Hands off!


Cricket legend and president of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Joel Garner, has blasted regional governments for their interference in the management of West Indies cricket.

Garner launched this broadside against West Indian political leaders last night while speaking at the 2016 BCA quarterly meeting at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, two Mile Hill, St Michael.

In his brief address the former West Indies pacer told an audience that included cricket legends such as Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Wesley Hall and Desmond Haynes that the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Cricket had written to the International Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India with details on the current impasse between the West Indies Cricket Board and the players.

While condemning the governments for tampering with West Indies cricket, Garner questioned the level of monetary contributions the same governments in the region were making to the development of cricket across the Caribbean.

Garner pointed out that cricket in the region needed financial assistance from the governments if it was to capture the youth from as early as the Kiddies programme.

Garner was speaking in the wake of recommendations from the Sub-Committee on Cricket Governance that the WICB be disbanded and an interim committee installed to run the affairs of cricket in the region. The Sub-Committee was set up last year following an agreement at a meeting between the WICB and the Caricom Cricket Governance Sub-committee, the latter comprising prime ministers Gaston Browne of Antigua & Barbuda, Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent & the Grenadines, and Grenada’s Dr Keith Mitchell.

The WICB has rejected calls for its dissolution, while promising to implement recommendations for its restructuring.

The WICB, especially president Dave Cameron, has come in for criticism within recent times from senior West Indies players, including Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo. Bravo during the week labeled the WICB the “most unprofessional board in the world” and Cameron as “small-minded”, “immature” and “arrogant”. He also said the management of regional cricket was in the wrong hands.

Cameron, who has overseen the introduction of the Caribbean Premier League, the Professional Cricket League and the spread of remuneration to a greater number of regional cricketers, has called on the international players who have been playing in lucrative Twenty20 leagues around the world, and with whom he has been at loggerheads, for greater compromise.

We only have 52 weeks in a year. If you want to play Big Bash, Ram Slam and all those T20 tournaments, then we also need you to bring back the information and the experience to our players back home and also our sponsors who are sponsoring our tournaments who want to have our stars back home. You can’t want to play everywhere, the WICB has to call on your services either domestic or international, but then you want the WICB to pay you a nice, big, fat retainer.”

But West Indies cricket run the risk of being derailed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as a result of political interference.

Last year following a politically appointed interim committee to take control of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the ICC warned in no uncertain terms that Sri Lanka was perilously close to being suspended from the its membership.

ICC’s chief executive David Richardson detailed the repercussions Sri Lanka would face if politicians started interfering with the autonomy of the SLC.

In mail headlined “Apparent appointment of interim committee to run Sri Lanka Cricket”, Richardson made it clear that Sri Lanka would face suspension from ICC if the government arbitrarily took steps to appoint an interim committee without any proven misdeeds by the elected SLC office bearers.

“I note from reports in the media of today’s date that the government of Sri Lanka intends to form an interim committee to run the cricketing affairs of Sri Lanka Cricket.

“Whilst we have no further or substantive information about the accuracy or otherwise of these media reports, I just wanted to flag with you the risk that such action could put Sri Lanka Cricket in breach of Article 2.9(B) of ICC’s Articles of Association which states as follows: ‘Where a government interferes in the administration of cricket by a Member, including but not limited to interference in operational matters, the selection and management of teams, the appointment of coaches or support personnel, the Executive Board shall have the power to suspend or refuse to recognize that Member…’.”

Last night former Prime Minister Owen Arthur who also  addressed the BCA’s quarterly meeting, said the WICB had to recognize that governments had a role to play in their own jurisdictions and there was a need to find common ground.

“It is not very difficult to see how or why all of the circumstances surrounding the governance of the development of West Indies cricket needs to be substantially re-ordered and improved to restore the Caribbean game to its former glory within the family of cricketing nations.

“Conflict and confusion at all levels and between all entities however seem to be the chief and only indigenous stroke that is being played in relation to West Indies cricket. I have no interest in adding to the controversies either.

“The WICB should recognise that governments have a role to play in their jurisdictions without which the game at the regional level will wither on the vine. Finding common ground on development matters is the place where the two set of entities need to locate their efforts and energies,” he said. (NC)

12 Responses to Hands off!

  1. mostmark April 9, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    I am in agreement with Joel Garner. It is my view that there should be no political interference by Caricom in the day to day management of the WIBC. Most International Sporting Federation forbid political interference at any level. The regional boards of the WIBC are the only stakeholders with standing to correct any perceived weakness in the structure of West Indies cricket. Technical deficiencies among West Indies cricketers cannot be blamed on the regional organization. The development of cricket must start in the schools and clubs of the member territories not at the regional level.

  2. Collin Colliie Chase
    Collin Colliie Chase April 9, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    The man for the job a straight shooter.

  3. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay April 9, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    i wid yah on that.

  4. Cat Rock
    Cat Rock April 9, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    This would be valid if an independent objective organisation had not audited and recommended disbandment of this organisation

  5. Cuthbert Lucas
    Cuthbert Lucas April 9, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    I agree with you Joel. Do not let them interfere or you will be either sold or be downgraded.They cant run their countries but want to run a very efficient organization. Listen to what Donville Inniss said to get the Customs into BRA so that they people could get ahead with their business-only big businesses. Keep them out and let them stay out.

  6. Alex Alleyne April 9, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    If I at some point looking forward to be sitting in that “mighty” seat at WICB, I too will be saying the same thing like “big bird” .Even the Devil in Hell know that the WICB and its territorial boards need a CLEAN SWEEP. Be gone for good , as is.
    Notice that the only persons wanting to keep business as usual are the people that “sucking the sweets”.

  7. Rickie Brown
    Rickie Brown April 9, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Legend!! He knows his Game!!!!

  8. kenny Bovell April 9, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Can one of the “Leaders” in the whole scheme of things in WI Cricket call for everyone to cool it and discuss the unity and future goals of WI cricket. Making negative comments and little snide remarks will not bring desired results. Did this media house carry the Owen Arthur call for all stakeholders to seek common ground and move forward. Ask Mr. Garner what are his thoughts on that call by the former PM. Love will see us through not anger, name calling and accusations.

  9. bimjim April 9, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Is there ANYTHING in the ENTIRE Caribbean that Marxist Comrade Ralph Gonsalves has NOT poked his lickrish nose into? And at taxpayer expense?

  10. Nathaniel Samuels April 10, 2016 at 11:40 am

    These guys who are spouting the most are those in the big T20 series around the world and want now to get everything in their purse. They need to know that without the WICB they would not be where they are today. Many times these guys did not play for the West Indies because they wanted to play in lucrative series all over the place. One also said that as far as he was concerned on the totem pole, West Indies cricket was the last. Now he wants to talk positively about West Indies cricket.
    Yes, West Indies cricket has to take a lot of the blame because many years ago, it allowed the players to get away with many of their misdeeds. Now this is here to haunt them.
    The leaders have taken up a stance of wanting to disband the WICB. Many of them are ‘in bed’ with many of these players and are bound to offer support whether or not the players are wrong in what they have done. Do we ever hear any leader reprimanding any of these players for anything that is detrimental to the people of the region? Did the leaders show any concern when they, like other citizens realise that there might be some problem during the Indian tour which was finally called off? A phone call to the ‘swagger boys’ might have seen a different result to the problems that we finally had to face. My advice to the leaders as I have always said is, deal with the problems in your country, get them sorted out then have a serious discussion re how you can help West Indies cricket.
    Let us stop being a laughing stock in the cricket world.

  11. Frank D Alexander April 10, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I agree that there should be no interference into Caribbean Cricket by regional Governments because they have to first demonstrate their commitment to development of the grassroots cricket in their countries. A compromise of 50% or 75% of regional representation might get our best players in the league for part of the season but more importantly allow them to earn a living and improve on their skills. These players play better in foreign conditions because they are familiar with the conditions and pitches in those places.
    While we need the best players in the region to play during our season there is a need to find a balance here because these same players have to earn a living in the foreign tournaments.

  12. PatrickM April 12, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Well said Nataniel Samuels!!


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