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Restore West Indies cricket to its former glory (commentary)

By Basil Springer

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Dr. Basil Springer

Dr. Basil Springer

PRESS RELEASE – “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…” – Joel 2:25

Three weeks ago I concluded: “Let us commit ourselves to the faith that is needed to achieve great results as we transition from the WICB and the WIPA to the West Indies Cricketing Trust. Let us manage small wins as we build on the Under-19 West Indies success to pursue big dreams for the future and bask in the revelry of those glory days again”.

Since then, in the face of the strongly worded communiqué coming out of the 27th Inter-Sessional Caricom Heads of Government Conference in Belize last month, the West Indies Cricket Board has just concluded its Annual General Meeting and the Board of Directors quarterly meeting, in Kingston just over a week ago.

The board, with the unanimous backing of all of its six members (which may I remind you only represents a very small fraction of the authentic voices of the people of the Caribbean who patronize West Indies cricket), has decided to give itself a new name Cricket West Indies and to appoint yet another committee to assess the undone recommendations from three previous reports. Of course, the most recent report which unequivocally proposed the dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board as it now stands was not included.

It was reported that the terms of reference of this team will focus primarily on the recommendations of selected previous reports that have not been implemented and for the team to examine if there is an opportunity to bring anything back to its members for adoption as shareholders. The WICB President’s report went on to say that once that process is complete, a change management expert will be brought in to complete the process for a smooth transition.

I would like to thank those eight readers who took the time to respond to my column. Here is an abridged version of these responses in the order in which they were received:

(1) You may wish to have a look at the relatively new governance structure and mechanisms being implemented by Cricket Australia and which the England and Wales Cricket Board and others are seeking to use as a template for adapting to their own needs (Trinidad and Tobago);

(2) I thoroughly enjoyed your brilliant analysis of WI cricket in general, and WICB in particular. The steps taken by the Heads of Govt. are perfect, but long overdue. Your suggestion of integrating a Trust into the laws that will be assessed caps it all. I very much hope that the politicians will take note of his important point (Malaysia).

(3) Your column was excellent, appropriate and timely. We, who are Caribbean by “heart” and birth, hope that Action will be taken in the right direction. Keep up your good work and devotion (Canada).

(4) I feel compelled to respond to your article “The Way Forward: West Indies Cricket Trust”. I have not yet seen or heard any discussion of West Indies cricket and the WICB which has been based on a logical approach involving a cause and effect problem analysis. In this day and age with many modern planning tools/processes available, that such an analysis has not be undertaken is a shame and blot on the quality of our leaders! In all the discussions so far no reference has been made of the WICB Secretariat. Who has been responsible for the production and delivery of West Indies cricketers’ contracts weeks late on several occasions. Is it just a coincidence that the West Indies cricket decline started after the Barbados Civil Servants chased the Secretariat out of Barbados to Antigua? (Barbados).

(5) Your articles are always so well-written and interesting. This one is excellent! I hope that they seriously consider your recommendations for a strategic action plan in the near future (Atlanta);

(6) I agree fully and after seven years it is time for action…maybe a copy of this article should be sent to WICB (Tobago);

(7) This article is indeed timely and gives a suggested approach that is worth serious study. I listened (on March 5) to some of the WICB meeting via their FB page and it was mostly self praising with little self reflection (Trinidad);

(8) I am glad that the Heads have finally realized that the WICB needs to go. You should send your idea on a Trust directly to the office of the Barbados PM so that they can process it as appropriate (Canada).

Let us, with divine guidance, adopt a restoration mentality by examining (1) what went right in the glory days of West Indies cricket, (2) why did we go so wrong which resulted in the sustained decline, (3) what was inefficient then that still needs to be changed, (4) what good has been introduced in the interim and needs to be preserved and (5) what can we learn from other cricketing jurisdictions who have stabilized their performances over time.

In summary, as has been suggested in a response above, let us use a cause and effect analysis to restore West Indies cricket to the time before the “swarming locusts” took over.

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET. His email address is [email protected] and his columns may be found at www.cbetmodel.org  and  www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com.)

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One comment

  1. Living in a day dream? That is the best way to characterize this. The West Indies started out as a team and has wound up as a group bearing a team's name. In other words, without a unified sense of purpose in terms of the larger picture which was lost after the demise of the Federation, the group the group continued to win because it had the goods.

    The ICC changed that. It shifted the goal posts. The group, having lost its ideal, as articulated in "Beyond the Boundary", this remaining group of individuals we have today cannot be motivated otherwise, than by financial incentives and benefits in a sport popular in today's CommonPOVERTY. Commonwealth is such a misnomer! And beyond a certain rate of pay, money ceases to be a motivator. Romanticize it. After all, it was good while it lasted.

    Beyond the predatory activities facilitated by CSME's midwives, Anthony and Arthur, only the holders of investment capital see any value in a unity of purpose remaining in the carcass of the former federated islands. Therefore, the only consensus of opinion that can be drawn today is that there is no real consensus. The HOG meetings bear ample testimony to this. Therefore, don't embarrass yourself any further. Let's move on.

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