Who owns Windies cricket?
LOOK AT THE bigger picture, cut out personal issues and determine the ownership of West Indies cricket.
That’s the advice from Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on how to resolve the dispute involving former captain Chris Gayle, who has been excluded from the regional team over critical remarks he made about coach Ottis Gibson, and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
Skerrit also believes the ownership of West Indies cricket must be determined, as both the WICB and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) have periodically asked the CARICOM Heads of Government to intervene in disputes between the two parties.
“I read his letter, a very profound letter, where he [Gayle] explained to people his side of the story.
“The main question we have to ask ourselves is who owns West Indies cricket?” Skerrit said on Sunday in a radio interview on the Line and Length Network.
“This is a question which I believe we as West Indians and CARICOM Heads must find an answer to,” he added.
“From time to time, WIPA would ask us to intervene and then we would intervene and the board would say, ‘that’s our business’ and sometimes, the board would ask us to intervene and WIPA says that’s their business,” he noted.
“You really need to know who owns West Indies cricket and I believe it is important that we find some kind of solution with the problem between the WICB and WIPA because it is not good for all of us, at all.”
Gayle has scored 6 373 runs in 91 Tests, including two triple-centuries, at an average of 41.65 and 8 032 runs in 225 One-Day Internationals at an average of 39.37 with a joint West Indies record 19 centuries – same number as Brian Lara.
Skerrit said the opening batsman has “contributed quite a bit to West Indies cricket, his entire youth”.
“I think we need to sit down to listen to him and put his message across to the West Indies Cricket Board and find a solution,” Skerrit said.
“It is not about personalities. It is about the pride and joy of West Indies and West Indians. And we must move beyond some of the personal issues which I see which come between things from time to time and we really need to change that,” Skerrit said.
The 39-year-old Skerrit, in his second term in office, also revealed that his government and the people of Dominica have been rallying behind their fifth Test cricketer, Shane Shillingford.
The off-spinner was recently cleared to bowl again in international cricket after he was debarred from bowling by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and asked to do remedial work on his action.
“I have no doubt that he will get back into the West Indies team.
“It is unfortunate that he had to go through this traumatic experience, but all of us in Dominica provided him with support . . . ,” Skerrit said.