James: Stay out of it
Caribbean governments should not become too deeply involved in the crisis between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the players who aborted the Indian tour, says Senator Colin James Parliamentary Secretary in Antigua’s Ministry of Sports.
“The governments do not run cricket. The WICB has the sole mandate to manage West Indies cricket as stakeholders. All Caribbean governments will be following what is taking place between the WICB, the West Indies Players Association and the players. It is not their role to be involved in the affairs of the WICB,” James told Barbados TODAY.
He expressed regret that West Indies’ cricket seemed to be in a constant state of crisis.
“In 1999, a similar crisis occurred when the West Indies were about to play their maiden Test series in South Africa. But that was a dispute between the board and the players. This crisis is between the players and their union, and it has placed our cricket in turmoil,” James said.
The former journalist and talk show host said this latest dispute between WIPA and players was unlike any other in the history of West Indies cricket.
“It is strange for a union and the people they represent to be involved in a dispute. WIPA and the players should have held talks in relation to the MOU which was signed on their behalf. If the players had any objections to the MOU they should not have pulled out of the tour to India because this is a matter between them and their union,” James said.
He expressed the view that the players should have registered their objections to WIPA about the MOU and continued with the tour.
“West Indian cricketers should be aware of their role in our society. They are representatives of the Caribbean people and their actions have a deep impact on us. If they do something that is making us the laughing stocks of the cricketing world we are going to be hurt by their actions,” James said.
He suggested that the WICB, WIPA and the players get together and find a solution to all the problems affecting West Indies cricket. James issued a reminder to the WICB, WIPA and the players that even though the West Indies team has been lingering at the bottom of the ICC rankings for several years, cricket was more than a game to West Indians.