Western Grandstand : WICB is truly ‘dysfunctional and untrustworthy’

November 19, 2016
West Indies Cricket Board president Dave Cameron (right) meeting with players Kieron Pollard (left) and Dwayne Bravo (second from left), and West Indies Players Association president Wavell Hinds during a symposium in Florida in August 2016.
Michael Holding
Darren Bravo
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Western Bureau:

Within recent years, the management of West Indies cricket has become an embarrassment to the Caribbean people as it skips from one crisis to another, especially with regard to the acrimonious relationship between the players and the board.

In looking at some of the recent situations that have been played out publicly, to include the controversial firing of coaches and the banishment of star players, the one recurring decimal seems to be West Indies Cricket Board, which has all but become totally unresponsive to the wishes of the people of the region.

It is no secret that the vast majority of the current players, many influential leaders within CARICOM, and many of our most respected legends have absolutely no respect for the board, which seems to have a penchant for controversy and badly wants to see the back of president Dave Cameron and his crew.

 

GREAT OPPORTUNITY

 

After the ill-fated 2014 tour of India, the board got a fantastic opportunity to fix the region's cricket woes after CARICOM intervened and created a platform to mend the sour relationship between the players and the board. However, instead of extending a hand of reconciliation, the board took a vindictive stance against some of the top players.

Normally, when a worker publicly trashes management, I would be the first to brand such action as rude and inappropriate. However, based on the attitude of the top leadership of West Indies cricket, I found it difficult not to agree with Dwayne Bravo when he declared in April of this year that "we have the most unprofessional board in the world".

Additionally, based on the above and the undiplomatic manner in which president Cameron handles some of the contentious issues, I would also not have a problem with Bravo's characterisation of him as ''arrogant'' and 'small-minded.'

It is my view that if we are still able to be triple champions - male, female, and Under-19 male - in Twenty20 cricket with the many and varied distractions that now exist, with a stable environment and happy players, we could well be challenging for a top-contender place in both Test cricket and One Day Internationals.

The recent episodes with former coach Phil Simmons being fired on the eve of the start of the current Tri-Series featuring the West Indies, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe, and the sending home of Darren Bravo for the disparaging remarks he made against Cameron are clear examples of the ongoing turmoil in our cricket.

Since it is now clear that despite the best efforts of CARICOM to get the West Indies Cricket Board to move away from its current self-destructive path, I believe the time has come for the region's fans to step out and confront the board. It would be an insult to the region's dignity if we continued to stand by idly and allow the total destruction of our cricket and its wonderful legacy.

The Caribbean people have never been known to be shy about making their feelings known, so I am using the opportunity to call on the various territories to start agitating for an end to the current madness. We need to say in no uncertain manner that the board must resign and make way for more constructive leadership.

As our great fast-bowling legend Michael Holding rightly said in December 2015, the current board has become, '"dysfunctional" and "untrustworthy," which clearly means that our cricket is not in good hands and needs to be rescued urgently.

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