The Critical Way Forward

Second of a 3 part series on West Indies Cricket

By Cosmo Hamilton

With the impressive showing of the West Indies Women’s team at the recent World Cup, the West Indies Cricket Board should now be structured to include influential and knowledgeable women in decision making roles to facilitate further advancement of the Women’s game in every territory in the Caribbean. It is critical that women play a significant role in the development stages of our Women’s cricket as well as the management of this burgeoning entity.

20120630cosmoshamiltonHowever Mr. President, as evidenced in the West Indies Women’s team heavy defeat in the World Cup final against Australia, there is much work to be done if the team is to be consistently competitive against the elite teams such as the aforementioned world champions, and perennial powerhouses England and New Zealand.

It is imperative that going forward the Board must aim to develop and maintain a completely professional West Indies Women’s team and a highly qualified coaching and training outfit. Professional contracts should be offered to a roster of at least 15 players who would be encamped between tours at a state-of-the-art training facility such as the High Performance Center where they will consistently hone their skills physically, mentally, and socially. The Board would have done well to take advantage of the team’s recent appearance in the World Cup Finals to garner considerable support, financial and otherwise to enhance development of Women’s cricket in every territory of the region, from local schools and clubs to national and international levels.

With a new regime in place the administration should embark on a new day and a new way forward in West Indies cricket. A key priority would be to develop a proper liaison not only with the West Indies Players Association, but the individual players as well. Mr. President you must be as much a players’ President as a Board President. It is important for the progress of West Indies cricket as we strive to reclaim our position as one of the elite ICC teams, that the WICB and the  WIPA develop and maintain a cordial, cooperative relationship and abandon the contentious, confrontational posture of the past that too often culminated in costly legal action and the draining of scarce resources from the Board’s treasury.

As it were, starting a new growth curve requires a re-organization of values, priorities and attitudes as well as nurturing a steady influx of talented new players and acute identification of new leaders along with the modalities and systems to maximize their potential for the benefit of West Indies cricket and by extension the psyche of the Caribbean peoples and the economic viability of the region.

It is extremely important Mr. President, for the advancement of West Indies cricket that there be a measure of selfless, energetic leadership with a model of transparency and integrity, essentially emanating from the Board’s officialdom and filtering through the Territorial Boards, effecting new systems, more efficient structures, and better allocation of resources.

Given the mandate to administer West Indies cricket, in of itself a unique entity in the universe of international cricket, the Board must strive to be more than an endorser of the rules and regulations set out by the ICC in its governance of world cricket but should more emphatically embrace the dimension of enforcement in the face of blatant wrongdoing. The Board should be allowed the autonomy to discipline any Territorial Board within its purview that engages in corruption or impropriety at the local level, which impinges on the efficient administration of the game to the detriment of the fans and stakeholders, even the broader community.

Mr. President, the West Indies Cricket Board must not be a platform for personal aggrandizement or a vehicle for the enjoyment of the novelty of expansive international travel. It ought to be an entity that embraces the sacred responsibility of elevating West Indies cricket to its optimum level to a consistent ranking comparable to the top tier ICC teams, and with that, the enrichment of the lives of Caribbean peoples, economically, socially, and politically.

Around the Web