live. Benefits should not be just for a few folks or for those who are wealthy but should benefit everyone from every sector… every ethnic group, every class,” he added.Presently, a Department of Energy is being established at the Ministry of the Presidency to handle the pending oil and has sector. The department is being overseen by Dr Mark Bynoe who in turn reports to his superiors, including Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman and President David Granger.Come 2020, ExxonMobil is expected to pump millions of barrels of oil from the Stabroek Block – a phenomenon that can make Guyana one of the richest oil nations in the work.But since the announcement of the find, there have been concerns with respect to the management of the country’s wealth with the recommendation of setting up the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) to manage its impending revenues.
Australia have been a powerhouse in world cricket for as long as the current memory line really goes. However, the year 2018 was full of problems for the Aussies. Since the ball-tampering scandal in March last year that saw two of their best batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner banned for a year, Australia’s struggles began and they went on to lose nine ODIs out of the 11 they played.With the 2019 ICC World Cup in England and Wales just around the corner, Australia would not want to look at their sixth-place spot in the ICC men’s ODI rankings and would instead want to focus their energy on believing they can get through these tough times.Ahead of the World Cup, Cricket Australia have also roped in Ricky Ponting as one of the coaching staff and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell believes that the presence of Ponting in their structure will boost the team’s confidence.Maxwell, who was crowned the men’s International T20 Player of the Year at the Australian Cricket Awards in Melbourne, recalled the moment when Ricky Ponting helped them beat New Zealand and record the highest-ever successful T20I run-chase of 245.After being thrashed by the hosts for 243/6, Ponting stormed into the changing room and instilled believe in each player and told them that not only will they chase down the total smoothly but will do so with an over to spare, and to everyone’s surprise, Ponting’s outrageous prediction came true.”It was matter-of-fact – ‘we’re going to chase these runs down, comfortably – not just reach the target, we’re going to chase these runs down with an over to spare’,” Glenn Maxwell was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.advertisement”Our players heard that and went ‘all right, no worries’, and then we looked around at D’Arcy Short, David Warner, Chris Lynn, myself and Aaron Finch – we looked at that top five and went ‘there’s not many better top fives in the world, so let’s go out and do this’.”That’s the sort of confidence that he gave us as a team. Not only by the words he said, but through the conviction with which he said them.”The confidence that he gave the group when he walked into the changeroom was undoubted, and just something different.” Glenn Maxwell believes that the presence of Ricky Ponting in their structure will boost the team’s confidence (Reuters Photo)While Australia’s current form does not make them favourites for the World Cup, Maxwell believes that Ponting’s presence will increase Australia’s chances in the tournament.”He makes you feel like you can walk on water sometimes. He’s a good person for the batters to talk different tactics with because he can read someone’s technique really well. And he’s an unbelievable coach in the way that he coaches technique and the basics of the game,” Maxwell said.”He can spend five minutes with you and work out any flaws and strengths that can slightly help, without changing your game too much. He can even change your mindset with just a conversation because of his amazing ability,” the Australia all rounder added.Maxwell, after missing out on a spot in the Australian Test team during the series against India, was recalled in the Test team, a move which coach Justin Langer backed by saying that the right-hand batsman fills in the lower-middle order as Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey used to to.”When Maxi can come in and put the finishing touches on like he does, for me it’s the perfect position,” Langer said.However, with the World Cup in sight, Maxwell wants to move higher up in the ODI team set-up and deliver for the five-time World Cup winners. Australia begin their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan at Bristol on June 1.”It is limited-overs cricket, and we need our best limited-overs players facing the most amount of balls possible for their impact on the game. I suppose the coaches and the selectors have worked out that my best position is to be lower down to have an impact on the game, and that’s fine. It’s up to them,” Maxwell reiterated.”I’ve always harboured thoughts of being higher up in the order, but I probably haven’t made enough of the opportunities I’ve been given in practice games and in other games to be higher up in the order. So whatever role I’m given in this Australian team, I’ll take it and try and do as well as I can,” Maxwell asserted.Also Read | Shane Warne did not call for Ricky Ponting to be banned from IPL 2019. Here’s the truthAlso Read | 2019 ICC World Cup: Australia will be one of the main contenders, says Ricky PontingAlso Read | Ricky Ponting joins Australia’s coaching staff ahead of 2019 ICC World Cupadvertisement