Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (far right) poses with fellow Heads of Government at the Twenty-Seventh Inter-sessional Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Placencia, Belize. (GP)
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PRIME MINISTER Freundel Stuart and other CARICOM leaders are so concerned about the problems facing West Indies cricket, including its governance that they intend to approach the International Cricket Council.
This was disclosed by Stuart, as he spoke on the fringes of the Twenty-Seventh Inter-Sessional Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean (CARICOM) at the Ocean Beach Club in Belize on Wednesday.
He said that during the summit, an initiative was taken that Heads of Government had to intervene to protect the interests of the people in the region, who patronised West Indies cricket and “who have a vested interest in it”.
Admitting that it was no secret that there was a “stand-off” between the West Indies Cricket Board and CARICOM Heads of Government over the state of West Indies cricket and the issue of cricket governance, the Prime Minister stressed that they intended to approach cricket’s governing body “with a view to heightening awareness about the governance problems that have been be-devilling the administration of West Indies cricket”.
“Now, I just want to make it very clear that Heads of Government understand that it is not any part of their remit to try to take over West Indies cricket, or to try to run West Indies cricket - that is the function of the West Indies Cricket Board. But what Heads [of Government] are [saying] is that the standards of corporate governance at the moment are undesirable, and that they have been doing much to undermine the integrity of West Indies cricket, and certainly, are compromising the standards to which we in the Caribbean have grown accustomed,” he stated.
Explaining that some regional leaders had contrasting views on the way forward, he noted: “some Heads of Government have already come to the conclusion that it is a waste of time trying to engage [in discussions with] the present West Indies Cricket Board and therefore, there has to be an appeal elsewhere and other measures have to be adopted to sensitise the West Indies Cricket Board to the concerns of both Heads Of Government and the people of the region”.
The Prime Minister assured the people of the region that the matter would be followed up and further action contemplated at the appropriate juncture.
The issue of the state of West Indies cricket has been an agenda item at the level of CARICOM for some time, with a Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Cricket and Cricket Governance being established and chaired by the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr Keith Mitchell.
During this year’s summit, leaders also examined recommendations coming out of a report by a special cricket review panel chaired by Professor and Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Dr Eudine Barriteau. Other members of the panel are President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Sir Dennis Byron; and president of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr W. Warren Smith. (BGIS)