Jack confident of surviving vote; hits back against allegations

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC – Embattled president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association (SVGCA) Julian Jack says he considered resigning because of the no-confidence motion brought against him, but feels he has “an open chance” of retaining his position when he faces a vote today.

This is although three members of his executive no longer support him as president.

Today’s meeting is in response to a May 5 petition by captain of Smashers Cricket Club, Marvin Harry, calling for a vote of no confidence in Jack and an immediate fresh election of the entire executive body

“One or two of my good colleagues said to me that it is not good for a sitting president to be ousted, so make sure you do the right thing; make sure that if you are going to run you have a good chance, and if not, it (resignation) is still open to you,” Jack told CMC Sports.

But he dismissed the accusations against him, saying he does not believe that the supporters of the petition are “justified” in their call for his ouster.

“I have seen the grounds on which they want to do that. Even those are so preliminary and so insignificant, you don’t think people would ask for that unless they have some other motive,” he said.

However, Harry pointed to the poor performance of the national Under-15 team, which has not won a game for over three years, and has placed last for over seven consecutive years.

He accused Jack of passing blame to the management of the team.

Harry said there were conflicts of interest in lodging Cricket Association monies at Teachers Co-operative Credit Union, which Jack manages. He also said that Jack’s club, Radcliffe, was the only one to receive money and equipment under a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) programme.

But Jack said Harry has focused on the poor performance of the national Under-15 squad and ignored the success in the other two leagues.

“We have said that there have been for years, a number of persons who have moved from the Under-15 to the Under-19 squad who have gone on to play at the regional level,” Jack said.

“It is not that as president I try to block anything that … can happen to improve the performance of these guys.

“The Under-15 team is not doing as well as we expected, but it is not because we didn’t try,” he said, adding that the association has experimented with different coaching strategies and spent EC$40,000 preparing the squad last year.

He said that the problem lay deeper than just providing opportunities, however,pointing out that SVG’s Under-15 cricket was strong when there was a North Leeward Under-15 tournament.

Kishore Shallow, Jack noted, who was now canvassing to replace him on Saturday, was a product of that tournament.

“The main point I am making here is that you can’t blame the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association for the demise or for the fact that the Under-15 team is not producing, because I am saying they are not exposed to what they should be exposed to,” Jack argued.

“And, secondly, we don’t have access to them while they are in school. So, whereas in Dominica, Grenada, or St. Lucia, the sports department and the Ministry of Education work together and take those guys out when they want to take them out –  let them go and practise, let them go and play cricket and play at a competitive level, so they develop that hardness in them and that spirit of competition – you don’t have that here in St. Vincent. We play the regular zonal competition but even the funding is not enough.”

Jack further said the decision to deposit Cricket Association monies at the Teacher Co-operative Credit Union was taken before he became president of the association, and said it was not a conflict of interest as Harry claimed, adding that other organisations also banked with the credit union.

“In fact, one can say, the funds are very safe. They get their returns, as it is due. I don’t know why they would want to say that is a conflict of interest,” Jack queried.

“Is that to say if you are a manager of a bank and you are involved in a club that you should not bank any money with it? It was not my initiative in the first case.”

Jack also denied that his club, Radcliffe, was the only one to receive a special grant from the WICB of an estimated US$5,000, in addition to equipment.

He said the first club was the Neal Williams Academy, about five years ago, when the programme was just advertised.

According to Jack, players from other clubs, and players in the Georgetown-Colonaire area were also using the equipment.

“So, although Radcliffe own it, it is not only Radcliffe players can use it.”


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