By now everyone knows that whenever West Indies Cricket Board is embroiled in a major crisis it’s customary to seek help in the form intervention from civil society or the Caribbean Community governments (CARICOM), usually it’s a Commission of Inquiry made of respectable and prominent public figures! Often these disputes are between board and players stemmed from wages or contract disputes.
After one such major flared up WICB enlisted the help of P J Patterson, a former Prime Minister of Jamaica . The aim or objective of this commission was to provide answer to the West Indian fans and major stakeholder and where possible offer solutions. After months of intense and extensive investigation, the committee produced a 138 pages report highlighting the problems and made several recommendations.
One of the more glaring issue that stood out was the manner in which WICB runs its affairs. They noted that in order to survive WICB must changed from its present management structure of a president, Vice President and 6 directors and give way to more regional representative body. The Patterson Commission also recommended the reconstitute body to include. 1- a council..comprising of 23 members who should be drawn from a large spectrum across the region such as private sector, civil society and pass players. They will meet once a year to review all aspect of the game and its management. 2 – a board to run the day to day operation of cricketing affairs. This will comprise of 13 members who will come under a president, vice president and chief executive who would be appointed by the council. There will also be 6 executive directors which would be nominated by territorial boards of the region. To date none of these recommended changes have been instituted by WICB in terms of its governance, as it seem that the past and present powers refused to relinquish their tight hold on power.
Maybe if these changes had been implemented it could have averted that major disaster between the players and WICB during the Indian tour last year. However this burning issue remains, causing Caricom to ask for fresh intervention concerning WICB governance. This latest move to address this should not be taken lightly as the other report by the almost bankrupt entity need the assistance now of Caricom more than any time in order to survive in the future. This committee with be headed by Sir Denis Byron president of Caribbean Court of Justice and former West Indies player Deryck Murray.
This will be a much welcome move by all concern stakeholders who wish to see the once powerful WI rise back to the top in world cricket. It would be wise that this time around the power that may be would heed the report and institute that changes recommend in terms of managing of WICB affairs and not let it slide as previous one under the rugs that cause us to descend into utter despair over the years.