CARICOM to scrap cricket board

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley

CARICOM leaders have signaled their intention to scrap the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and appoint an interim body to revive the game.

This was the decision taken when CARICOM heads of government met in Belize last week for the 27th Inter-Sessional Conference.

This was revealed by Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley during a media briefing at Piarco International Airport after attending the meeting.

He indicated the final ball in this “over” will be “bowled” when CARICOM leaders meet in Guyana in July this year for their regular meeting.

Dr. Rowley said that a decision was taken for the leaders to go over the head of the WICB and inform the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India of the position of the heads of government and “let them be put on notice of the position of the heads of government of region.”

He said the heads of CARICOM have decided that the time has come for serious action in trying to save West Indies cricket.

Referring to reports from CARICOM’s Sub-committee on Cricket, chaired by Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, the T&T prime minister declared, “The decision of the heads is that we insist the recommendations of the committee be implemented, one of those is that the WICB be dissolved and an interim body be put in place to begin restructuring of the management of West Indies cricket.”

“This is a position which was resolutely opposed by the WICB, which has been cherry-picking the recommendations and seeking to impose upon us, their decision that nothing is wrong with the management of West Indies cricket,” he added.

Rowley indicated his involvement in this issue began last November when he shortly returned home after attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta, “we went to Grenada at the invitation and urging of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to attend a meeting of the CARICOM Sub-committee on Cricket.”

He said the meeting involved some very eminent regional persons such as the President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Sir Dennis Byron “to focus on the whole question about the deterioration of West Indies cricket and the absence of proper and acceptable management.

He further indicated that the matter had reached a point where CARICOM leaders decided that in keeping with the recommendation made by St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves last February, the deliberations in Belize “CARICOM will now discontinue any further discussions on the matter with the WICB.”

Barbados Prime Minister Frenduel Stuart, speaking on the fringes of the conference, said the heads planned to approach the ICC “with a view to heightening awareness about the governance problems that have bedeviled the administration of West Indies cricket.”

He assured that Caricom was not attempting to take over or run West Indies cricket.

In a communique issued last after the Belize meeting on the issue, CARICOM leaders “reaffirmed their commitment to the development of West Indies cricket and applauded the recent performance of the 2016 World Champion Under-19 team.”

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