Entrusting the right leadership
Dr Ralph Gonsalves is the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines. He is not, my research tells me, an office-holder in the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) or in any of its affiliated organisations.
While as a citizen of this region he is entitled, like any of us, to his views on West Indies cricket and the administration thereof, he must be reminded that his should not necessarily warrant special consideration.
But even if we were to make an exception in his case, we must hold Dr Gonsalves to a set of standards befitting of his office. In the same way that he would not brook interference in the internal affairs of his sovereign state, in like manner, the shareholders and directors of the WICB should resist his attempted interference in the internal affairs of what is a private company. He should certainly be reminded that the question of the presidency of the WICB is a matter solely for its board of directors and that election to that post is determined by its constitution and not by media campaign.
Continuing on the matter of standards, it would be a welcome intervention to hear the goodly prime minister speak publicly on the executive lawlessness now taking place in St Kitts/Nevis where Parliament did not meet for close to two years to avoid debating an opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion, and in Guyana, where Parliament has been prorogued, with the result that there has been no parliamentary oversight on massive contracts.
Aren’t these matters even more important than the current cricket dispute, and shouldn’t Dr Gonsalves lend his voice to the voiceless in those two countries? Shouldn’t what is good for the goose be good for the gander?
Very shocking also has been Dr Gonsalves’ comment that Chris Gayle has nothing to apologise for in relation to his public outburst on the omission of Messrs Bravo and Pollard from the West Indies squad for the forthcoming World Cup. Whatever the extent of one’s disappointment, players in sports or employees in offices must adhere to the provisions of their code of conduct, otherwise we allow for situations of lawlessness to flourish and for our environments to become ungovernable.
One hopes that the WICB would demonstrate the fortitude to deal with such infractions promptly and without fear of blackmail, since both organisations and countries require discipline and good order if they are to be successful in the management of their affairs.
By now, the WICB must be well aware of the complexity of its challenges ahead. A resolution of its dispute with the Board of Control of Cricket in India would require drawing on a wide range of skills, such as legal, financial, diplomatic as well as seeking assistance from the cricketing fraternity.
Assistance should also be sought from Caribbean stalwarts such as Sir Shridath Ramphal and former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, who are well known within the international political and diplomatic community.