I would be naïve to assume that an amnesty between the players and Cricket West Indies is enough to catapult West Indies into the higher echelons of global cricket. Hence, I propose that Caricom should be more assertive in monitoring West Indies cricket.
Firstly, I endorse Dr Keith Rowley’s censuring of Caricom leaders, who have shirked their responsibility to bring the cricket impasse to a closure. After the 2016 Caricom Review Committee made suggestions about changing the archaic structure of management of the cricket board, very little was done. The last Caricom Heads of Government meeting in Grenada did not include discussions about cricket, because certain member states like Antigua and Barbuda chose to have a non-interference stance.
Secondly, Caricom must be proactive in assessing if Cricket West Indies Inc really has the legal right to ownership of cricket in the region. After all, free movement of cricket professionals throughout the region is facilitated by the Caricom Treaty of Chaguaramas. Even the development of the cricketers, is due to governmental expenditures in their education, health and security. Cricket is therefore a ‘public good’.
Thirdly, Caricom governments are clearly financial stakeholders in cricket, and must protect their investments. This is best exemplified in the Antigua’s PM bragging that his government happily spruced up its cricket stadium to host England versus West Indies in a Test match. Surely, these actions reflect a government’s understanding that cricket is a major factor in tourism growth.
David Rudder’s iconic calypso, ‘Rally Round The West Indies’ alludes to globalisation, when he mentions that “they making laws and restrictions to spoil our beauty”. The onus is on Caricom to “make sure that they fail”.