A West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) director, speaking on the condition of anonymity, has questioned CARICOM’s ability to solve the present impasse between the regional cricket body and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and suggested that only the International Cricket Council (ICC) can save West Indies cricket now.
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and Grenada Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell met WICB directors and their attorneys over the weekend about the impending BCCI lawsuit and the players’ dissatisfaction with the new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)/Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Already, there have been suggestions that the MOU will go to arbitration while the WICB supposedly promised not to victimise players.
Nine of 17 WICB directors contacted by Wired868—Azim Bassarath, Baldath Mahabir (Trinidad & Tobago), Billy Heaven, Don Wehby (Jamaica), Anand Sanasie, Anand Kalladeen (Guyana), Joel Garner (Barbados), Enoch Lewis (Leeward Islands) and Julian Charles (Windward Island)—all refused to comment on the matter.
However, one prominent director, who spoke anonymously, did not hide his scepticism about what the CARICOM leadership brings to the table.
“CARICOM speaks a lot (but) in the past never did much,” said the director, “only when WICB is in a crisis you suddenly see them appearing as mediators. Gonsalves from past evidence is just a big talker.
“Prime example was two years ago when you had the Chris Gayle situation when President Julian Hunte and CEO Ernest Hilaire were at the helm and these same two Prime Ministers were involved. If they (Caricom) had been working more closely with WICB in the last decade maybe all these governance structure and depth issues would not still be around today.
“CARICOM will only dictate to WICB if this crisis is solved under their guidance, it’s not a proper working relationship.”
The director further admitted that the WICB cannot meet the BCCI’s financial demand. However, he expects the International Cricket Council (ICC) to intervene in the matter since the WICB is not financially capable of meeting BCCI’s demand for US$42 million compensation.
The WICB suggested that West Indies cricket was too valuable to the sport for it to be allowed to fall into an abyss.
“Some ICC intervention will be needed to help solve the matter because no cricket nation really wants to see Windies collapse as an institution and team,” he said. “The WICB is US$6 million in the red, so good sense will have to prevail in the global cricket community over this issue.”
The anonymous director said all three parties—the WICB, WIPA and the players—made a huge faux pas during the events that led to the aborted series in India.
However, he confirmed his support for WICB president Dave Cameron as the Board’s “front man” and called on fellow directors to rally behind the Jamaican administrator who is “under tremendous pressure.”