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'No need for political intervention in WI cricket'

Published:Saturday | October 3, 2015 | 10:00 AM

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says there is a need for "modern, sensible management" of West Indies cricket but does not believe regional politicians should intervene in the administration of the game.

The Trinidad and Tobago leader argued that the sport in the Caribbean had been badly managed and said it was "disappointing" to witness the state in which it had now found itself.

Speaking on local radio here, Rowley said he had hoped that last year's aborted tour of India could have led to a watershed moment in the management of West Indies cricket.

"I was kind of hoping that debacle in India would have resulted in the bankruptcy of the West Indies Cricket Board," Rowley said candidly.

"If the Indians had pressed for their [US$] 42 million and the West Indies Cricket Board couldn't pay it, they go bankrupt and get out of business and then something else emerges as modern sensible management of this resource, this cultural iconic part of our existence that is West Indies cricket."

He continued: "It is really disappointing to see how we as West Indians have taken the best legacy that has been bequeathed to us and just ruined it by general misconduct."

Rowley was weighing in on the latest controversy to hit West Indies cricket, where head coach Phil Simmons was suspended for questioning the integrity of the selection process, regarding the one-day team for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.

'interference from outside'

Simmons claimed there had been "interference from outside" behind the continued non-selection of Trinidadian all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard.

However, Rowley said despite the state of the game regionally, he did not think political intervention would be warmly received.

"If politicians set about to do that, politics always has a number of sides, there's no one side in politics. If any politician or political party or any government set about to do that, the reaction will be 'what are you doing in this? This is not politics.' You now become part of the problem," Rowley pointed out.

"But we did play a role, the involvement of CARICOM through the Patterson Report. What more can we do? And we don't want any more political involvement than that because if you get further involved, there's going to be a push back against the political involvement."

Rowley said it was now ironic that Simmons was now set to answer to a West Indies Cricket Board panel over his comments, when the board itself was also guilty of glaring mistakes in the past.