Arthur’s West Indies wish

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur says West Indies cricket must be remodelled and transformed into a viable entity, if the regional game is to find its way out of the doldrums.

Arthur, also an ardent cricket enthusiast, was speaking while delivering the feature address of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club on Friday night.

‘West Indies cricket is the greatest institution in the Caribbean. It has broken down barriers in the region,’ the Caribbean statesman told a gathering of administrators, current and former players.

‘What needs to be done, must be done to return West Indies to the place it once stood. Sports is just not business, but big business. We need to create a company with a clear business plan answerable to stakeholders, and if this is not done, West Indies cricket will go from crisis to crisis.’

Arthur, who lost at the polls in January, said he was also saddened that the West Indies Cricket Board had not sought to act on the Governance Report, which had articulated a new way forward for the management of West Indies cricket.

The Governance Committee, which was chaired by former Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson and also comprised Dr Ian McDonald, and Sir Alister McIntyre, was commissioned last year to examine the structure of West Indies cricket and make recommendations.

Only last month, CARICOM’s Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Cricket held a meeting in Antigua involving the WICB and the various stakeholders, to examine the Report.

Arthur said although the West Indies cricket team was the greatest institution in the Caribbean, there was ‘malice’ in West Indies cricket, which was not in the best interest of the game.

He also said while the WICB needed to pay players, they in turn, needed to take pride in winning like teams skippered by Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards did in the past.

The gathering included former West Indies players Joey Carew and Bryan Davis and current young players Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo.