13 questions for the WICB
Patrick Rousseau, Guest Columnist
On December 24, 2014, the president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Dave Cameron, commented for the press on the announcement of the new One-Day International (ODI) captain with the words published in your newspaper, " I do not pick the team".
Having given Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy a sour orange as their Christmas gift by excluding them from the ODI team for South Africa, in addition to removing Bravo as captain of the team.
I have the same problem with this as I had with the previous CEO, Dr 'Hilarious', when Chris Gayle was excluded from the team and he hid behind the Selection Committee. There was no attempt by the president at the time to correct the situation. As a member of the Constitutional Committee ably chaired by Mr Alloy Lequay of Trinidad, I am saddened by the fact that the board and management staff seem to pay so little attention to the WICB Constitution in carrying out their duties. I wonder if the board members have even read through the constitution.
No one, whether the president, vice-president, the CEO, the selectors or the board members, either individually or collectively, have the power to exercise any disciplinary action against the players and are obliged to use the process prescribed in the constitution, of referring all matters of player discipline to the Disciplinary Committee appointed by the board.
This process has long existed and is designed to protect the players from any arbitrary action against them for perceived breaches. The case of Mr Bravo is very pertinent because his omission cannot be because he has failed to perform on the field. This can be said of all three players in relation to ODI matches. This is a clear case of discrimination and I can only conclude that the strike in India is the matter they are being disciplined about.
Many questions come to mind over this and other worrying matters around the board. Its lack of respect for the constitution, and it seems to grow worse with each passing month. I would like the president, as chairman of the board and the person responsible, to answer the following questions on he Bravo affair and some other matters related to the constitution:
1 Did he give any instructions or have any conversation with Mr Lloyd as the chairman of the Selection Committee or with any of its members not to select Mr Dwayne Bravo for the ODI games in South Africa?
2 Were any discussions arranged through the CEO on the subject of selection for South Africa for the ODI games?
3 If the answer to 1 and 2 above is in the negative, can he ask Mr Lloyd to explain the basis of the omission?
4 Do you agree that an unsatisfactory answer to questions 1, 2 and 3 above leaves me in a position to, along with the public, conclude that Mr Lloyd does not know the limitations of his authority?
5 In arriving at the unanimous decision, did the board ask if Mr Bravo was considered, and if not, why not? Did you ask Mr Lloyd why not?
6 Why have you not referred any perceived breaches of discipline during the recent Indian tour to the Disciplinary Committee of the board?
7 Is it that the players were justified in their action, as suggested by both Prime Minister Gonzales and Mr Michael Holding, who was present in India at the time of the incident?
8 If none of the issues are referred to the Disciplinary Committee, would you agree that the exclusion of any player from that team without a hearing is discrimination against the player?
9 I am advised that you resigned from your job and you are fully engaged with the WICB, and I ask if you are aware that there is no provision in the constitution for an executive president.
10 If you are currently paid by the board as an executive president, are you aware that those payments are ultra vires because they are not provided for in the constitution and may have to be refunded?
11 What does the board pay you in respect of your duties as chairman and for what you do on behalf of the board?
12 I recently tried to re-read the Lucky Report on the Digicel contract and I found only a part of the report is on the WICB website listed as Part 1; who authorised the removal of Part 2, which criticises the actions of President Griffiths, Roger Brathwaite and Dave Cameron?
13 There was a renewal of the Digicel contract since you became president. Does it contain the same provision requiring the sponsor to pay the sponsorship fee to the Digicel agent, giving him authority to deduct money from that payment before paying the board?
A clarification of the above issues would go a long way to enabling me to decide if President Cameron should do the honourable thing and resign and make way for a new president who does not carry all the Cameron baggage forward with him.
Patrick Rousseau is a former president of the WICB. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.