Guyana town-hall meeting focuses on Board issues

The West Indies Cricket Board train rolled into Guyana for its town-hall meeting on Wednesday evening, with the elections of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and the issues at various county and area boards taking centre stage again. President of the WICB, Dave Cameron, and his deputy and vice-president Emmanuel Nanthan fielded questions from local stakeholders of the game, specifically about the legality of the board and how the WICB plans to sort out the current administrative issues and its prolonged stay in the Courts.

Cameron adumbrated the view that for the cricket boards to move forward personality issues have to be sorted out and the sport has to be taken out of the Courts.

One recommendation made by former executive Claude Raphael was to have free and fair elections – something he says has not happened since 2009.

Recommendations made by the stakeholders were to have mediation with the parties, to adopt the strategy employed by FIFA to implement a normalisation committee and revamp the constitution to hold free and fair elections.

Meantime, the WICB boss revealed that he has had a meeting with the Government of Guyana, more specifically, the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Dr Rupert Roopnarine and talks were aimed at moving the sport forward.

However, former West Indies player Roger Harper stated that while talks with government is welcome, the problem remains not with them but among the the county and country boards.
Gender Equality

Emily Dodson, of Malteenoes enquired if there was, possibly, any discrimination by the Board on a gender basis. She stated that men’s cricket has been at the forefront of the WICB when in fact the women’s aspect has been higher-ranked.

She also raised the issue of age group cricket for women. In response, Cameron said there was no discrimination on the part of the WICB towards women’s cricket and as it relates to the female age groups, commercial viability for the women’s cricket is not as strong as it is for the male version.

Board finances and disbursement of gear/grants

The WICB was also questioned on how a tight leash is kept on its member associations as it relates to their spending and disbursement of funds to which Cameron indicated that other than financial records, no other checks are carried out.

But Cameron indicated that they grant each territorial board US$50 000 yearly to deal with cricket development and only recently it was upped to US$100 000.

Members claimed that certain associations were given preference with regard to the distribution of gear while others were often overlooked.

Domestic league and selection of coaches

Cameron, quizzed about how coaches are selected for various tours, responded by saying that the recommendations are usually made by the Director of Cricket, in this case Richard Pybus, and then taken to the Board of Directors for them to either approve or disapprove.
“The Board has the final say,” Cameron explained. He was taken to task about the support staff on the West Indies team and how they are selected. His response was that the current head coach (Phil Simmons) chooses his support staff.

Meanwhile, questions were raised over the current Professional Cricket League (PCL) system and why there is need for two out of country Franchise players. The WICB head responded by saying the aim of the tournament was to ensure that cricket is moved away from the traditional methods of having countrymen-cliques to having teams comprised of different members from different countries working together.

He said that the West Indies team is built on the same principle where players from different areas come together to form the unit and as such, they want it to start at the domestic level.

Other issues raised were the possibility of the farewell series for Shivnarine Chanderpaul, how selectors were chosen for the Board and if the Board had any intention to make greater use of former players in an active capacity.

(Taken from Guyana Chronicle)