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Umpires seek dialogue with WICB

Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2010 | 12:00 AM


UMPIRES IN the Caribbean are the latest constituents bemoaning their relationship with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

The West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA) has forwarded a long list of outstanding issues it has been trying to resolve with the sport's regional governing body over the last two years.

The WICUA, whose president is Steve Bucknor, the former highly decorated ICC elite umpire from Jamaica, has highlighted the grievances to Ernest Hilaire, the new chief executive officer of the WICB, in a communiqué, a copy of which CMC was able to obtain.

"The WICUA is hugely disappointed that a number of attempts just to hold a meeting with the WICB since 2008, when Donald Peters was CEO, have failed," said a WICUA source.

"It seems that every other area is being given priority over the affairs of the umpires. The umpires are a paramount part of cricket and should be shown the same level of respect that the players and others have been given."

The umpires are hoping that Hilaire keeps his promise and a proposed meeting in Jamaica between the two sides in the week prior to the annual general meeting of the WICB in Kingston takes place.

"The umpires are hoping that Hilaire sticks to his word," said the WICUA source. "The umpires are really disappointed that this meeting keeps being pushed back.

"This has been on the table for over two years now and there is a high level of frustration. The umpires are beginning to wonder if the WICB takes them seriously, since they have made no serious attempt to get this meeting to happen."

Lack of communication

The lack of communication between the WICUA and WICB has already led to a withdrawal of services a few years ago.

"Things have not reached such a critical stage yet, but this lack of urgency from the WICB cannot continue for too long," said the WICUA source.

The list of grievances which concern the umpires include determination of fees for regional and international matches; operation of the umpires' exchange programme; appointment of an umpires' manager; retirement benefits for regional umpires; retainers for umpires on the International Cricket Council's elite and international panel; unresolved impasse between two umpires' bodies in Trinidad and Tobago; WICB's policy regarding appointment, exposure, upgrading, regrading and promotion of umpires; WICB's policy direction regarding the appointment of umpires under the age of 35; and WICB's position regarding the lack of involvement of regional umpires in the Twenty20 World Cup.

The umpires are also seeking to have the WICB regularise an arrangement that would have a greater recognition in the administration of the regional game.