West Indies have reached a new low

Judgment day is 11 August but is there anyone willing to touch the poison chalice?

I have not watched the recent series between Bangladesh and the so called ‘West Indies’ team as I cannot take the foolishness any more.

I am positive there are thousands like me. The difference is I cannot stay silent any longer.

The West Indies Cricket Board has made a complete mockery of our people for a long time but this is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The board asked the striking players to aplogise! But the board should apologize to the West Indian community for the embarrassment they have caused us internationally and especially to our players for the years of torture.

There are always two sides to each coin; hence the West Indies Players’ Association must not be left out. This is not a game with winners. This is life for us.

Those in authority on both sides have lost the picture and only looking to score points.

The board has outdated systems dating back to the 19th century and run our cricket as a sugar plantation with masters and slaves.

The employees at the board’s office are treated better than the employers – the players. And that is unacceptable. The WICB are just the custodians not the masters.

Those of you who know will remember the incident of a West Indies captain asking why the team that brings in the money should fly economy while the board officials travelling on the same plane are in first class.

Could you imagine the board’s administrative employees being employed without a contract and having to wait on monthly salaries or not knowing what the salary will be? But that is what they are doing to the players.

There is not enough space in this article to go into the mountain of ills bestowed on us by each succeeding board.

We honestly or foolishness believed that the Clive Lloyd and Vivian Richards era will last forever; that we will continue to produce fast bowlers and master batsmen at every corner and therefore our success will conceal the obvious ineptitude of our administration.

There was no visionary plan to move into the 21st century whether it was on the playing field, organizing an academy, a proper domestic league in particular after the original masters blocked our participation in their domestic leagues or administratively to cope with a new world order and a progressive players’ association.

The board cannot appoint proper people to committees whether locally or internationally without issuing favours, cannot communicate with the players’ association, players, fellow regional organization International Cricket Council Americas, cannot sensibly organize regional tournaments using Sundays as a playing day which will allow spectators to attend, cannot establish a trainers coaching committee with suitably qualified personnel. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The list goes on and on. The buck stops here.

My view on a way forward is based on the changing the formation of the board to one director in each of the six territories instead of having two, having one, independent president and vice-president, a players’ representative and two independent directors.

There should be a committee to meet with the players’ association immediately to resolve all outstanding issues.

All contracts must be discussed months in advance as we are aware of the Future Tour Programme and agreed with the players’ association.

Contract players should have proper playing, medical and retirement clauses.

There should be an immediate reinstatement of our players – and they do not need to apologise.

The West Indies coaching staff must introduce preparatory programmes before each home or away series and give assignments to our players for the off season.

Under the leadership of my friend Dinanath Ramnarine we were privileged to better understand the workings of the board.

However, he must accept that he cannot continue along the lines of right and wrong to win points or show up the other side. These are cheap victories. WIPA should not be looking for victories but betterment of West Indies cricket. WIPA cannot be the organisation that is credited of bringing down West Indies cricket by asking for more and more at every turn. Rome was not built in a day.

Board elections are planned for 11 August. We cannot remain with those who lead us in this mess. Where are the good Caribbean leaders?

After the humiliation of the last elections, Clive Lloyd will be reluctant to put his name up but we must approach him. May I suggest to our respective territory presidents to approach someone with integrity and leadership ability, get a consensus and let’s get our lives back.


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