Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has hinted that he will step down as chairman of CARICOM’s Sub-committee on cricket governance, but he was not prepared “to play games” with the future of West Indies cricket.
Mitchell, who has been at the forefront of spearheading efforts to effect the restructuring of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), said he fully endorsed the recent Barriteau Report, which last year recommended “the immediate dissolution” of the embattled WICB.
However, with CARICOM locked in a stand-off with the WICB over the matter, the Grenadian prime minister said he was fully prepared to step away from his current role though he would remain outspoken on the governance issues facing the game.
“It would appear we did a poor job in communicating what has occurred so my view is that I need to step back. I have no ego to get from this. I have one interest and the regional leaders, mostly so, have one interest: the success of West Indies cricket,” Mitchell said as he delivered the 19th Sir Frank Worrell Memorial lecture at the UWI Cave Hill Campus recently.
Mitchell also sought to brush aside the idea that he and CARICOM were intent on taking over West Indies cricket. In fact, the veteran leader said not only was this not their objective, but prime ministers were not even equipped to properly run the game. He said, though, the regional grouping had a role to play in creating the environment for the game to prosper.
“I want to make it abundantly clear again to everyone, CARICOM has no desire or intention of getting involved in the running of the day-to-day management of West Indies cricket,” Mitchell said.
“CARICOM’s sole objective in the process of reform is helping to create a structure and an enabling environment where West Indies cricket can again flourish and rise to the pinnacle of the sport,” he noted.
The Barriteau Report was commissioned by CARICOM with agreement from the WICB, and authored by UWI Cave Hill Principal, Professor Eudine Barriteau.
Meanwhile, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has rejected calls for the dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to pave the way for a new governance structure.
He is predicting that the regional game would be plunged further into “further chaos and confusion” if the WICB was dissolved.
Speaking in his capacity as chairman of the CARICOM Committee governing West Indies cricket during a function in St. John’s, Antigua to observe 90 years since the WICB became a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Browne told the audience that he rejects the call for the dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board and, “I do so in my capacity as chairman of the CARICOM Cricket Committee government West Indies cricket.”
Among the guests was the President of the WICB Dave Cameron.
Browne’s public revelation put him at odds with Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, the current chairman of CARICOM”s Sub-committee on cricket governance, who both have called for the dissolution of the WICB.
Prime Minister Browne is recommending that the board and stakeholders strengthen the WICB governance structure by ensuring “greater transparency and accountability” and “a better dispute resolution.”