Today, West Indies cricket is in a crisis mode, given the action taken by players to abort their 2014 cricket tour of India.
Reportedly, the players left the tour because they felt the signed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) was not done within their best interest.
The players argued that their earnings would be drastically reduced and moreover were hoodwinked by their union representative who signed off on an agreement which in principle was not what was initially agreed to before they left the shores of the Caribbean for India.
However, a number of people have viewed the players’ action as one of greed and lack of socio-political and cultural awareness. Others have blamed the WICB and WIPA for their incompetent governance, lack of diplomacy, and myopic view in treating with the impasse.
On the radio program, Mason & Guest, in addressing the current crisis, well known lecturer in Political Sociology and an avid cricket enthusiast, Dr. Christine Cummings lamented the level to which West Indies cricket has sunken and argued for the wholesale resignation of the WIPA and WICB leadership.
Asked if she was embarrassed by the current situation in West Indies cricket, “No, I am not embarrassed,” she proffered.
She said further, “One, I am an optimist and two, in reality perhaps when the eyes of the world are gazing at us and recognizing our incompetence which many of us have been calling out for years almost decades, then maybe we will wake, maybe we will be dragged screaming into the business of sports.”
She questioned the business model for which everyone has been clamoring and whether the players were entitled to the benefits of this model. She also bemoaned the fact that the region has never run cricket properly as today, there are only few local sponsors, absence of a league and lack of revenues generated by clubs.
Furthermore, she said, “At the end of the day we are trying to operate an international sport literally on the back of these players.”
Cummings stated that currently West Indies cricket is bedeviled by an increase in the level of conflict of interest and surmise that this is what has led to the current impasse.
“I am fed up with the plantation approach to business in this region and our inability and lack of capacity to organize ourselves in a modern world,” she said.
She further argued that the players are currently being shafted and money is readily siphoned off to meet increased WICB administrative cost.
In addition, she noted that players needed guidance and were wrong to have left the Caribbean without a signed contract.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
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