SOS for WI cricket
The Gleaner and the Jamaica Observer have in editorials expressed great concern at the state of West Indies cricket and have stated that the irresponsible behaviour of our cricketers in India has brought shame and scandal to West Indies cricket - once the kings of world cricket.
What have we seen so far?
n A group of cricketers on an official tour in India abandoning the tour without notice and creating great embarrassment to the WICB with the legacy of the Indian cricket board issuing a claim of many millions of dollars for losses from the abandoned tour.
n A spineless and morally bankrupt West Indies Cricket Board, which has not accepted responsibility for the disaster. A recent statement by the president that he did not pick the new West Indian captain.
n Some of the same Indian tour renegades are being allowed to continue to play cricket for the West Indies.
n A commissioned report blames three groups - the WICB, the player's union and the players. Who could take such a report seriously?
n Some of the renegades are accusing the board of victimisation.
Enough is enough. The time is long past for decisive action to protect the name of the West Indies people and the credibility of West Indies cricket. The Caribbean prime ministers should use their influence to intervene. They should urge the territorial boards to act decisively and collectively as follows
1. The West Indies Cricket Board should be fired immediately.
2. The players who defaulted on their responsibility of being Caribbean ambassadors should be barred from being considered for any West Indies team for a period of two years. (I had initially considered them being banned for life.) Some, I believe, are still playing for the West Indies and the behaviour and recommendations of former test captain Clive Lloyd is very reprehensible.
3. Funds due to these renegades should be forfeited and sent to the Indian cricket board as an initial down payment against the bill sent by India.
4. The prime ministers should take immediate steps to appoint and secure funding for an administrative board for an initial two-year period. I am proposing the following structure:
n Chairman: Sir Vivian Richards
n Representative from Barbados
n Representative from Guyana
n Representative from Jamaica
n Representative from the Leeward Islands
n Representative from Trinidad and Tobago
n Representative from the Windward Islands
n Representative from women's cricket and;
n Secretary: Tony Becca, Jamaican writer.
Representatives who are chosen should agree to a set of principles which would address professionalism, integrity and loyalty, among other virtues.
5. The new board should be set up immediately and plan to have its first meeting in mid January in Barbados (the most central of the territories.)
The issues are urgent and critical to the future integrity of West Indies cricket. I further recommend that the two major Jamaican newspapers work jointly on this critical Caribbean issue and seek, in their collaboration, to enlist other Caribbean media in the battle for the survival of the integrity of West Indies cricket.
n Alfred Sangster is President Emeritus for the University of Technology Jamaica. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org