Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Beckles urges WICB to implement Patterson Report reform

Published:Thursday | April 7, 2016 | 4:00 AM
File Beckles

Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, has urged the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to implement the most crucial reform aspect of the Patterson Report.

Telling the WICB president Dave Cameron that reform was the "duty of his generation", Sir Hilary pointed to Carlos Brathwaite's heroics of four sixes off the first four balls of the final over in the men's final which fired West Indies to victory over England and stressed that it was now left to the regional governing body to complete the process.

"All that is now required is for the WICB, president and directors, to complete the over," Sir Hilary said in a letter to media.

"There are two balls left to face, one is to accept the governance reform that calls for the Council of Stakeholders as set out in the Patterson Report, and the other is to recognise that by accepting the governance interdependence of cricket and society is not to lose autonomy.

"The players have done their job on the field. It is now for the president, whose heart resides in cricket as much as any one of us, to do his and lead his board boldly into the rest of the decade with public support and popular legitimacy."

The Patterson Report, commissioned by the WICB and authored by former Jamaica Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, was produced in 2007, but its main recommendations have been ignored by the WICB.

Among these proposals are the implementation of a Council of Stakeholders, comprising 23 members and, according to the Report, "representative of a wide cross section of stakeholders and will determine policies and strategies and provide guidance for the development of West Indies cricket".

This council would appoint the president, vice-president and the executive directors.

West Indies cricket is being destroyed by "internal conflict and acrimony.

"Without this reform, West Indies runs the risk of being razed to the ground by internal conflict and acrimony," he pointed out.

"The golden monument we have all built as a tribute to our cultural tenacity and collective wisdom must come first. This is your task, Mr President. It's a duty of your generation."

Noticeably, Sir Hilary made no reference to the most recent Caricom-commissioned Governance Report, which last year called for the "immediate dissolution" of the WICB.

Speaking last November after the report was made public, Sir Hilary said he believed institutions like UWI and the WICB needed to be "preserved for posterity", but also adapt to changing times.

- CMC