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EDITORIAL: WICB should start with clean slate


EDITORIAL: WICB should start with clean slate

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LIKE MOST ELECTIONS around the Caribbean, the vote for the position of president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has prompted tremendous anticipation.

In the build-up to next Saturday’s annual general meeting in Jamaica, there has been intense lobbying in connection with that contest, in which the incumbent Dave Cameron is facing a challenge from Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) president Joel Garner.

While reports point to Cameron appearing to have the backing of four of the six regional territorial associations, the result can hardly be viewed as a forgone conclusion given the unpredictable nature of anything associated with West Indies cricket.

Cameron came to office two years ago with lofty expectations after unseating Julian Hunte. The 44-year-old Jamaican, who had served as Hunte’s vice-president for six years, set out to restore the West Indies team to the top of world cricket and identified the building of talent, securing increased revenues and uniting the region through cricket as his major objectives. It would be fair to say he has had a measure of success on some counts, but has failed on others.

This election comes amidst the uncertainty of the WICB’s future against the background that the board faces the small matter of having to compensate the Board of Control for Cricket in India US$42 million over the unprecedented abandonment of a tour to India last October.

A three-man task force established by the WICB to investigate the circumstances surrounding the early finish of the tour, in our view, correctly concluded that the WICB, the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and the players were all culpable.

Be that as it may, it cannot be business as usual. It would appear that Dwayne Bravo, the captain of the West Indies One-Day International team, and his fellow Trinidadian Kieron Pollard have paid the price for the roles they played in India. If this is the case, we argue that these two should not be the only ones held responsible and we believe that the top brass of the WICB and WIPA should be relieved of their positions.

In this regard, we do not support the retention of Cameron as president. At the same time, however, we do not see Garner as the alternative.

Notwithstanding his status as a West Indies cricket legend and his success as BCA president – although many attribute the BCA’s development in recent years to mainly those around Garner – we do not feel Cameron’s successor should be a member of the current board, as Garner is. We strongly contend that the entire board of directors must accept collective responsibility for the India fiasco and that for us to go forward we need a completely new slate.

If the poll at next Saturday’s election is between two members of the existing WICB, it looks like a choice between six and half-dozen. Moreover, we join with many around the region who feel there must be more transparency and accountability within the WICB as well as better adherence to sound corporate governance.