WICB fires back! Under-fire board hits out at ‘small groups’; says promises have been kept
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
Regional governing body, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), has once again pushed back on growing calls for its dissolution, claiming yesterday that it had "lived up to its promises" and urging the region to "trust the process".
Referring to "small groups" that were "clamouring for its dissolution", the board, in a statement, defended its stewardship, repeating the argument that it had already implemented 90 per cent of all recommendations from the various commissioned governance reports.
The fact that it had opted not to restructure along the lines suggested by the Patterson Report was not enough reason to justify dissolution, the Dave Cameron-led WICB contended.
Further, the board pointed to the Under-19 team and the senior men's and women's Twenty20 World Cup teams and said their recent success was proof of the board's efficiency.
"In under 100 days since the start of 2016, three teams from the West Indies in two formats won three world titles," the WICB said.
"That accomplishment has come as part of the high-performance programme implemented just over two years ago. That there are small groups clamouring for the board's dissolution is reason to ask. What more could a region want?
"The acceptance of an average of 90 per cent of all the commissioned reports received have been implemented, minus adding another layer of bureaucracy cannot justify calling for the board to be dissolved.
"Instead, the small groups should consider, among other things, promises made by governments to contribute to the growth of cricket by hosting matches or international series; continuing to facilitate development that aids in the growth of the sport; creating a more enabling environment for movement around the region; revitalising cricket in the schools across the region; (and) assisting in the setting up of territorial academies."
The board statement comes one day after several West Indies legends, including Sir Garry Sobers, Sir Wes Hall, Sir Vivian Richards, and Sir Andy Roberts issued a joint statement backing the CARICOM Governance Panel recommendation for the dissolution of the WICB and also calling for the immediate resignation of the board of directors.
Outstanding former players Deryck Murray, Charlie Griffith, and Desmond Haynes were also among the group, which met in Grenada last week to discuss the matter. The legends also met with Grenada's Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell, the chairman of CARICOM's subcommittee on cricket, who has been at forefront of the push for the WICB to be restructured.
The meeting was also attended by current men's T20 captain Darren Sammy, who criticised the board following the final of the T20 World Cup in India earlier this month.
The WICB said that only recently, it took the decision to review all governance reports to determine if there were relevant parts that could still be implemented.
The Patterson Report, authored by former Jamaica Prime Minister PJ Patterson, was produced in 2007, but its main recommendation of a Council of Stakeholders, comprising 23 members, has been ignored by the WICB.
"The one recommendation that has not been favoured by the current, or the previous board, is the adding of another layer to the existing body," the board said.
"That has been the bane of contention in recent times, with a few groups calling for the dissolution of the board."
Despite the heavy criticism it received, the board maintained it had performed well.
"The board, so far, has lived up to its promises, and while that is being done 'let's trust the process'."