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Dissolving Windies cricket board sidestepped after meeting

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St. George’s: The controversial proposal to dissolve the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) was not discussed when Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom) leaders and the WICB top brass met here.

However the Caricom leaders and WICB ended the preliminary meeting on Sunday with a decision to continue their dialogue after a WICB board meeting scheduled for next Saturday, reports CMC.

The three hour meeting at the Spice Island Beach Resort focused primarily on the issue of the governance of West Indies cricket.

Officials from both parties told the media that the meeting provided “frank, open and healthy” dialogue.

However, reports from inside the meeting say the board remained adamant while the Caricom leaders continued to insist on changes.

“All of us are very clear, the issue of the governance and structure of West Indies cricket, this is the fundamental issue,” declared Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, the chair of Caricom’s Cricket Governance Sub Committee after the meeting.

“The leadership of the region will not be able to duck away from that fundamental issue. That has to be the front burner issue for us.”

The meeting was called by Mitchell following the release of the report by the Cricket Review Panel in October, which called for the immediate dissolution of WICB.

The panel was appointed by Caricom’s Cricket Governance Subcommittee earlier this year to assess the governance structure of West Indies cricket and to make recommendations for reform.

“The board indicated that it needed to also consult with its stakeholders and after this there will be other meetings to discuss how we go forward as far as the governance of West Indies cricket,” Mitchell explained.

“So that’s the leadership clear position as far as the way forward is concern.”

Meantime the WICB says it is expecting feedback from the territories on the way forward for the governance of West Indies cricket during Saturday’s board meeting.

“Once it goes back to the territorial boards and we get that feedback. It will be funneled through that channel. It is important that the stakeholders who are most important in this factor have an opportunity to decide on the future of West Indies cricket,” said Carole Beckford, WICB’s head of marketing.

Beckford added: “So the board has to acknowledge that process and I think the sub-committee agrees. The final thing to is that we must agree on a consensus and the consensus will be based on some of the factors discussed. Governance and structure are issues that have been put on the table and that has been acknowledged the process and how we deliver that will be the interesting and important way going forward.”

Embattled WICB president Dave Cameron led the board’s delegation but did not speak to the media.

Caricom’s delegation also included Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley, Barbados sports minister Stephen Lashley, Antigua and Barbuda’s sports minister Paul Greene and the foreign minister of the Bahamas Fred Mitchell.

IANS