Anthony Lucky (centre) and members of The Lucky Committee,
Gregory Georges (right) and Avondale Thomas, make their way
to the National Cricket Centre in Couva on Friday. The trio
has been appointed by the WICB to investigate the Digicel
sponsorship contract another controversial situation
in West Indies cricket.
Photos: Adrian Boodan
Griffith announced that he would not be standing for a second
term as president of the WICB and a deadline was set for the
nomination of candidates for the post. The deadline came and
passed without nominations being received and the meeting
was postponed to a later date.
What has become clear as one of T&Ts representatives
on the board has explained is that the directors of the WICB
are not interested in the election of a president but are
determined to select their man and put him in place.
There is to be no presentation of candidates and assessment
of their qualities and an election of a president. The directors
will determine their choice and that will be that.
The WICB, like the TTCB, is the thing of a clique that is
intent on holding on to power, even if it is obvious that
the clique is unable to get the best for West Indies cricket
or out of West Indies cricketers.
Everybody is dissatisfied with the manner in which cricket
is run, especially about how the incompetents are slipped
into positions of influence and authority and how they continue
to hold on to those powers.
Everybody complains about the lack of accountability and transparency
in the dealings of the WICB in matters that concern West Indies
cricket in which we are all involved. But nothing is done
about it and a constitution that had worked well in the past,
has been literally hijacked so that it works to the benefit
of the incumbents.
Whoever gets the presidency, even with the best will in the
world, will be hamstrung by the directors of the board unless
he is prepared for serious conflict. He must be willing to
take on the incumbents who benefit from the status quo.
While WICB bewails the state of cricket, complains of the
financial mess in which the board is, thus necessitating taking
Digicels better sponsorship deal, the WICB never tells
the public the true state of the finances and of what are
the major debts comprised.
While there is tough negotiating and ongoing wrangling about
contracts for players, there is an annual telephone bill that
boggles the mind. The WICBs wages bill for a staff of
approximately 20, averages at between US$80-100 thousand per
annum or about US$2 million. One can not be too surprised
then, when West Indies Cricket Board is in financial difficulty,
especially as it was so backward in not securing better contracts
and sponsorship when the team was dominant and wanted all
over the world.
Now, when the West Indies cricket team is less than attractive,
the WICB is in the unenviable position of having to scramble
for the most immediately attractive contract, in its effort
to wipe out the pressing negative bills.
This did not happen overnight. The situation had been sliding
steadily downhill when there was a combination of events that
should have warned the population that the WICB was in a desperate
There was dissatisfaction with the management of the West
Indies team in Sri Lanka and the president decided that the
manager should be fired but the directors opposed and overruled
The WICB suffered a loss of some US$3 million in an unauthorised
investment on Wall Street. The President thought the men responsible
should be fired. Again he was overruled.
The captain and vice-captain of the West Indies team for the
first official tour of the West Indies to South Africa, held
the WICB to ransom, threatening to abort the tour over contractual
dissatisfactions. The president thought the captain and his
deputy should be relieved of the positions but again he was
overruled. He came to the conclusion that he was not really
in control and he resigned.
The new man will have the same entrenched directors who would
be protecting their own interests. Any change he would make
would only be achieved after serious battles or by convincing
some recalcitrant directors that what benefits West Indies
cricket would benefit the members of the board as well.
There is need for some higher authority to look into the running
of West Indies cricket, putting in place a constitution that
makes the Board accountable for its actions and making those
actions, on our behalf and at our expense, open to scrutiny.