CARICOM busy laying groundwork for restructuring: Gonsalves

Chairman of CARICOM’s Prime Ministerial sub-committee on cricket, Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, CMC – CARICOM is pressing ahead with plans to ensure the restructuring of the governance of West Indies cricket, undeterred by the International Cricket Council’s request to have Cricket West Indies president Dave Cameron present at any meeting between the two bodies.

In fact, chairman of CARICOM’s cricket subcommittee, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, said the proposed meeting with the ICC was intended be an open discussion and he expected that CWI would have a presence.

Cricket’s world governing body told CARICOM last week it was prepared to meet but would only do so with Cameron present, since “Cricket West Indies is our member.”

“I have no problem with that because what we have to say to the ICC and what we have to discuss with them, we’ll discuss it openly,” Gonsalves told WE FM Radio here.

“There’s no problem with that, I’d expect them (CWI) to be there.”

Cricket West Indies President
Dave Cameron

That meeting, requested by CARICOM to convey the “desperate urgency” of the need to have West Indies cricket governance restructured, will not take place as hoped on the sidelines of the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government summit in London later this month, because of a scheduling conflict.

However, Gonsalves said the rescheduling of the ICC meeting would not prevent CARICOM from continuing to lay the groundwork for the implementation of a new governance structure.

“A few days ago I spoke to the CARICOM Secretary General (Irwin LaRocque) and we discussed the question of getting the consultants who provide a broad framework through which the legislation, due to be passed in our respective countries, so we are proceeding with our work,” the St Vincent and the Grenadines leader said.

At last February’s two-day Intersessional in Haiti, CARICOM leaders strengthened their position on the proposed governance overhaul, affirming legal advice which validated their concerns over CWI’s right to manage the “public good” of West Indies cricket.

According to CARICOM, “a legislative approach” was required if West Indies cricket was to be turned around, and best practices of governance achieved.

Gonsalves, who assumed the chairmanship of the cricket subcommittee two years ago, also re-stated CARICOM’s stated position, contending that “good governance and transparency” remained paramount.

“What the CARICOM Heads decided is that while we are not going to get involved in the management of West Indies cricket, it’s a public good and it just can’t just be managed by a private entity,” Gonsalves pointed out.

“It has to involve all the relevant stakeholders and this is how it has to be structured, complying with all the best practices of good governance and transparency.”

CWI has fiercely resisted any overhaul of its governance ever since the 2015 CARICOM-commissioned Governance Report – authored by prominent regional academic and UWI Cave Hill principal Professor Eudine Barriteau – called for the “immediate dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board and the appointment of an Interim Board.”

Cameron has since argued that CWI leadership must be “selected free of interference from governments.”

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