Western Grandstand | This ‘untouchable’ WI board must go now

September 17, 2016
Ken Gordon
Jimmy Adams
WICB President Dave Cameron
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Western Bureau:

Despite their being the reigning men's, women's and male Under-19 Twenty20 World Cup cricket champions, I believe West Indies cricket is far from being on a sound footing, especially in terms of its leadership, which appears to be woefully out of sorts.

For most of its tenure, the Dave Cameron-led administration has been like an unmanned boat in choppy waters, bouncing from one crisis to another without any sign to suggest that it will ever settle down and regain the global respect it once had.

From what we have heard them say, it seems some respected CARICOM leaders, former West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) presidents, former and current players, and the public at large, have lost respect for the current board, which they see as an embarrassment to Caribbean people.

When one examines issues such as the role the board played in the 2014 debacle in India, which caused the players to walk off the tour; the mistreatment of players who showed defiance in defending their rights, alongside unprofessional conduct such as Cameron's retweeting uncomplimentary remarks about star batsman Chris Gayle, it is clear that this board does not inspire confidence.

It is against the background of the issues raised above that I fully endorse the recent call by former presidents Ken Gordon and Pat Rousseau, as well as distinguished administrators Anthony Deyal, Charles Wilkin, Bruce Aanensen, and Imran Khan, for CARICOM to conduct a forensic audit of the board to get a clear understanding of the current standing as guardians of the region's cricket.

 

FEEBLE DEFENCE

 

I believe CARICOM should ignore the feeble defence the WICB has offered up in trying to give the impression that the concerns being expressed lack merit. Instead, CARICOM should move quickly and decisively to ascertain the true state of affairs and put measures in place to prevent the 'absolute and total downfall' of the region's cricket, which the former administrators fear.

Based on what appears to be the board's wanton disregard for the concerns being raised about its leadership, I too believe that the current board is operating like an 'untouchable' entity, which is another reason why CARICOM needs to intervene to protect a critical part of our rich Caribbean heritage.

Now is definitely not the time to take a wait-and-se' approach, because, as with the current state of Jamaica's football, which has become the laughing stock of many of the Caribbean countries we once had as beating sticks, failure to act quickly could be to our collective detriment.

Should the WICB try to blunt CARICOM, which seems to be its plan, I believe the Caribbean people should be mobilised to stage protest demonstrations against this board in the various territories. We cannot allow any further damage to our cricket by this board, which does not seem to have the region's best interest at heart.

 

SACRIFICIAL LAMBS

 

For far too long we have allowed players such as Darren Sammy, Darren Bravo and Chris Gayle to become sacrificial lambs for a product we should be defending. Like the aforementioned parties who have spoken up, we need to step out of the shadows and confront this board.

It pains my heart to hear Jimmy Adams, arguably one of the most devoted servants of West Indies cricket, rejecting an invitation to coach the West Indies team. I know it cannot be a case of lack of patriotism so it must be a rejection of the chaotic state of affairs, which just last week gobbled up Adam's former teammate Phil Simmons.

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