ICC to focus on Windies
DUBAI – Salvaging West Indies’ next scheduled tour – to South Africa – will be the first priority at next week’s board meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC), says top official Wally Edwards.
Edwards, the chair of the ICC’s executive committee, said he believes a new spirit of good faith exists at the ICC to resolve the current West Indies debacle.
West Indies cricketers aborted their tour of India over a pay dispute with the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), leaving the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) furious.
“I think there’s a genuine desire at the ICC next week to get things back on track,” Edwards said.
“In the past, you’d talk about these things but you could never resolve anything in previous administrations at the ICC because there were factions all round the table and it was very difficult to have good-quality debates, then make a decision. But we have now got a fully functioning board and it’s well led.
West Indies cricket has been placed on a financial precipice after a BCCI announcement that it intends to file a US$42 million lawsuit against the West Indies and that it was suspending bilateral arrangements.
But Edwards said he does not foresee West Indies being bankrupted by the withdrawal of Indian support via the television revenue to be gained from India tours of the Caribbean.
“I don’t believe they will be lost, I can’t imagine that,” he said.
“They’ve had disputes before. They’ve had ongoing rumblings there for quite a while, and I feel confident they will get resolved.”
Edwards acknowledged that the “meritocracy” principles driving much of this year’s governance reforms – which placed India, England and Australia at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in terms of revenue from ICC events – have placed additional pressure on other nations to get their houses in order or risk relegation from cricket’s top tier. But he was adamant that the board was far more capable of dealing with issues now that all its members were committed to dialogue and problem solving. (CMC)