Former Jamaica and West Indies captain James Adams is calling for stronger leadership at the level of the West Indies Board, as the impasse involving the West Indies Players Association and the Board worsens.
Adams, who is secretary of the players’ association, said poor leadership had led to the breakdown of negotiations that has resulted in an under-strength West Indies team representing the region in the two-match home Test series against Bangladesh.
‘Leadership is needed at the Board level for this matter to be resolved,’ Adams said of the ongoing dispute.
‘If the standard bearer for the game in the Caribbean is the administration, then we have to start there. Leadership is something that is lacking in the Caribbean. The Board’s structure is rife with poor leadership.
‘This is something that our cricket in Jamaica, in Barbados, in Guyana and all the other territories have suffered from.
‘If there is not good leadership for the 19-year-olds who will travel the world and see what proper sports management involves, by 24 they will be rich enough to make up their own minds. Those same issues with sponsorship money, injury payments will come up again.’
The St Mary-born left-hander played 54 Tests for the West Indies, scoring 3,012 runs at an average of 41.26 as well as 127 One-Day Internationals. He said there was little hope of arriving at a quick resolution.
‘There is nothing that we can do. The players have refused to play without contracts.’
The players are fed up of having to sign contracts on short notice with little or no chance or negotiating.
None of the original squad members chosen turned up in St Vincent and the Grenadines for the first Test against Bangladesh.
But according to Adams, it was not because Bangladesh were seen to be weak why the players decided not to show. Instead, he said, there were pent-up feelings that finally erupted.
‘In January before the England tour started, it was a split vote by members of WIPA’s executive as to whether or not to play against England. It was decided that we would go ahead with the tour. The players were fed up from then coming out of the tour of New Zealand.
‘If it were left up to me, no cricket would be played from long time. Simple.
‘When we went down to St Lucia for the One-Day Internationals against England, the players did not want to play, because outstanding matters were still not resolved, but we still played. Subsequently, things have just gotten worse.’