Legends demand dissolution of WICB
ST GEORGE'S, Grenada (CMC):
West Indies cricket legends are demanding the "immediate resignation" of the Dave Cameron-led West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), in line with the recommendations of the WICB/Caricom Governance Review Panel.
The legends are also insisting on the establishment of an interim board and the creation of a new structure to replace the WICB and manage the regional game.
In a statement released after a meeting in Grenada, the legends have called for the WICB to honour a promise that it made to accept the recommendations of the WICB/Caricom Governance Review Panel.
WICB had given a commitment to implement the recommendations during a meeting with the legends and Caricom chairman, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, in Grenada year ago, but has since been accused of reneging.
"We, the Legends call on the WICB to honour its solemn promise to Caribbean prime ministers in April 2015 to accept and implement the recommendations of the WICB/CARICOM Governance Review Panel - the immediate resignation of current directors, the establishment of an interim board and the design of a new board structure," the legends said in a statement released late Monday.
Legends participating in the meeting at the Spice Island Beach Resort last Thursday were Sir Gary Sobers, Sir Wes Hall, Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Andy Roberts, Deryck Murray, Charlie Griffith, Desmond Haynes, as well as former West Indies players Dinanath Ramnarine and Roger Harper.
West Indies men's T20 captain, Darren Sammy and sports psychologist, Dr Rudy Webster, also attended.
The legends' statement also called on Caricom to appoint an independent auditor to carry out a detailed forensic audit of the board and requested that sponsors of West Indies cricket make good governance a condition for financial support.
"Continual backing of an inefficient board and an out-of-date structure will result in irreparable damage to West Indies cricket," said the statement.
During their meeting in Grenada, the legends also held discussions with Prime Minister Mitchell, chairman of Caricom's subcommittee of Cricket Governance.
"We are satisfied that Caricom has no intention of engaging in the day-to-day management of West Indies cricket. Caricom's aim is to help create a structure and an enabling environment in which West Indies cricket can develop and flourish," the statement pointed out.
"During the last two decades, many different presidents and CEOs have led the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), and yet, its performance has declined steadily with each passing year. The board is an oligarchic structure that considers itself answerable to no one but itself."
The statement from the former West Indies cricketers pointed to structural reforms to the Australian, New Zealand, India and England and Wales cricket boards, while accusing the WICB of resisting "all recommendations for structural change".
"In recent years, it has rejected the proposals of the Lucky, Patterson and Wilkin Committees," the legends said.
"And a few months ago, it did the same thing to the recommendations of the WICB/Caricom Committee."
The legends' statement also said: "We believe that revival of West Indies cricket will only happen when the Board undergoes structural adjustment and when it improves the quality of its communication and leadership and upgrades the management of key relationships."
Pressure has been mounting on Cameron's WICB to step down after Sammy's emotional criticism of the board minutes after the regional side regained the T20 World Cup in India recently.
The legends, who led a dominant era when West Indies were world beaters, said they are bent on protecting their rich legacy.
"Throughout our history, West Indies teams and West Indies players have had great triumphs. We are very proud of our legacy," the statement said.
"We cannot now in good conscience stand idly by and watch everything that we fought so hard to build and achieve disappear right before our eyes because of the actions of inept board members and an incompetent board."