West Indies Cricket
There is never a dull day in West Indies cricket setup; if it’s not another report on management, it’s players losing a game or some crisis between the board and players.
Gone are the days when West Indies players were the center of the universe and win matches regardless of the board structure or lack thereof.
Now, the latest just in is a Caribbean Community (Caricom) Sub-Committee on Cricket Governance report.
The committee’s major recommendation is — the current West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) be disbanded and an interim committee installed to run the regional game.
Isn’t it also plausible to say that given the governance of the economy of some these Caribbean countries and how they practice their politics that a new structure be put into place to hold some of them accountable?
The fact is a structure by itself doth not an effective and efficient organization make.
So, to say “The panel wishes to state unequivocally it has no issues with the individuals who occupy the leadership and composition of the WICB or the territorial boards,” is just plain balderdash.
The truth is beyond the call for restructure; there is a lot of white noise, personality clash, island rivalry and politicking festering under the surface.
Dr. Keith Mitchell, Grenadian Prime Minister and a member of the sub-committee, for his part has strongly defended the panel’s recommendation in an interview on a regional TV station.
“In terms of the necessity for drastic changes in the methodology and the operation and structure of WI cricket, it is indisputable,” he reportedly said.
“My own view watching this over the years,” noted Dr. Mitchell, “is that a lot of stakeholder, businesses, the different sector of our society, would want to be involved more in West Indies cricket. But an institution that operates in the 19th century or 20th century will never get the support of serious stakeholders if it continues to operate in this old fashion.”
Is Dr. Mitchell framing this as an opportunity for the monied interests and politicians to have their mouth in the trough or an opportunity for the common man on Main Street to be involved as a stakeholder, even at the financial level?
Truth be told, today, there is a lot of money to be made in cricket and the very thought of restructuring will undoubtedly have the lobby interest group not only chomping at the bit but also actively promoting their own enlightened self-interest.
I would argue that the fault is not with WICB structure, per se, but with the local boards which have not been developing and churning out star quality cricketers.
More importantly, however, the question that one must ask, how much are these Caribbean governments investing in the development of this so called public good — cricket?
The fact is the foundation must be set right before there is any bickering about the window dressing.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
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