Jun 08, 2016 Sports
Dear Sports Editor,
Director Conde Riley’s recent castigation of the Cricket Legends support for the special Committee’s recommendation to dissolve the WICB was in my opinion insensitive, insulting and clearly depicts the arrogance and disdain of that group of persons on the WICB who believes that they are the owners of Caribbean Cricket. It must be noted that the Special Committee was appointed by both Caricom and the WICB with the clear understanding that both parties will accept and carry out all decisions of that Committee.
Mr. Riley has promptly discarded the globally respected exploits of the legends and the quality of the combined group that decided on this important aspect of West Indies cricket Administration. To suggest that Sir Gary Sobers, Sir Viv Richards, Sir Wes Hall, Sir Andy Roberts, Deryck Murray, Desmond Haynes, Charles Griffith, Roger Harper along with Dinanath Ramnarine, Darren Sammy were being used to achieve a political desire is utterly nonsensical.
The Legends and other notable luminaries of the Caribbean have been expressing their concerns over the poor administration of our cricket for the longest while.
Sir Gary shed tears in Sri Lanka approximately two years ago over the decline in WI Cricket long before the entry of Caricom on the scene.
Director Riley’s position is not surprising as it was the very Conde Riley who observed the 2013 GCB elections, and pronounced it free and fair although there was no quorum, (only one of the three constituent Boards attended; one was injuncted and the other did not attend). Also, it was the very Conde Riley who resigned from the WICB during President Hunte’s leadership citing incompetence but came back to support President Cameron who was Vice President under Hunte. So much for “birds of a feather” and the resulting lack of quality in the directorship of the WICB.
Also the WICB’s President’s recent whinings on the proposed dissolution of the Board serve as another attempt to hoodwink the Caribbean People, giving the impression that the WICB has implemented most of the recommendations of the Review Committees. The President declared that the WICB must be doing something right for the WI to have won the U19 50-overs and the Women’s and Men’s T20 titles this year. He suggested that these victories are the results of the well prepared High Performance Development Programme that began two (2) years ago. Mr. Cameron must now explain to the people in detail these fantastic programmes since the public is totally unaware. How sustainable are they and how he has been able to plan to such fine details that allowed Carlos Braithwaite to score four consecutive sixes in the last over to win the game? Also what is the programme for ensuring victory in the future Test and Fifty- (50) over tournaments for both male and female in the future?
He (Mr. Cameron) must justify or support his stated claims by explaining the following:
1. Why is his Board supporting Constituent Members who have not held free and fair elections for years and are therefore operating dishonestly, and against the ICC rules, like the Guyana Cricket Board for instance.
2. What payments are being made to Board Members, staff etc.? : Why is the Board disbursing annual subventions to Constituent Members who do not have to account for same (as stated by Mr. Cameron at the Town Hall Meeting held in Guyana?
3. How were the funds received from the “sell out” of our voting rights to the Big three at ICC utilized for development as previously stated by Mr. Cameron who promised better days for our cricket. With specific reference to Guyana, why hasn’t the Director of Cricket, Mr. Richard Pybus, investigated or at least met with all the local cricket Administrators given the much publicised years of chaos/conflict within the cricket fraternity here?
Further, how could this great development programme function when there is no academy, no organized sustainable cricketing programmes viz coaching/seminars etc for batters, bowlers, (especially fast bowlers), wicketkeepers, fielding etc, no coordination of grassroots cricket at schools, clubs and associations to provide a smooth transition from the schools to the test level. No Coaching programmes, no pitch improvements, no three (3) day cricket for youths. No Regional T20 Tournament. How does the WICB account for the annual CPL funds disbursed to them? For what specific purpose are those funds being utilized?
How could there be any proper programme when the U-19 cricketers during the season leading up to this year’s triumph had their regional tournament played in two zones of three (3) teams with each team playing only twice before the top two teams engage each other in the finals. Also, the U15 teams were relegated to play their tournament on a one-day basis instead of the usual two days effectively reducing the amount of the cricket they played instead of ensuring that the youngsters play as much cricket as possible. What action was taken against the GCB for the two youngsters who were left stranded in Guyana because the administration of the GCB was incompetent in handling their travel arrangements. As a matter of fact what is the method of supervision employed by the WICB on its constituent members with regards to cricket development?
With regards to Ladies Cricket, what preparation is the WICB referring to when:
1. There is no domestic cricket being played in any of its six territories thereby minimizing the experience, and competitive engagements necessary for their improvement.
2. There is no participation of Leeward Island in the Women’s Cricket without any sanctions, and where the Prime Minister of Antigua is reported as saying that dissolving the WICB will create chaos. Interestingly Antigua /Leewards Islands have been occupying the cellar position at all levels of regional cricket for quite a number of years and cannot even field a female team. What could be more chaotic than the present situation with WI cricket? Maybe that’s why Curtly Ambrose, Richie Richardson and Stuart Williams were appointed as Technical Officials to the WICB Senior Team, although they are not known to work with the Antigua or Leeward Islands Teams, in preference to other qualified technical.
Mr. Cameron’s recent whimpering constitute another feeble attempt to fool the people of the Caribbean, the usual bluff, with a lot of rhetorical promises of development without any real substance or serious attempt to fulfill them. The recent triumph of the Women’s, Men’s and Youth cricket teams have been achieved more by determination, spirit and commitment on the part of the players rather than any meaningful contribution from the WICB. The players and not the Board therefore must be congratulated for their accomplishments against all odds.
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Mr. Gaston Browne is now the new Chairman of the Caricom sub-committee on cricket and his obscure posture on the recent Eudine Barriteau report disappointingly spoke volumes of certain politicians within Caricom and the optical illusion of regional integration. The creation of jobs for associates and affiliates, the elitist private merrymakings, the old boys’ club coterie and the narrow self-centered political agenda have apparently being given priority over the gentleman’s game which is the principal component that has kept regional integration alive. The head office of the WICB situated in Antigua maybe his reason for not wanting the dissolution of this antiquated and obsolete private company that has choked the development of regional game for the past two decades. Mr. Browne vociferously announced that the dissolution of the WICB will cause chaos. Is the Honourable Prime Minister insinuating that WI luminaries Ms. Eudine Barriteau, Sir Dennis Byron, Mr. Dwain Gill, Mr. Deryck Murray and Mr. Warren Smith, Dr. Ian Mc Donald, Mr. Patrick Patterson, Sir Allister McIntyre, Dr. Keith Mitchell and Dr. Ralph Gonslaves have been presenting obscure reports? Certainly not! I rather suspect it has more to do with self -interest. Prime Minister Browne must see the bigger picture and rise above the fray. Maybe he could advise the West Indian Public of his proposals to halt this runaway train (WICB) that has no regard for order, democracy or fair play, rather than to challenge the ‘proven’ intellectual capabilities of these luminaries before the opportunity is lost.
I therefore urge that Caricom, Caribbean Governments, the current players the past players, business persons and indeed all Caricom people must now unite against the tyranny of a shameless and incompetent West Indies Cricket Board and use every possible means at their disposal to rid our cricket of these individuals who feel that they own WI cricket. The region as a whole must ensure that the critical issue of making the WICB accountable to the Caribbean people is not overshadowed by a desire to have international cricket played in the West Indies regardless. Too much is at stake and Caricom must act objectively, urgently and decisively to deal condignly with the WICB in the interest of the game we love so dearly.
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
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