Reforming of WICB a matter of concern for region – Caricom boss

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By Akeem Greene

Though in recent times, there was no public constructive regional conversation on the current state of West Indies Cricket, CARICOM Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has stated that the indiscretions of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) are still on the radar of the regional body.

WICB President Dave Cameron (left) and some West Indian players have been logger heads over the years

LaRocque speaking at press briefing on Monday in the lead up to the 28th Heads of Government Conference which will be held on Thursday and Friday at the Secretariat, made it known that the board needs reforming.

“The position of the community is very clear on the need for modernizing and reforming the administration of West Indies cricket, that remains a concern, notwithstanding the instances where performances may have improved from time to time,” the Secretary General stated.

In July 2016, CARICOM reaffirmed its resolve to dissolve the WICB and said it would soon create another Prime Ministerial sub-committee that would have a wider say on cricket in the Caribbean.

A CARICOM cricket review panel had made the recommendation to dissolve the WICB in November 2015, in a report that termed the board’s governance structure as “antiquated,” “obsolete” and “anachronistic”.

At the last the heads of government meeting, Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell had stated, “We will do everything possible to effect the decision”, adding that “We’re looking at legal options on the basis that cricket is a public good run by a private institution.”

More so, controversial WICB president, Dave Cameron is set to be returned unopposed when the embattled organisation stages its Annual General Meeting next month which sends a message that the paradigm with the board will not be shifted.

Prior to his re-election in 2015, Cameron came under fire from St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who branded the WICB president’s leadership as “poor” and “embarrassing”, while calling on him to resign.

In this regard, LaRocque, insisted that the members are still perusing avenues to ensure that the region’s cricket affairs is administered in a fair manner.

“By and large, there is a problem  that needs to be looked at and we continue to  peruse that, the Heads of Government  have established a mechanism for continuing to look at  the issue and that will continue” the Dominican disclosed.

Over the last decade or more, West Indies cricket has plummeted due to appalling performances on the field and the constant infractions between players and officials.

In Tests, they are currently ranked in eighth-place just ahead of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Since 2009 across four captains, the regional side has played 57 Tests, losing 29, drawing 15 and winning 13.

Judging by the numbers, in the One Day International (ODI), the regional side seem to struggle even more since across six different captains from the said time line, they have lost 57 of the 89 ODIs played while coming out victorious in only 28. Three were tied and one ended as a no result.

The year 2016 returned some glory with the team winning their second Men’s World T20 title, the Women, winning their first and the Under-19s winning their maiden World Cup title, there is a long road ahead for  the revival of West Indies cricket.

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