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CARICOM Dead Set On Dismantling WICB

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) remains steadfast in its quest to have the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) dissolved, with the regional leaders of the community resolving to form a prime ministerial sub-committee that would have greater governing powers on cricket in the Caribbean islands.

CARICOM and WICB have been at loggerheads ever since a cricket review panel by CARICOM in 2015 recommended the “immediate dissolution” of the WICB and the appointment of an interim board, “whose structure and composition will be radically different from the now proven, obsolete governance framework”.

cricket ballRebuffing Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s rejection of the WICB dissolution, CARICOM said it would stop at nothing to get the resolution passed. “We will do everything possible to effect the decision,” Keith Mitchell, outgoing head of CARICOM sub-committee on cricket, told the Jamaica Gleaner after a Heads of Government meet. “We’re looking at legal options on the basis that cricket is a public good run by a private institution.”

“It’s a common position of the Heads, not individual positions, and we cannot operate on the basis of individual positions, it’s about the Heads,” Mitchell was quoted as saying by CMC.

“When I expressed my sentiments on cricket, it was about what the Heads said – the committee that we established jointly with the West Indies Cricket Board – and we agreed between the sub-committee and the West Indies Cricket Board to implement the recommendations. So it was not a Keith Mitchell decision, it was not a Keith Mitchell activity, it was a committee set up by the West Indies Cricket Board and the Heads of Government.”

The CARICOM review panel, set up in the aftermath of West Indies abruptly pulling out of the Indian tour in 2014, prepared a strong report about issues of governance in the WICB and recommended the formation of an interim board.

However, Dave Cameron, the WICB president, rejected the report out-rightly, stating that the findings were not supported by facts. WICB also received support from Browne, who broke away from his partners on CARICOM.

“The recommendation to dissolve WICB is a recipe for chaos and confusion and we are totally opposed to any forced dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board,” Browne told the Gleaner.

CARICOM heads, though, are persisting on the formation of a cricketing sub-committee with a wider scope. “There were two before; one on governance issues and one of the larger issues confronting cricket. This is a new committee on cricket mandated to examine all matters relating to the development of cricket, which is a very wide area of concentration,” Roosevelt Skerrit, the chairman of CARICOM said.

Nigel Belle, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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