We must continue to push for restructuring of West Indies cricket- St Vincent PM

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By Akeem Greene

The troubles that plague West Indies Cricket are by no means being ignored by CARICOM as on Thursday, St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves expressed his firm belief that the regional body must continue to push for the restructuring of West Indies Cricket.

“It is a work in progress, we have to really to push for the continued restructuring of West Indies Cricket to enhance its democratization and to make sure it is sufficiently reflective of the public,” the Prime Minister stated while speaking to the media at the 28th CARICOM Inter-sessional meeting at the Guyana Marriott International Hotel on Thursday.

Just days ago, 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. Likewise, Dr. Gonsalves felt that though the WICB is a private institution, the hope that discussions at this conference can help derive a plan of action to deal with those indiscretions.

He explained, “This is a public good that is cricket which is being run by a private entity, these are matters which are litigated in India and certain conclusions have been arrived at and we have to address this with greater urgency and I’m hoping that sometime during this meeting we can get some further discussions on this matter.”

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

The Grenadian was questioned on the progress of that legal analysis and stated that he is optimistic of the results he has received thus far.

“We have legal optimism and they have to properly filtered; they are two legal opinions which have come to CARICOM as to how we can move forward,” he revealed.

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.”

Added, the constant spats between players and the board, the on-field performance has been utterly disappointing.

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 just 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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