The WI board, an entity out of control


October 03, 2015
Dwayne Bravo (left) and Kieron Pollard.

The WI board, an entity out of control

After driving a dagger through the heart of West Indies cricket when it basically created the situation that caused the West Indies players to abandon their 2014 tour of India, it would appear that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is on a path to wreak more havoc.

Contrary to their public impression that they were serious about revitalising the region's cricket when they employed respected coach Phil Simmons to take charge of the team, the WICB seems unwilling to give the coach a free hand to do the job he has signed on for.

In what appears to a clear case of a vendetta hangover stemming from the ill-fated Indian tour, the WICB seems to want Simmons to buy into their sleight of hand attempt to wreck the international careers of players like Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard among other senior players.

As an intelligent man, Simmons surely could not willingly accept a situation where he is offered the job as West Indies coach and then willingly allow the WICB to handcuff him in terms of not offering him the best players to select from. Therefore, his public outburst did not surprise me.

I believe it is wrong for the board to, without officially acknowledging it, be seeking to penalise the players in a manner designed to hoodwink the Caribbean people since they allowed Simmons to actually hold discussions with the players in the belief that they were up for selection.

In fact, I think it is a colossal shame that for reasons, which we know, but the board refuses to acknowledge, even a respected individual like the legendary former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd was probably left with egg on his face as he too was apparently misled into believing the players were up for selection.

With news coming through that Jason Holder, the new captain of the West Indies team, had expressed an interest in having the likes of Bravo and Pollard in the team, I just hope that he will not be the next victim of the 'backra master-style' tactics, which the West Indies Board seemed to have perfected in recent years.

As I have stated repeatedly in this column, I believe the West Indies board was entirely at fault for what unfolded in India. Firstly, they allowed the players to leave the region without having signed contracts, which to me was the root of the problem.

To make the situation worse, when the players became agitated and called for the intervention of the board after they became uncomfortable with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) making important decisions behind their back, the board refused to budge, leaving the players with no choice but to take matters into their own hands.

Within recent years, I have been calling on the leaders of CARICOM to take steps to arrest the inept running of the region's cricket, but except for one or two leaders, there is an uncomfortable silence, which is clearly not good if we are to fix the lingering problems, which has been undermining West Indies cricket.

As things are at this time, I am particularly disappointed with the government of Trinidad & Tobago, whose players are suffering the most from the hangover bitterness from India. I believe the time has come for them to demand that the West Indies Board either officially ban Bravo and Pollard or free them up to play because what is happening is disgraceful.

I am now more concerned than ever about WIPA, which is supposed to be representing the interest of the West Indies players, but has apparently not been doing a good job of it. It would appear that WIPA has become an ally of the board, creating a kind of unholy alliance, which is likely to be more destructive than constructive.


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