WICB Media Release Antigua and Barbuda
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (WICB) — Antigua & Barbuda’s Minister of Sports EP Chet Greene believes that disbanding the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) will not solve the issues plaguing the game in the region.
His sentiments echo that of the country’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne who, in a statement following the team’s triumph over England in the ICC World Twenty 20 finals on Sunday, credited the WICB with being on the right path.
Greene said the hardcore approach could have far reaching implications for all involved.
“We see no value in disbanding the board; it would only lead to chaos. If the Caribbean governments were to ban the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), it means that Caribbean cricket and all the glory we are now enjoying could suffer. The cricketers who ply their trade in India, with a world ban on West Indies cricket will not have that opportunity to ply their trade and so therefore my call and the prime minister’s call has always been for sober, rational, sensible discussions,” he said.
“I am not saying the governments should take over or disband the West Indies Cricket Board, but what is required is for the model to be re-looked, where the stakeholder group called government has a little more say in the organisation and operation of cricket,” he added.
There have been several calls for the Dave Cameron-led board to step down, following post-game remarks by T20 captain Darren Sammy who, while dedicating the ICC World Twenty 20 triumph to their fans, accused the WICB of disrespecting the players.
Greene believes Sammy spoke out of turn.
“You don’t spoil an occasion with the politics of the situation. Darren Sammy’s comments may very well be legitimate and may very well have a place in the discourse. I don’t want to pretend that all is well and so while his comments may be rooted in truism and give rise to the need to continue the reflective and engaging practices, I think what was done on the morning when the world was watching the region, kind of took away from, and blunted the moment,” he said.
The minister, also president of the country’s National Olympic Committee (NOC), has however warned against any sort of sanctions being taken against the player for the remarks.
“I hope that the talk of some form of sanction that those be entertained, that they not be encouraged but rather that, now that the game is over and the celebration is somewhat waning that those in authority would find time to get back to the table,” Greene said.
“What is required here is for there to be sober, sensible, civil discussions about cricket. The fact that the game brought back pride and nostalgia last Sunday means that Caribbean people are looking for more of this,” he added.
West Indies had won the tournament, defeating hosts Sri Lanka in the final in 2012 with their players being amongst the most sought after by T 20 clubs around the world.