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Shed WICB Baggage From The Top

By Orin Davidson
Feb. 19th, 2009
Compared to all the other West Indies Cricket Board blunders over the years, the latest fiasco in Antigua would win a unanimous decision in the levels of condemnation that erupted in its aftermath.

Almost every West Indian with an avenue to air his feelings, thinks it is time the Julian Hunte administration excuse itself of the perpetrators who caused the abandoned second Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

The problem is that no one knows for sure who is specifically culpable for making a mockery of the preparation for the latest abandoned fixture between West Indies and England.

West Indies Cricket Board President Julian Hunte during a visit to New York.

There is a WICB President in Julian Hunte, who took it upon himself to apologize for a situation that developed despite the existence of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and also a Chief Operations Officer.

They are all part of a fully staffed Board which is obviously too top-heavy for the type efficiency required of a professional sports body.

It is even more ludicrous that the President who heads the Board, does so in a volunteering capacity, as opposed to that of CEO which is a paid full time occupation.

In addition there are 16 directors, along with a vice president, who happen to be the core of the Board operations because they make almost every conceivable cricket and non cricket decision.

Such a bizarre arrangement is a recipe for accountability malfunction, which is probably the crux of the problem bedeviling West Indies cricket.

It therefore begs the question of the necessity of having a WICB President when there is a CEO who has a fully staffed office, ranging from marketing and communication managers to janitors. Likewise there is no need in entrusting all decision making to a Board, especially one of the WICB’s size.

More so, when the President’s job seems to amount to noting much more than showing his face at every conceivable cricket function at all corners of the Globe.

Even a recent impromptu meeting in New York between the little known United States of America Cricket Association and Haroon Lorgat, the International Cricket Council (ICC) CEO, which had zero relevance to West Indies cricket, did not escape the WICB’s president’s presence.

Whatever benefits are realized from his globetrotting trips is anybody’s guess, but what is certain us that West Indies is going backwards and needs to change its structure to reach any level of real development.

No serious sports organization would have a CEO and a President, who traverses the cricket world all the time, and who has the luxury of an office in his home island, outside of the organization’s headquarters, that happened to the subject of a funding controversy.

West Indians frequently use the United States as a model to aspire to and if cricket fans look closely they would learn that the key to the country’s sports success lies in the structure of its ruling bodies. In the NBA, NFL and MLB, a single official heads those bodies. He happens to be the Commissioner who is accountable for every decision made, is employed full time and hires whatever staff he needs to run the show. Also, the buck stops at his feet every time.

West Indies cricket could do with that type of professional administration.

Also, fans need to hear more from the people who put West Indies Cricket on the map - the ex-players who have been far too quiet while the sport has been crumbling before their sorrowful eyes over the years. They need to vent their feelings with public calls for change to the dysfunctional WICB.

No first ball duck could’ve humiliated Sir Vivian Richards more than the shambolic work done to prepare the stadium that bears his name, on Friday.

Beginning with those ex players on the WICB, those closest to positions of authority, fans need to hear from Clive Lloyd, Deryck Murray and Joel Garner first, about their agony and desire to right the wrongs in the administration.

These players, Sir Vivian and all the other stars of yesteryear, need to shed all sentimental feelings and voice their resentment, regardless of whatever egos are hurt in the process.

The game made them what they are today and they have a responsibility to help create an environment similar to the one they enjoyed, to develop the aspiring West Indies world beaters of the future.

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