On Target
March 22, 2013

‘Same ole khaki pants’ in West Indies cricket

Whatever the outcome of next Wednesday’s elections of the West Indies Cricket Board, no one expects that there will be anything refreshing coming to West Indies cricket.Vying for the post of president is the incumbent Julian Hunte, who is being challenged by Whycliffe Dave Cameron. The vice presidency will be a run-off between Emmanuel Nanthan and Joel Garner.{{more}}

One may argue that they are basically six of one, half a dozen of the other, but the process must take place.

The elections have created a definite buzz across the region, as the undertakings mirror those of national politics. The proceedings are decorated with manifestos and other paraphernalia, similar to those our islands experience every five years.

Had the candidates put the same energies into their administrative tasks, as they are doing with the electioneering, undoubtedly, we would have not been in the predicament we are, where our cricket is at the back end of the pecking order.

Following the voting formalities next week in Barbados, the diplomatic speeches would once again emerge, the empty promises unveiled, as the ole pair of khaki pants (skin-fitted, pencil-foot type) adorns the board, except worn in a different period.

It will be business as usual, as the evident boys’ club continues its merry march of administration of the regional game, as history is the back-up.

Pat Rousseau, Ken Gordon, Clyde Walcott, Wes Hall, Peter Shortte, Dr Julian Hunte, name them, have all come with grandiose plans to do the turnaround in cricket and restore world pride for the Caribbean peoples.

But all have fallen short of the mark, as the hopes and aspirations have evaporated as soon as they left the lips of those who proffer them.

The restoration of some reasonable standard of consistency of the flagship senior team needs more than the paper trail of proposals, and the many developmental courses that are staged with regularity.

The core of the West Indies cricket woes lies not on the field of play, but within the walls of the meeting halls of those, with whom lies the responsibility of charting the course of the sport’s progress.

Therefore, unless the structure of the board, with the constitution first up, is revamped or done away with altogether, nothing will ever change for the better, in West Indies cricket, in the foreseeable future.

Not that this call for a change is novel, as the issue of governance was highlighted in the P.J. Patterson Report of 2007, which in essence points to the dire need for a restructuring of the board, and the way it is configured.

As it is now, and has been for many years, the board of management consists of the representatives of the six territorial boards.

In a case of no better the beef, no better the barrel, the same directors simply transfer their territorial shortcomings to the wider regional board.

Adding to the continuum, the administrative make-up of those who are stationed at Factory Road in Antigua has more mascara than a beauty salon, as there are positions for almost every conceivable operation; yet things are not turning around for the better.

The many vagaries and inefficiencies cannot be corrected simply by one election, as the pack has been reshuffled so many times, to no avail.

Unfortunately too, the board has to be dealing with players who are more concerned with the number of zeros which come on their pay cheques, than the zeros they make when they got out in the middle, adding to the complexity of the situation.

The average Caribbean person who still cares about the prosperity of the sport is not concerned about the fancy dressing, about things such as having a High Performance Centre, but strategic plans and the team winning and more so, dominating.

West Indians in the main are not contented with winning a world event sporadically, as we did by taking the 20/20 title last October in Sri Lanka and the Champions trophy back in 2004.

In order for us to capture more accolades such as those, the problems being experienced in the sport have to be fixed at each island’s level, beginning from the administrators.

Are we willing to change the status quo?

That, and a green donkey you will not see!!!