Cease and settle!

arthur calls no ball on 
windies cricket leadership

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur today called for a “moratorium on controversy” in West Indies cricket, while stating that he was not only bowled over by recent comments made by the President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Dave Cameron and the region’s T20 skipper Darren Sammy, but also by the persistent demands by some of his former prime ministerial colleagues for the disbandment of the WICB.

“People are not focusing on cricket
per se and that is what the focus needs to be. They have to find a way to work together now in good faith,” said Arthur, while hailing Sunday’s World T20 cricket victory by both the Windies men’s and women’s teams as a “wonderful achievement” and a positive indication that “West Indies cricket is not dead”.

However, he said “like all Caribbean people, I was soaring on the realms of pride, [before] the moment was sullied when both the team leadership and the West Indies Cricket Board foisted upon the international community’s attention and imagination the extent of the conflicts among themselves, and I think that was tarnished a bit by that conflict”.

The bitter divisions in Caribbean cricket were laid bare Sunday as the WICB publicly reprimanded its St Lucian-born captain Sammy just hours after his team’s stunning victory in the World T20 final over England.

It should have been a day of complete joy for the West Indies, with the women’s team winning their Twenty20 final against Australia on the same Eden Gardens ground where the men later downed England by four wickets in a last-over thriller.

But in a post-match interview, Sammy gave vent to months — possibly years — of frustration with the WICB, alluding not only to problems with sourcing gear for their T20 bid, but the fact that words of support had come from several quarters – including CARICOM leaders – but not their own board.

To make matters worse, Cameron immediately shot back at what he deemed inappropriate comments made by the West Indies’ men’s captain.

In a show of disgust over the skipper’s remarks, the WICB president also tweeted: “When is the last time a critic paid one of your bills? Always remember that when you start to give them your energy.”

However, Arthur believes both sides are at fault.

“I thought that Cameron’s response, even if provoked, was also inappropriate,” he told Barbados TODAY.

“He [Cameron] has to understand that in leadership sometimes that you suffer in silence and then try to work out the matter behind the scenes,” he suggested, ahead of a visit to Jamaica on Friday, during which he is hoping to meet with the WICB head.

Arthur, who is an avid cricket supporter and a strong proponent of regionalism, also suggested that Sammy should have allowed the region to savour its moment of triumph last Sunday, and candidly state his objections to the board at a later date.

“It is not to say that the players may not have a cause, [but] if the West Indies Cricket Board didn’t live up to the responsibility of providing supplies, then that is a serious issue, but I didn’t need to know all of that when the players and the whole region were at the point of rejoicing.

“You have your report on the tour. Give that report with candour and if it has to come out, let it come out. But I thought it would have been better had he complimented the extraordinary exploits of young [Carlos] Brathwaite because a lot of Caribbean people had given up when we had to score those runs in the last over.”

Ahead of a planned address to the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) on Thursday night, Arthur called for greater focus on the creation of a development programme, below the level of the WICB, to make West Indies cricket viable.

In this regard, he said there was scope for “common ground” between the WICB and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments.

However, the former Prime Minister, who has been invited to chair a group for the creation of a trust fund for the development of the regional game, warned that such a programme could not be had in an environment where West Indies cricket continued to be affected, more than any other country’s cricket, by divisiveness, including between the WICB and regional prime ministers.

Asked whether he agreed with the recent recommendation made by the CARICOM Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee that the WICB should be disbanded, Arthur responded: “The leaders have to let cricketing decisions be made by those responsible for cricketing decisions.”

However, within the context of the game’s development, he said there needed to be some level of support by governments.

“There is that sense in which there still needs to be a relationship between the West Indies Cricket Board and governments because you can’t have a nursery for West Indies cricket unless you have development programmes at the level of the countries.”

Using Barbados as an example, he said it was not by chance that the island was currently providing most of the West Indian cricketers for both the Test and One Day teams, given that it has a development programme in place, for which he said there was access to sustained funding provided by his former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration.

However, he made it clear that “Prime Ministers should not be involved in saying who should be selected or whatever else and I am not sure that there is a legal basis from which the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee can tell the West Indies Cricket Board that it needs to be disbanded. It is a recommendation, but I don’t know it can go beyond that,” he told Barbados TODAY.

“They can call for it to change, but there is no way that they can legally require it to be done,” he emphasized, pointing out that the WICB was its own legal entity and could not be disbanded by the “fiat of regional prime ministers, it really can’t”.

“The decision on whether Cameron stays or goes was not theirs to make,” he said.

“The board was constituted by way of elections. We in the Caribbean are accustomed to regime changes by way of elections. I am familiar with it. I don’t know there is need now for us to superimpose a process that is not known on this situation.

“If Cameron is a disaster, he will be changed, but he shall not be changed by the fiat of Prime Ministers,” Arthur stressed.


31 Responses to Cease and settle!

  1. Tristan John
    Tristan John April 6, 2016 at 3:03 am

    Not to be rude, but why does Arthur’s say even matter? Lol

    • Buddy Love
      Buddy Love April 6, 2016 at 3:29 am

      Economist, unlike your currrent finance Minister honest, unlike the current Prime Minister, great leader, unlike the current lot………

    • miche April 6, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      Your comments tell me that you dont know the man you are talking about

  2. Chris Ghita
    Chris Ghita April 6, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Very well respected Caribbean Leader

  3. Louise King
    Louise King April 6, 2016 at 5:18 am

    What de WICB cannot give to Cricket is a moral standing –Cannot give cricketers de dignity of playing cricket as a team– and that lies upon de shoulder of captain and teamates- WICB Is like de walls of jericho—it is always a bickering–

  4. board must go April 6, 2016 at 5:29 am

    I believed the timing was appropriate. This cancer in the west indies cricket has been there for too long and needs drastic measures to get Reid of it. Waiting for the clouds to settle would have given the board members ample time to cover their backs and victimize the players even more . By putting the world sport light on them will force a change .

  5. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce April 6, 2016 at 5:32 am

    The WICB behaviour towards the team is unacceptable. The blame falls at their door step. Gone are the days of flowering up things that affect the team and carry on as if everything is OK. Why should the Windes put up, shut up and suffer in silence? Sammy did the right thing by speaking out, embarrass them they deserve it.
    Thank You Sammy. We the LOYAL Fans stand by you! With that said, Cameron Cease running up yuh mouth and settle the Windies PAYMENT!

    • Sunshine Sunny Shine April 6, 2016 at 7:06 am

      What is so extreme about Sammy’s comments that they evoke the wrath of the board. The words I read so far, are comments from some person stating that the current team have no brains, or something like that, disrespect by the board, in that Sammy and his team got uniforms at the last minute. I hear he call the board a bunch of troublesome jackasses who because their have some power, enjoy executing it like a real dictator. I mean he did not call them any bleeped superlatives. So what is causing the board to feel so injured – THE THRUTH!!!

    • phonse4u April 6, 2016 at 10:20 am

      #IStandWithSammy #WeStandWithSammy…Cameron must go!!!

  6. Ras Iword April 6, 2016 at 5:49 am

    Start by getting rid of the name “West Indies”

  7. Geanel Mitchell April 6, 2016 at 6:24 am

    I am 100% behind the captain Darren Sammy, you jut did the right thing get, let it out and with that been said the talking and disrespect given to player on the team would eventually stop…. We the fans of the tei island state of Grenada, Carriacou and my homeland Petite Martinique support you to the fullest. The board need to get up and learn to encourage players and not down grade them, the WICB need reliable people, loving people, strong minded people, passionate people and the list goes on. But most of all, my main thing is the board dont like the players in the team thats why there’s always a bikering and fighting and confusion. I love the guys on the team and i wish them all the best and great sucess for the future. Reshuffle the WICB and get rid of them haters

  8. Fan April 6, 2016 at 7:51 am

    These things have been going on for years with numerous complaints and no action. It was time for the extreme speak up when the whole cricket world is listening. If after this there is resolve then three will never be any.

  9. James Thompson April 6, 2016 at 8:25 am

    I think Owen is trapped in the theories of the past. Sammy’s decision to cash in on the opportunity at Sundays event was pointedly strategic and effective.The WIBC is not a democratic institution as he described. It is a closed delegate system where regional board members decide who runs the cricket. The players, captain, coach and many other stake holders actually do not have a stake or say. Its a boys club and it is unsustainable.

  10. Mageelyn April 6, 2016 at 8:57 am

    “The leaders have to let cricketing decisions be made by those responsible for cricketing decisions.” So if those responsible has demonstrated over the years that they are incabable to make the decision which is critical for the sports advancement and success, what should one do?

  11. Fact check April 6, 2016 at 9:56 am

    With all due respect Mr. Prime Minister, its only when its out in the open that the powers that be react, and most times just to save face. If our foreparents thought like you, we would have still been slaves on the plantation. It’s high time people on authority realize it’s about getting the job done and not just prancing around in suits and attending functions. We stand with Sammy 10,000%

  12. Donna Harewood April 6, 2016 at 10:14 am


    Yes sister, the truth! I liked hearing the truth, even on Sunday. We NEEDED to hear the truth. How else can we go forward? A report would never have made the impact of that speech by Sammy at that moment. We have read numerous reports. We sat by passively. Now we know they DO want to represent us we can rally behind the team which has won for us IN SPITE OF OUR INEPT BOARD and take action to either force that board in line or remove them. What Sammy was saying is -” We have done our part. We have given you joy. Now help us to sustain it fans! How much do you want it?

    We must turn up at the CPL in our numbers with placards. We must shame Dave Cameron into accepting change. We must damage his ego on the world stage because that seems to be what he cares most about.

  13. Donna Harewood April 6, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Why is Owen’s opinion relevant? He is a former Prime Minister, Caricom Leader and an avid cricket fan. That’s why! You sound young, Tristan. I will therefore answer you softly. And in case you get the wrong idea I have always voted against Owen Arthur, recently with regret.

  14. Mark Walters April 6, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Sometimes it’s best to let the process play itself out. We try to dictate the narrative too much and that is how we seek to control. We are afraid of honest and open discussion.

  15. Alex Alleyne April 6, 2016 at 11:34 am

    The only people in the Caribbean don’t have CRICKET at heart is the WICB. Getting rid of that bunch is more difficult than it seems to be , due to the fact of how it was set up from the beginning.

  16. Shareu April 6, 2016 at 11:41 am

    The WICB must go.. Sammy and Bravo has just told us a little of what is going on within the organisation. Like Samuels said he talk with the bat

  17. Dennis Strong April 6, 2016 at 11:44 am

    I agree that the “noise at the barricades” is contrary to productive collaboration. Blaming is something that occurs in the place of objective and thorough analysis.
    Owen Arthur would be more familiar with the implications of a political intervention by governments, into WICB authority.
    As a management consultant, I am troubled by the pursuit of “solutions”, when the examination of the factors affecting cricket performance lacks unbiased depth.
    The implementation of change is significant and sustainable will require a process of integrity guided by an “honest broker” who is skilled in these matters.

  18. Ahvincigal April 6, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    If Sammy had not used this platform to speak out no one would be talking about it today. It brought to light something that needs changing so I cannot wrong him for that.

  19. Carl Rajack April 6, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Mr Arthur should remember that just a few weeks prior to the tour when the players said that they weren’t happy with their proposed pay rate, the WICB quickly assembled a B-team to take their place if they didn’t accept the terms. This shows that WICB was not really interested in winning the tournament but preferred to show who is the boss ! This open display of arrogance and hubris by the WICB cannot help cricket. A people’s movement has started across the WI to get rid of the WICB and this might finally be their demise.

  20. GA April 6, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron President
    Hon. Ambassador Emmanuel Nanthan Vice President
    Joel Garner MBE Member Director
    Deighton Smith Member Director
    Anand Sanasie Member Director
    Anand Kalladeen Member Director
    Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven Member Director
    Dr. Donovan Bennett Member Director
    Enoch Lewis Member Director
    Baldath Mahabir Member Director
    Azim Bassarath Member Director
    Julian Charles Member Director
    Elson Crick Member Director
    Hon. Richard ‘Ricky’ Skerritt Non-member Director (CARICOM nominee)
    Clifford Reis Non-member Director
    Jennifer Nero Non-member Director
    Don Wehby Non-member Director

    How many of these Directors played any significant cricket apart from Garner ????

  21. byron April 6, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Barbados is the reason why the WICB has not transformed. they are behind the current colonial mantra of the WICB, and in the process, they are undermining the efforts of other Caricom leaders. Arthur’s outburst is typical of Barbados thinking. SO DONT BE SHOCK BY THIS TWO FACE NATURED COMMENT. The reason for it is that Barbados believe they own WI cricket.

  22. Sherlock Holmes. April 6, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Dave Cameron needs to go and as a matter of urgency he behaves like he is some type of Hitler,and somehow believes that he is dealing with little boys,it is time for a decisive decision to be made by some means to rid west indies cricket of him.

  23. mark josef April 7, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Sammy did it at the right time,had he waited to later it would not have been as effective

  24. Randy Bridgeman April 7, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Mr. Byron is obviously not a fan of the people of the land of my birth, Barbados. So be it. We’ve had detractors from time immemorial; they will continue to exist. Suffice to say that we have contributed tangibly in all respects to WI cricket over the years. The record speaks for itself.

    In regards to the former PM’s comments pertaining to the ongoing rift between the Board and the players, he alluded to some things which those who closely follow WI cricket will be aware. The fact of the matter is short of a people’s coup, Mr. Cameron will remain in office until he’s voted out or the Lord decides his days on earth are over. He’s not the type that would do the honorable thing by resigning in the interest of WI cricket.

    The regional directors who voted for Mr. Cameron in the last election are the ones who have ensured that WI cricket and the Caribbean fan base must suffer further through the Cameron administration’s ineptitude and rank hostility to the players.

    So whither our beloved WI cricket? We know that as much as they would like, Caricom leaders who, by the way, have their own issues, cannot legally dissolve an entity such as the Board. The best they can do is try to cajole Mr. Cameron to make some much-needed changes to the structure, operation and overall culture of the Board. May our Lord show His hand strong in the ongoing bickering between a Board bent on being vengeful, players who feel aggrieved and our long-suffering fans, caught in the middle.

  25. rayroberts April 8, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Solid stuff! Void of emotion and above all intelligently articulated. Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur you have provided a solid foundation on which Dr. Keith Mitchell and Dr, Keith Rowley ought to follow. You should send a copy to Dr. Webster. Let me say highlighting Barbados’ development program and its strengths CARICOM leaders must take notice off and endeavor to implement some thing similar.


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