West Indies legends call for dissolution of WICB

In a release represented by former West Indies greats Garry Sobers and Viv Richards, among others, the West Indies Cricket Board in its current form is asked to be immediately 'dissolved' and an interim board appointed in its place.

The communication is jointly represented by these former West Indies players: Viv Richards, Garry Sobers, Wes Hall and Andy Roberts.   -  Getty Images

West Indian cricket legends, including Garry Sobers and Vivian Richards have demanded the “dissolution” of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and a formation of an interim board in place of the “obsolete” body.

On April 14, converging under the umbrella banner of Cricket Legends, Sobers and Richards, accompanied by Wes Hall and Andy Roberts, met with Grenada premier Keith Mitchell, chairman of the Prime Ministerial Committee on the Governance of West Indies Cricket. The committee appointed the CARICOM cricket review panel in the wake of the crisis that emerged following the West Indies’ withdrawal from India’s tour in October 2014.

“During the last two decades, many different presidents and CEOs have led the WICB and yet, its performance has declined steadily with each passing year,” the legends said in a joint media release. “The Board is an oligarchic structure that considers itself answerable to no one but itself, It is one of the few sporting institutions that have remained virtually unchanged in attitude and structure in the last 70 years or more.”

Under pressure

Even the most powerful cricketing board, BCCI, the legends observed, was under pressure from India’s Supreme Court to bring in structural changes in the running of the sport. “Inexplicably, the WICB prefers to maintain the status quo and yet, it expects to get different results while it continues to do the same things,” the release said.

“We believe that revival of West Indies cricket will only happen when the Board undergoes structural adjustment, and when it improves the quality of its communication and leadership, and upgrades the management of key relationships.”

They further stated in the release, “We are very proud of our legacy. We cannot now in good conscience stand idly by and watch everything that we fought so hard to build and achieve disappear right before our eyes because of the actions of inept Board members and an incompetent Board.”

The legends’ wish-list included immediate resignation of all current WICB directors, establishment of an interim board, and formation of a new board structure, among others.

The five-member review panel comprising Murray, V Eudine Barriteau, Sir Dennis Byron, Dwain Gill and Warren Smith, concluded its report on October 15, in which it described the WICB as “obsolete”.

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