Mon | Aug 21, 2017

'Indian ruling should trigger change in WI'

Published:Friday | August 14, 2015 | 8:00 AM

ST.JOHN'S, Antigua, CMC:

A ruling by the Supreme Court in India aimed at shaking-up the administration of cricket, there should give fresh momentum to moves for radical changes to the operations of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Charles Wilkins, former chairman of the governance committee for West Indies Cricket has said.

The Supreme Court has suspended two franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for two years over a corruption scandal and had recommended changes to make the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) more transparent.

In an article circulated across the Caribbean, Wilkins has accused WICB administrators of deliberately refusing to introduce the changes needed in the region for personal reasons.

"The same changes are badly needed in this region. The WICB has itself recognised that, but does not like the consequences for its clique of administrators hence has backed away," said Wilkins in his article.

"The verdict of the supreme Court of India should give fresh impetus to the move for change here."

In April, the WICB and Caricom prime ministers said they had agreed to set up a panel comprising eminent Caribbean persons to examine the problem-plagued governance structure of the WICB with the view of "reversing the current negative trends in the sport".

The move represented the latest attempt to arrest a worrying trend of crises in the regional administration of the game.

"The Caricom governments should take note of the verdict. In their usual manner they have been slow to react and have done little of real impact," writes Wilkins.

"They should get serious and revive their efforts to force the badly needed changes. Public agitation to that end should continue".

The Indian Supreme Court has forbidden anyone who has commercial interests in individual IPL teams to also contest BCCI elections, because that could create an obvious conflict of interest.

The court has also appointed a committee that will punish certain team officials who violated IPL rules.

Meantime, Wilkins has accused the top three cricket-playing nations - India, Australia and England - of attempting to "isolate" West Indies and reduce their revenue from cricket.

Wilkins referenced the movie Death of a Gentleman which highlights the hijacking of the game by India, England and Australia as posing a threat to West Indies cricket.

"The West Indies is being isolated despite lip service paid by the big three to our importance to the game," he argued.

"For cooperating with the hijack, WICB were awarded the hosting in this year of the ICC annual meeting. What a grand prize. But India, Australia, and England grabbed for themselves all six international tournaments between 2015 and 2023."