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Call to restore confidence

Haydn Gill

Call to restore confidence

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The structure of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and concerns over corporate governance have prompted a host of recommendations aimed at restoring confidence in the organisation.
The WICB’s corporate governance committee has advised the board that its 2011-2016 strategic plan would require full support and confidence of other stakeholders of West Indies cricket, particularly regional governments, the private sector and Caribbean people.
“Support and confidence at current levels will not be enough,” the committee stated in its four-page report.
“The stakeholders have genuine concerns about the governance of the WICB and the structure of the board of directors which have affected their confidence in the WICB.
“That confidence must be restored in the early days of implementation of the plan if it is to succeed.”
The three-man committee, chaired by long-standing Kittitian cricket administrator Charles Wilkin, and including WICB director, Vincentian Elson Crick and Barbadian accountant Grenville Phillips, noted that since 2000, the WICB had five presidents, six chief executive officers and seven captains.
“The turnover of players has also been enormous. Those facts in and of themselves serve as an indictment of the board of directors and justify substantial structural changes of directors.”
The committee is proposing that the board be reduced from 18 to 15, comprising the president, vice-president, six territorial board appointees, six elected directors and the chief executive officer, who should be a director ex officio.
It is also suggested that the terms of the president and vice-president should be extended from two to three years and both individuals may be re-elected for a second and final term.
A memorandum of understanding is proposed between the WICB and each territorial board which should contain provision recognizing the importance of the latter selecting as its director a person with the requisite skills and expertise to contribute effectively as a director to the business of the WICB and not simply as a delegate of his territorial board.
“The restructuring we recommend will bring new and additional expertise to the direction of West Indies cricket, allow greater involvement of the stakeholders and provide a better balance of the board between directors appointed by territorial boards and elected directors,” the committee said.
“In making our recommendations, we recognize the uniqueness of the WICB as a corporation and seek to apply to the best extent practical the fundamental principle of corporate law and practice that a director of a corporate entity must function primarily in the interests of the corporation and put those interests above the individual interests of the shareholder who appointed him.”
The committee noted that principle had not been fully practised in the past by the appointed directors who tended to operate as delegates promoting the interests of territorial boards.