FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CMC):
Dr Ernest Hilaire, the outspoken and often controversial chief executive officer (CEO) of West Indies cricket, is leaving the job.
Sources close to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) reported that Hilaire will be leaving the WICB to take up a diplomatic posting in London in September.
He is to be St Lucia's new ambassador in London, under appointment by the recently elected St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government headed by Dr Kenny Anthony.
CMC Sports understands Hilaire has already informed his board of directors of his intention not to renew his contract.
The WICB has since moved swiftly to open the recruitment process and is already advertising across the region to fill the position.
A prominent strategist and influential member of the SLP, Hilaire had taken leave from his WICB post to join the campaign trail in St Lucia late last year before the Kenny Anthony administration was returned to office last November.
Hilaire and current WICB president, Julian Hunte, were also closely involved in St Lucia elections in 2006, when Hunte was a losing candidate and Hilaire his campaign manager.
Hilaire, who holds a doctorate from the London School of Economics and degrees from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Cambridge, took over as CEO of the WICB in September 2009 in place of Donald Peters.
His tenure has been regarded as turbulent in several quarters, involving public spats with former West Indies Players Association (WIPA) chief, Dinanath Ramnarine, and contentious handling of issues with senior players, most notably Chris Gayle and Jerome Taylor.
News of Hilaire's pending career switch also coincides with new rules being pushed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as it seeks to globally suppress the appearance of political interference in the administration of the game.
The ICC advised members that the appointment of politicians to their boards would be prohibited from its June 2012 meeting with another year before sanctions were applied.
This, according to insiders, is also a development that could influence personal future decisions by the current WICB president.