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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.

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(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:

CHAIRPERSON:

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.)

MEMBERS:

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

 

 

West Indian cricketers flourish while administration languishes


While the Supreme Court continues to flay the BCCI and its associate members for dragging their feet on the Lodha Panel reforms, it has gone quiet on the Western front specifically the CARICOM coast.

It’s been a time of jubilation and turmoil for West Indian cricket.

The Calypso swingers under Darren Sammy uncorked an unprecedented second T20 World Cup win in astounding fashion with Carlos Brathwaite proving an unlikely hero. Their women’s team had the very same afternoon clinched their first ever World Cup in any form of the game.

Sammy , ever the team champion, utilized the occasion to roundly castigate the West Indian Cricket Board (WICB) for its step-motherly treatment of the players.

He said:

“We started this journey … we all know we had … people were wondering whether we would play this tournament. We had a lot of issues, we felt disrespected by our board, Mark Nicholas described our team as a team with no brains. All these things before the tournament just brought this team together.”

The WICB President David Cameron was quick to respond.

In a statement purportedly praising the World T20 organisers India and Bangladesh, Cameron said:

“The President would like to however apologise for what could be deemed inappropriate comments made by the West Indies’ male captain, Darren Sammy, in a post-match interview and would like to apologise on behalf of the WICB to the millions of fans who witnessed. The President has pledged to enquire the reason and will have the matter addressed.”

He had earlier tweeted:

The ICC would later join the WICB in reprimanding Darren Sammy and his teammates for their comments that were “”inappropriate, disrespectful and [bringing] the event into disrepute.”

The ICC press release read:

“The board considered the behaviour of some of the West Indies players in the immediate aftermath of the final, and unanimously agreed that certain comments and actions were inappropriate, disrespectful and brought the event into disrepute.

This was not acceptable conduct at ICC events played out on a world stage in front of millions of people around the globe.

The board acknowledged an apology by the WICB but was disappointed to note that such behaviour had detracted from the success of what was otherwise a magnificent tournament and final.”

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Flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The gloss of the glorious treble of the U-19 World Cup, Women and Men’s T20 triumphs was wearing off quickly.

It wasn’t all rocky ground for West Indian cricket.

The newly minted BCCI and ICC head Shashank Manohar has been in an expansive mood notwithstanding the BCCI’s travails in the Supreme Court.

The Vidarbha lawyer first stated that he’s not in agreement with the ICC revenue-sharing formula wherein the Big Three—India, England and Australia—share the spoils and the leftovers distributed among the rest of the members.

Then the BCCI announced that bilateral ties between India and the West Indies would resume later this year. The cash-rich Indian body waived a $42 million damages claim against the abandoned 2014 tour. The West Indian cricketers flew home after the WIPA and WICB failed to resolve a long-standing pay dispute.

Late last year, the CARICOM cricket review panel suggested an immediate dissolution of the WICB. The panel was constituted by the Prime Ministerial Committee on the Governance of West Indies Cricket as a response to the crisis created by the damages slapped  on the WICB following the pull-out from the India tour.

The panel recommended formation of an interim board to install a fresh governance framework with the assistance of a change management expert.

The WICB rejected the report and its findings unilaterally claiming that none of the members of the board were consulted by the panel members.

Legends of the game were not so forgiving. Coming together under the banner Cricket Legends, Garry Sobers, Viv Richards, Wes Hall,  Andy Roberts and others met with Grenada premier Keith Mitchell, chairman of the Prime Ministerial Committee on the Governance of West Indies Cricket and sought the WICB’s termination.

That’s how the matter rests for now.

The following column will pore over specific recommendations from the panel and the WICB’s reasons for rejecting their proposals.

Dwayne Bravo: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


English: Dwayne Bravo at KFC Twenty20 BigBash ...

English: Dwayne Bravo at KFC Twenty20 BigBash – WA v VIC, 10 January 2010, WACA Ground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dwayne Bravo states his case to the West Indies Players Association (WIPA).

What he said:

“We believe we are being hoodwinked and are being treated like little school boys, yet we are being asked perform and play against professionals.”

Current Windies team skipper, Dwayne Bravo, makes no bones about his displeasure with the new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) whereby Test/ODI/T20 fees have reduced by 75%.

The West Indians are in India to take part in a five match ODI series. The players are considering striking in protest against the agreement signed by WIPA President Wavell Hinds with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) without player inputs.

In a letter addressed to Hinds on his squad’s behalf, Bravo outlined the disputed items as follows:

1) Our Test/ODI/T20 fees have been decreased by 75%.
2) No compensation for the use of our rights. That has been decreased by 100%.
3) Our ICC fees have been decreased by close to 100%.

He further requested Hinds to question the WICB on the following points:

1) Have the WICB Board members and staff taken a pay cut as we are being asked to do or at all. Our information is that staff have been increased both in numbers and their salaries.
2) Have the WICB declared their million dollar television deal
3) Have the WICB declared how much they are being paid extra for the matches outside of the FTP like this India tour.
4) Have the WICB declared what they are getting from the sale of CPL to Digicel our most lucrative tournament.
5) Have the WICB declared what they are getting from Digicel as the team sponsor.
6) Have they declared their financial arrangements with Governments for the international and regional home series.

What Dwayne Bravo really meant:

“The players draw in the crowds and the WICB profits from their efforts. Why are we being treated like errant schoolboys without any say or input into how West Indian cricket is  to be run or administered? Are we clueless or numbskulls or simply freaks who entertain?”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Let’s discuss this over drinks during the first ODI at Kochi on the 8th.”

Chris Gayle’s travails highlight ‘club vs country’ debate once more


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

What will Chris Gayle do? What can he do?

The West Indian bat is not forgiven by the West Indian Cricket Board (WICB).

“It’s our way or the highway” was the message to the Jamaican all-rounder in the latest meet between representatives of the WICB and the West Indian Players Association (WIPA) called to resolve the differences between Chris Gayle and WICB.

The aggrieved board insists that Gayle retract his statements,critical of the board’s functioning specifically about mishandling his injury and his turning out for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the  IPL.

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Random thoughts on the IPL, Chris Gayle and Saurav Ganguly


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

Random thoughts on cricketing happenings last week:

The Sri Lanka Premier League, in my opinion, has a couple of advantages over the IPL.

  • It will have just seven teams.
  • It will last only 18 days.

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Cricket Diary : Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Hashan Tillakaratne and ‘Dada’ Saurav Ganguly


2nd May, 2011

Shivnarine Chanderpaul continues to raise a ruckus about his axing from the West Indian side.

In a second letter to West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Ernest Hilaire, the batsman questions his dropping for the Pakistan tour of West Indies.

Hilaire had squarely blamed the West Indies Player Association (WIPA) for Chanderpaul’s outburst in his response to his earlier missive.

The Guyanese was quick to respond saying:

“I may not be Dr. Chanderpaul, but I have been a top-ranked international batsman and we have to be able to think critically under the most intense and stressful situations.

It is therefore distressing that you blame WIPA by implication, if not overtly, for my letter saying that WIPA was offering me "ill advice". You may not be aware but I have faced the best bowlers in the world in my career and I know how to counter-attack. Furthermore, I am my own man and would ask that you respect that!"

The West Indian bat raised issues on the mishandling of injuries by the administrative body.

Coming on the back of a controversial decision by Chris Gayle to play the IPL rather than represent the band of nations that is the West Indies, the episode paints a sorry picture of the state of Caribbean  cricket.

Chanderpaul may no longer  be a sprightly young man but he should be allowed to decided when to quit the game.

Chanderpaul rarely courted scandal in his distinguished career but the lackadaisical attitude of the powers-that-be raised his hackles.

This man will not go quietly into the night. 

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Weekend Cricket Diary: Chanderpaul,Pataudi and the IPL


Flag of the West Indies Cricket Board

29th April, 2011:

WICB chief Ernest Hilaire’s comments about the West Indian team hit a raw nerve—Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s.

When he termed the West Indian cricketers of the past 15 years as lacking application and discipline, he overlooked the chip on Chanderpaul’s shoulder.

The Guyanese bat of Indian origin who uncomplainingly carried Windies hopes, oft receiving less than his share of glory—overshadowed first by Brian Lara and later Chris Gayle—, came out strongly in a letter addressed to Hilaire .

Questioning the use of ‘we’ in his interview, the Guyanese asked him, “Are you speaking for yourself, albeit as CEO of the West Indies Cricket Board or are you speaking for and on behalf of the West Indies Cricket Board itself?”

Chanderpaul threatened to take whatever action necessary to safeguard his reputation.

The boot is truly on the other foot.

Continue reading

What they said and what they definitely didn’t mean: Ray Jennings


What he said:

“What he’s produced tonight scares the hell out of me and hopefully will scare others going forward.”

RCB Coach Ray Jennings on Chris Gayle’s extraordinary opening act in this year’s IPL.

What he meant:

“If this is how he (Gayle) plays jet-lagged and after a scrap with the WICB, I wish he’d have them (scraps) every day.”

What he definitely didn’t:

Scary Movie X, here come Gayle and RCB as starring cast.”

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