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EDITORIAL: After Gayle, bigger issue is WI cricket

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

EDITORIAL: After Gayle, bigger issue is WI cricket

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The good news on regional cricket is not only that Chris Gayle’s return to the West Indies team could well be very soon; but that, more importantly, an agreement recently brokered by CARCIOM Heads of Government holds the possibility of a new dispensation in relations between the region’s team and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
The year-long conflict between the WICB and the former West Indies captain has been distressing for fans across and beyond the Caribbean, as well as for governments that continue to invest in this premiere sport.
What encourages optimism for improved relations between the WICB and the West Indies team is that the agreement brokered by CARICOM came within weeks after the WICB had rejected a proposal by the Jamaica Cricket Association for the reinstatement of Gayle.
Understandably, until due consideration has been given by the WICB to a related letter, drafted on behalf of CARICOM by St Vincent’s Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, for the agreement brokered with Gayle, a final official pronouncement on this most regrettable episode has to be awaited.
There is no doubt the foundation has been well laid for an end to the fracas between Gayle and the board with the intervention of the CARICOM leaders. Nor should it be forgotten that the initiative for a resolution of the so-called “Gayle/WICB problem” had resulted from an official intervention at both a national regional level by Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.
Now that Gayle has seemingly dropped some of his earlier reservations for a  return to the WI team, and the WICB is indicating a more mature approach, the bigger, and decisive challenge ahead is for the region’s governments and the board to become engaged in a new and serious initiative for implementation of the core recommendations of the seminal report submitted since October 2007 by a high-level Governance Committee On West Indies Cricket.
Chaired by Jamaica’s former prime minister P.J. Patterson, himself a well known cricket enthusiast, the report offers critical insights for the future development of West Indies cricket.
Sadly, the WICB, to whom the report was submitted in accordance with an earlier mandate of CARICOM leaders at a meeting in St Lucia, has been virtually sitting on its hands, while the Community’s leaders themselves remain inactive.
Now that the year-long conflict involving Gayle and the WICB seems headed for closure, the expectation of the region’s public would be for action on the 2007 Governance Committee Report On West Indies Cricket.