WICB needs drastic overhaul
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Dr Ralph Gonsalves does not need me to defend him, but your editorial of February 2, 2015, titled 'Dr Gonsalves' crusade' contained inaccuracies that I feel obliged to correct. Dr Gonsalves did not blame only Dave Cameron, but he pointed out that both the president and the players were at fault. Hence the undertaking extracted by Prime Minister Keith Mitchell and Dr Gonsalves from Mr Cameron that there would be no discrimination against the players. This was not honoured by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and led to the reaction from Prime Minister Gonsalves.
No contract was presented by the WICB to the players for signature, and this is the sole responsibility of the WICB and has been so from time immemorial. Worse, and I invite Mr Cameron to comment on my information, the MOU was agreed between the two presidents, Cameron and Wavell Hinds, and signed two weeks or more before the players left for India. Why the delay in presenting the MOU to the players? Were they expecting the bad reaction they got and never anticipated strike action in the circumstances?
Having been confronted with a similar problem in my term of office at the WICB, I quickly moved with the full support of my board to resolve the dispute by travelling to London to meet with the team, although in our case, we had right on our side.
That right is of no consequence when facing the substantial damages that can arise with a cancelled tour, in the world of cricket today, when you are the party in default. We have actually no defence against the Indian claim and end up as mendicants on bended knee.
There can be no justification on the players' part for their reaction and behaviour while on tour, but did they cancel the tour or was it the WICB who cancelled the tour? I am amazed that the players were sent on tour without signing a contract. Perhaps the CEO of the WICB can explain the circumstances.
The relations today, especially with the conflicting Twenty/20 tournaments and the demands of professional cricket, should make it mandatory, as it was in the past, for contracts to be signed before the players depart for a tour. The contract governs the relationship between the WICB and the players.
The WICB needs drastic restructuring. There are two reports commissioned by the board of the WICB. Very little has been done to effect changes. The WICB cannot, in its present form, effectively manage West Indies cricket. This is the conclusion by two reports not produced by politicians. Our cricket can only develop if the reforms take place. This should be our major objective.
Former WICB President