'An act of final betrayal' - Patterson says players' walkout a collapse of governance
KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC):
Former Jamaica Prime Minister PJ Patterson has described West Indies' walkout of the India tour as "humiliation" and says it has exposed "a total collapse of a governance system" in the administration of the game by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
Patterson was reacting to the decision of the Windies one-day team to abort their tour of India over a contract and pay dispute with the West Indies Players' Association.
However, Patterson said much of the blame resided with the WICB as it had failed to engage the reform needed to streamline its governance of the game.
"It reflects a total collapse of a governance system and that has contributed to my hurt because when I was asked to look at the structure of governance of West Indies cricket, we made some far-reaching recommendations," Patterson told TVJ Sports. "And had they been implemented, they would have been spared much of the hurt and agony which we are now experiencing because the management for the way forward required them and even more so, a skill set that begins with the board, the constituent elements and must, of course, the players themselves."
Patterson was one of three eminent persons - including Sir Alister McIntyre and Dr Ian McDonald - commissioned by the WICB to examine the structure of West Indies cricket.
Among the 65 recommendations in the 138-page report delivered seven years ago, was a restructuring of the board to reflect a reduction in the number of directors and a widening of stakeholder involvement. This is yet to be implemented.
Patterson said the situation in India had been upsetting.
"I regard what has happened in India as an act of final humiliation, not only for West Indies cricket, but a betrayal of the West Indies cricket and it has left me with a deep feeling of hurt and anger," Patterson said.
With Grenada's Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell offering to intervene in the impasse, Patterson said he hoped all the relevant parties would take on board this proposition.
"I hope they will avail themselves of what he has to offer. I also note that a task force has been established to investigate what went wrong and I would rather await the report of that task force before engaging in any further comment."