March 24, 2005

Mitchell warns of World Cup consequences

ST GEORGES, Grenada (CMC) – Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell is hoping that “common sense prevails” in the current West Indies cricket impasse, so that World Cup 2007 is not compromised in any way.

Prime Minister Mitchell, also the chairman of the CARICOM Prime Ministerial Sub-committee on cricket, has already attempted to resolve the current West Indies cricket sponsorship standoff, but has experienced little success in doing so.{{more}}

“I hope and pray that common sense prevails because I think we (Prime Ministerial Sub-committee) have offered serious advice to the West Indies Cricket Board and to all concerned,” Prime Minister Mitchell told CMC Sports.

Following the WICB’s decision to exclude captain Brian Lara and six other Cable & Wireless-sponsored players from selection for the upcoming series against South Africa because of their personal endorsement contracts, the Prime Ministerial Sub-committee intervened in an effort to end the dispute.

Dr Mitchell said he was concerned that if the appropriate decisions were not taken, the West Indies would be sending the wrong message about their ability to host a successful World Cup tournament.

“I am concerned about West Indies cricket,” Dr Mitchell said.

“I am concerned by the message we send to the international community about the prospects for a successful World Cup and by implication, the prospects for further economic development.”

He continued: “In the case of Grenada where we have been battered by Ivan, we need all the message of hope with the World Cup coming up, to send the right message that we are ready to host a World Cup and be very successful at it.”

Dr Mitchell said he was, however, not unduly alarmed by the comments of Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur, who criticised the Sub-committee’s role in the sponsorship impasse.

“I don’t think the remarks were meant to be public,” Dr Mitchell said.