Regional leaders to engage stakeholders on future of West Indies cricket

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,  CMC – CARICOM leaders said they will engage the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Players Association to ascertain their positions regarding the future of the game in the region.

Bharrat Jagdeo

A statement issued after the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Cricket (PMSC) met here Monday, gave no indication as to when the engagement would take place.

They said however, that other stakeholders would be invited “to ascertain their respective positions regarding the charting of a collective course forward which would not only improve the arrangements for governance of West Indies cricket, but also the performance of our players”.

At their summit last July in St. Kitts, CARICOM leaders expressed serious concerns about the relationship between the WICB and  the WIPA as it relates to the future of West Indies cricket, and the statement on Monday said that the PMSC reiterated the position that “West Indies cricket belongs to the people of the region.”

Ian Mc Donald

The PMSC meeting, chaired by Antigua & Barbuda Prime Minister, Baldwin Spencer, was also attended by Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo, Prime Minister Bruce Golding of Jamaica, the host Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the Barbados Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade Minister Maxine McClean, and CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque.

According to the statement, “the meeting held a critical and in-depth discussion on the current state of cricket in the region”, and in particular, the status of the relations between the WICB and WIPA.

“In examining the issues related to governance of West Indies cricket, the PMSC reiterated that West Indies cricket belongs to the people of the region to whom the stewardship of the game must be accountable,” the statement said.

Baldwin Spencer

The statement also said that other proposals put forward “for returning the game of cricket in the region to its glorious past” include carrying out an assessment “of the prevailing arrangements for governance of West Indies cricket to determine whether the best interests of cricket in the region and of its people are being served.”

The PMSC also said there is a need to “revisit the recommendations of the Final Report of the Committee on Governance of West Indies Cricket of 2007 (“the Patterson Report”) to determine the extent to which its implementation would impact positively on West Indies cricket, including its future development.”

The review of the governance of West Indies cricket was commissioned by former WICB President Ken Gordon. It was headed by the former Jamaica Prime Minister P.J.

Patterson with the other members being Dr. Ian McDonald and former University of the West Indies icon, Sir Alister McIntyre.

The committee was asked to examine how the governance of West Indies cricket could be be improved as well as how the current performance of the representative teams be taken to a higher level.

It was also asked to examine how might the broad base of the game, and its immediate prospects and popularity in the region, be strengthened, as well as how the financial and commercial state of West Indies cricket could be improved and secured on a lasting basis.

Prior to his arrival for the meeting, Prime Minister Golding had indicated he would put forward his country’s position to the PMSC.

But the statement gave no indication as to whether or not Prime Minister Golding had raised the issue of former West Indies captain Chris Gayle, whose ommission from the regional team has been at the centre of the latest controversy involving the WICB and WIPA.

The left-handed opener was left out of the recent home series against India, following a highly-charged interview with a radio station in his native Jamaica in which he was heavily critical of the WICB.

He subsequently met with the WICB to resolve the issue, but the meeting, involving WICB and WIPA officials, ended in confusion.

With no end in sight to the dispute, Gayle called for CARICOM’s intervention in the matter and chairman, St. Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, announced in July that the sub-committee would be re-established to deal with the issue.

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