ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Julian Hunte disclosed yesterday that – contrary to popular belief – the Governance Review Committee report is being utilised.
The Report – authored by the Committee headed by former Jamaica Prime Minister P.J. Patterson – was commissioned by the WICB two years ago to do a top-to-bottom review of the operations of West Indies cricket.
But Hunte, the WICB president, said that the regional governing body had been, or was taking action on 47 of the 65 recommendations contained in the report, but there was only one with which the directors had extreme difficulty.
“One recommendation which was not accepted in full was the proposal for the establishment for a new entity to be renamed and headed by a two-tiered body called a Cricket West Indies Council that would sit above the Cricket West Indies Board,” said Hunte in a news release.
“The proposal in the Patterson Report called for the Council to be comprised of ‘numerous stakeholders and special interests’, while the Cricket West Indies Board ‘would be reduced to one director from each territory’.”
He added: “The simple fact of the size of the council and the cost to service its operations constitute a major operational difficulty.
“We do not disagree with the Patterson Committee on the problems or even the strategic solutions, where we differ is on the insistence for the establishment of a new bureaucratic layer to become responsible for West Indies cricket.”
Hunte disclosed that the WICB accepted the recommendation of establishing a cricket council – but only as an advisory entity and not as an authority over the WICB – at last November’s meeting with CARICOM which was attended by Prime Minister Patterson.
“We accept that cricket belongs to the people of the region and that we are the legal custodians of that great regional endeavour,” Hunte said.
“I am still unable to see where is the inherent solution to all of our problems in West Indies cricket by having a new layer at the top to own and oversee West Indies cricket.”
Hunte noted that included among the recommendations which the WICB had implemented were:
– commissioning a management audit by a private firm;
– establishing the basis for implementing a cricket academy at UWI, Cave Hill;
– securing commitment from Antigua & Barbuda, Guyana, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago to set up satellite academies;
– establishing an umpires elite panel;
– agreeing a new comprehensive Memorandum of Agreement with the West Indies Players’ Association;
– fully integrating women’s cricket into the WICB structure; and- committing US $4 million from its 2009 budget towards development.
Hunte concluded that the recommendations in the Patterson Committee report were “not edicts or directives” for the WICB to follow – but rather strong suggestions for the regional governing body to consider in their growth path for the future.