caribbean community

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Caricom Cricket Review Panel lays down the law for WICB reform

English: A map of the former West Indies Feder...

A map of the former West Indies Federation. Map of CARICOM member States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) consists of 15 Caribbean nations and their dependencies.

Caricom’s main purpose is to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy. It is also a regional single market for most of its members.


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The West Indies Cricket Board has six member associations:

Barbados Cricket Association (BCA)

Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)

Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA)

Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB)

Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA), itself composed of:

Anguilla Cricket Association

Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association

British Virgin Islands Cricket Association

Montserrat Cricket Association

Nevis Cricket Association (for the island of Nevis alone)

St. Kitts Cricket Association (for the island of St. Kitts alone)

St. Maarten Cricket Association

United States Virgin Islands Cricket Association

Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control (WICBC), itself composed of:

Dominica Cricket Association
Grenada Cricket Association
St. Lucia Cricket Association
St. Vincent & the Grenadines Cricket Association


The Caricom Cricket Review Panel was constituted by the Prime Ministerial Committee on the Governance of West Indies Cricket.

The members were:


Prof. Eudine Barriteau, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal, The University of the West Indies.

(Cricket Studies is an academic discipline internationally and in the Caribbean, at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.)


Rt. Hon. Sir Dennis Byron, President, Caribbean Court of Justice.
Dr. Warren Smith, President, Caribbean Development Bank.

Mr. Deryck Murray, West Indies Cricket Legend.

Mr. Dwain Gill, President, Grenada Cricket Association.

The West Indian Cricket Board (WICB) publishes its Vision as:

To establish and sustain West Indies cricket as the sporting symbol of the West Indies, and the West Indies team as the dominant team in international cricket.

and its Mission is:

To develop and promote West Indies cricket for the benefit and enjoyment of the West Indian people, its clients and other stakeholders by procuring a consistently high-quality, successful and international West Indian product.

The Caricom Cricket Review panel criticises the existing governance structure of the WICB which focuses solely on the shareholders in the body namely the six territorial boards and the WICB itself.

Other stakeholders such as “several Caribbean governments who finance the construction and maintenance of the stadia where the game is played; several important industries such as tourism, aviation and food and beverages; former players, some of whom constitute an elite group of exemplary ambassadors of the game known as the Legends and the current players, both women and men, and their representative organization, the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) constitute another key group of stakeholders and finally, the Caribbean public” have been either side-lined or completely ignored.

West Indies cricket is a public good.

Interestingly, the panel states that “it has no issues with the individuals who occupy the leadership and composition of the WICB or the territorial Boards” and then commences an unbridled assault on the current Board and its state of affairs. The above statement appears redundant. Why make such a statement? The Cricket Review Panel was formed to investigate the current workings of the existing system and recommend reforms that would help better the state of Windies cricket. Why even bother to try and mollify the current incumbents?

The panel also terms the current governance structure “obsolete”.

It  then recommends the dissolution of the WICB and the appointment of an interim board.

Panel members  cite the precedent of an interim board appointed by the Sri Lankan government to run matters. What has been conveniently omitted is the fact that Sri Lankan cricket has often been run by government-appointed interim committees one of which left the Board financially crippled after the co-hosting of the 2011 ODI World Cup.

The antecedent, one hopes, only pertains to the feasibility of such an imposition and not mismanagement by the interim board.

The panel then points out the lowly ranking of men’s and women’s cricket teams to justify their indictment of the WICB’s bad governance.

The men’s team failed to qualify for the 2017 Champions’ Trophy, the first time in West Indian cricketing history that the side will not be participating in a World tournament.  Other reasons listed are the team’s Test ranking—sliding to number eight, recent abandoning of the Indian tour, suspension of coach Phil Simmons following his stated despair about not being able to field the best eleven for the tour of Sri Lanka, West Indies Players Association (WIPA) not being fully representative of players and reduction of home Test series to just two-or-three games.

Other concerns expressed are the unhappy state of women’s cricket, whether a private company structure can deliver a public good, universal concern in the traditional and online media about the state of governance, absence of vision and lack of accountability.

The panel draws upon recommendations from past governance reports specifically the Wilkins and Patterson ones to propose a new structure.

The new structure will comprise five board/management committee/directors handling the following functional areas:

  • Cricket
  • Human Resources
  • Governance
  • Audit
  • Nominations

The emphasis is to be on professional competencies over territorial considerations.

The number of Board members is to be reduced to just nine.

One Board Member will specifically represent Women’s Cricket.

A head-hunting firm will oversee the selection process which will review candidates chosen by the Nominations Council.

The Caribbean Development Bank must be asked to fund “a team of consultants to define the process and regulatory framework for a transformed Board’s management structure, governance arrangements and shareholding in a new dispensation.”

The six territorial boards must be incorporated under similar rules or criteria.

The Change Management expert will ensure the Board members are distinct from executive management personnel while forming the Interim Board.

Women’s cricket should be addressed in the vision statement of the Board.

The Board must develop “specific marketing and sponsorship strategies to popularize the game, especially with families and young girls and to promote the star female players as mentors and role models, as well as to enhance their commercial value to sponsors.”

Appendix III lists the names of interviewed persons as:

  • Dr. the Rt. Honorable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada and Chairman of the Cricket Governance Committee
  • Dr. the Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves, Prime Minister of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  •  Mr. Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron, President, West Indies Cricket Board
  •  Mr. James Sutherland, Chief Executive Officer, Cricket Australia
  •  Mr. Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, England and Wales Cricket Board
  •  Mr. Michael Muirhead, Chief Executive Officer, West Indies Cricket Board
  •  Mr. Roland Holder, Manager, Cricket Operations, West Indies Cricket Board
  •  West Indies Cricket Legends:
    – Sir Wesley Hall
    – Mr. Lancelot Gibbs
    – Mr. Michael Holding
    – Mr. Alvin Kallicharran
  •  Mr. Wavell Hinds, President and CEO, West Indies Players Association
  •  Ms. Ann Browne-John, Cricket Administrator and Former West Indies Women’s Cricketer
  •  Mr. Winfield Griffith, Director of Research and Information Technology, Caribbean Tourism Organisation



Chris Gayle, Indian cricket team and Anirudha Srikkanth

Chris Gayle on the field at the Telstra Dome d...
Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle, Chris Gayle, Chris Gayle.

It’s all about the West Indian opening bat.

Will he ever play for the Windies again?

The solution to this riddle may lie with Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The heads of government opted to resurrect the prime ministerial sub-committee on cricket to resolve the dispute.

For uninterested outsiders, it becomes harder and harder to sympathise with the Jamaican player. Not because the decision taken by the West Indian Cricket Board is fair, but because it seems he’s crying himself hoarse despite being richer to the tune of $265,000 plus his RCB fee of $400,000. Being a free agent has its perks when you’re Chris Gayle.

Dr. Ernest Hilaire and Dinanath Ramnarine are the other high-profile faces of the warring sides in this drama. The man in the centre of the storm is Ottis Gibson, the West Indian coach.

Gibson is a former player from Barbados who played a couple of Tests snaring three big wickets in Alec Stewart, Darren Gough and Jacques Kallis. Gayle appears to have more than a few issues with the current coach, a common thread repeated by Shivnarine Chanderpaul among others. A resolution to the crisis can only happen if Gibson is shown the door. Every predicament has a scapegoat.

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