Fri | Dec 2, 2016

Gonsalves: I never said Jamaica or CARICOM should pay WICB bill

Published:Sunday | November 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:An editorial in The Gleaner dated November 6, 2014, and captioned 'Jamaica won't pay, Mr Gonsalves', has been drawn to my attention.

Unfortunately, the editorial contains many errors of fact. Consequently, jaundiced conclusions were drawn from these factual mistakes. Centrally, it is NOT true that I stated or even suggested that CARICOM governments make any financial contribution towards settling the US$42 million claim the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), arising from the West Indies unilateral cancellation of the recent cricket tour in India.

Indeed, on more than one occasion, I have made it plain publicly that the Consolidated Fund of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines cannot properly bear any charge upon, or a contribution from, it.

My private and public urgings to the WICB and other interested stakeholders in the region and abroad are that CARICOM play a constructive role in resolving a number of challenges facing the WICB, including the US$42 million claim of the BCCI.

My letter to the president of the WICB dated October 23, 2014, which is already in the public domain, contains a framework for possible resolution. Since then, I have been assisting with certain appropriate interventions at home and abroad. I may say more about some of these on another occasion if the circumstances so demand.

The editorial also makes certain assertions about the conduct of senior West Indies cricketers on the recent India tour, which I know to be at variance with the facts. I do not want to add to the polemics and confusion in this regard, but I respectfully suggest that until the editor is apprised of all the facts, restraint ought to be exercised in making unwise and unfair conclusions.

It is interesting to note in the BCCI's letter to the WICB, the blame or responsibility for the tour's cancellation is put squarely at the door of the WICB. To be sure, the WICB may contest that allegation, but this controversy at least alerts dispassionate persons to be careful in coming to conclusions that may be unfounded.

I am, however, grateful that The Gleaner, consonant with its distinguished history and contemporary obligations as a newspaper of record, consider the subject at hand to be worthy of an editorial.

RALPH E. GONSALVES

Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines