Pressure mounts on WICB to resist ‘hostile takeover’

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts, CMC – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is being called upon to strongly resist moves by the England, India and Australia to complete what some officials have labeled a ‘hostile takeover’ of the sport.

Charles Wilkin
Charles Wilkin

The former chairman of the West Indies Cricket Board’s Governance Committee, Charles Wilkin, QC, has made an appeal to WICB and regional governments in response to a white paper containing proposed changes to revamp ICC which will come before members as early as the quarterly meeting in Dubai on January 28 and 29.

The ICC working paper is proposing that test cricket is played under a two-tiered system in which England, India and Australia will not be demoted while teams like West Indies and New Zealand would find themselves in the second tier.

Wilkin describes as “startling” news that the ICC is planning to cede most executive decisions to the so-called Big Three.

“The leaked report is startling,” Wilkin charged.

“If adopted, the proposals will create a cabal within world cricket…with total control of the game internationally.”

A WICB release says the Board of Directors met by teleconference and discussed the issue on Monday and will reconvene, again by teleconference, today to continue the discussion.

“The proposals have the potential to destroy West Indies Cricket by putting us in a position where we have to fight on an ongoing basis with South Africa, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe for two places in the top rung of world cricket and if we do not make that rung we are doomed to second class status,” Wilkin warned.

Wilkin has called on individual members of the WICB as well to speak out against the draft proposals.

“The president of the West Indies Cricket Board is a member of the committee from which the proposals came. He is the only representative on the committee of the countries doomed to second rate status,” Wilkin said.

“I hope that he comes out openly against them before they go to the vote of the ICC Executive Committee on January 28. If he does not he will have some explaining to do, not only to the West Indies public, but to the other countries who are being relegated to second class status.”

Already Cricket South Africa has called on the ICC to withdraw the draft proposal that would put power in international cricket in the hands of India, England and Australia.

“We also need to hear from individual members of the WICB, including Ricky Skerritt who is nominee on WICB of the CARICOM,” said Wilkin.

“These governments should not wait until after the vote to make public their views, given the importance of cricket to the Caribbean people. Our governments need to speak out urgently and strongly in conjunction with those of the other countries affected.”

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