Legendary West Indian cricketers want non-functioning WICB to be dissolved
In a move which could shake West Indies cricket’s structure, a panel comprising of former greats such as Garry Sobers, Viv Richards, Wes Hall and Andy Roberts has called for the under-fire West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to be disbanded. ESPN Cricinfo reported the distinguished cricketers seeking an interim committee to oversee the affairs of the sport in the Caribbean region.
The legends invoked the recommendations proposed by the CARICOM review during a meeting with Grenada Premier Keith Mitchell who heads the Prime Ministerial Committee to clean up the mess which ensued after West Indies withdrew from a tour of India mid-way in October 2014.
The panel noted, “During the last two decades, many different presidents and CEOs have led the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and yet, its performance has declined steadily with each passing year.”
Slamming the WICB for not doing enough to sustain the interests of the Caribbean community, the legends asserted, “The Board is an oligarchic structure that considers itself answerable to no one, but itself. It is one of the few sporting institutions that have remained virtually unchanged in attitude and structure in the last 70 years or more.”
Darren Sammy, who led West Indies to a second World T20 title in India had also torn apart his board in the presentation ceremony. The 32-year old’s scathing criticism on the WICB came across as a massive embarrassment to the beleaguered officials.
The panel also observed that even the BCCI who are usually known to be quite stubborn in their approach, had to initiate reforms following the Supreme Court’s intervention. Lambasting the WICB for remaining stagnant and failing to evolve to the changing times, the group of venerated players did not mince any words.
They claimed, “Inexplicably, the WICB prefers to maintain the status quo and yet, it expects to get different results while it continues to do the same things. We believe that revival of West Indies cricket will only happen when the Board undergoes structural adjustment, and when it improves the quality of its communication and leadership, and upgrades the management of key relationships.”
Despite some differences of opinion between the iconic stalwarts, they shared the same goal which was to rejuvenate West Indies in both Tests and ODIs. Alongside a failure to secure qualification for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, the Windies have been languishing at number 8 in the Test rankings for a very long time.
Once an unstoppable force in the cricket world, the panel members had represented the Caribbean region with integrity and pride. They lamented, “We are very proud of our legacy. We cannot now in good conscience stand idly by and watch everything that we fought so hard to build and achieve disappear right before our eyes because of the actions of inept Board members and an incompetent Board.”