Leeward Islands Cricket is in a crisis. Evidence of this surfaced on Friday, July 5, 2013 when the Nevis senior team was set to engage the St. Kitts senior team at the ET Willet Park.
Grounds man Jabal Tyson had prepared what he referred to as a ‘good pitch,’ one that he was confident that the cricketers would get out of it what they put in.
The cricketers for both teams were present and conducted their warm up exercises. However, at the appointed time for the game, there were no official umpires present to officiate the game.
As the spectators lingered in the Park trying to get more information, eventually it was learnt that the Leeward Islands Umpires were apparently on strike.
President of the Nevis Cricket Association Keith Scarborough in an interview, indicated that after he had learnt that the Umpires had made themselves unavailable, he spoke with the Manager of the St. Kitts team and he appeared willingly to have the game played with the use of other umpires. He noted that he indicated that he would get the services of former Leeward Islands umpire, Denzil Parris and asked that St. Kitts send over an Umpire approved by their Association. He stated that disappointingly, the President of the St. Kitts Association Mr. Aukland Hector bluntly rejected the proposal, opting instead to pull his troops back to St. Kitts.
The St. Kitts team duly returned to St. Kitts and the match was officially called off.
The word is that a similar occurrence was registered in Montserrat but the Cricket authorities there managed to pull former international Umpire Basil Morgan out of retirement to officiate the game, along with another unscheduled umpire. That match between Montserrat and Antigua, was played.
Scarborough also revealed that the Nevis Cricket Association is dead broke. The Nevis team is scheduled to go to Montserrat this week and then cross over to Antigua for a follow up game. He indicated that his Association was recently responsible for hosting several Leeward Islands under 19 matches with a promise of compensation but now that they have spent virtually all the money in the coffers, the promised money is yet to be acquired from LICA.
‘We don’t have any money to send the team anywhere,’ he lamented. He noted that the Nevis Island Administration normally assists with tickets for the players but money will be required for accommodation, food etc.
Meanwhile, Montserrat’s Cricket chief, Gregory Willock had some scathing words to direct at the LICA leadership. In an emailed memo on Friday 5th July entitled ‘Serious State of Affairs,’ Mr. Willock stated:
“Good evening all,
I hope this mail gets to all the relevant Associations with LICA. Today marked the start of the Leeward Island senior 3 day tournament and I am just disgusted with the behavior of the LICA executive; members executives; umpires Association and LICA overall.
First of all, we had a situation where umpiring was not properly sorted but all teams were ready to pay cricket. We in Montserrat asked our local umpires to stand in with the permission of the Leeward Umpire President who assured that the matter would be resolved for the next round and hence the game went on.
However in Nevis, the SKCA asked their team to travel back on the ferry and the game abandoned. I contacted the President and the Vice President of LICA to resolve the financial debacle and neither could give me any type of satisfaction up to this point.
I think the time has come for us to stop accepting the BS and get the rid of a dysfunctional and emotional bunch of individuals that’s running LICA business as if they are some kind of secret society. I have for the past 2 years given of my time and energy to try and help even without proper explanations because I choose to let the interest of Cricket supersede.
I am simply tired of an unpaid job with no gratitude and constant cover up. I am asking that we have an emergency meeting to get the rid of the present dysfunctional and unaccountable executive that keeps passing blame on the wrong set of people.
This has become a very serious matter and if we keep silent, we are all to blame. There can be no excuse given as to why the LICA Board should not submit their resignations immediately.
I bid all please to make a decision and join me in asking the executive to step down and give us a chance to save LICA.
THE TIME IS NOW”