Prima Donnas in Plenty: West Indian Cricket in Internal Strife

Decisions following June 17th meeting of WICB Board of Directors –Kingston: Following are decisions taken by the Board of Directors of the West Indies Cricket Board at the meeting of the Board in Kingston, Jamaica on June 17th.

 Dinanath Ramnarine

 Chris Gayle                         

Sulieman Benn

West Indies Players Association:

1.   The WICB will continue to treat WIPA, the representative body of the players, with the highest degree of respect and as a principal partner inWest Indiescricket and will continue to engage WIPA on matters pertaining to West Indian players.

2.   However, given Mr. Dinanath Ramnarine’s threatening action towards the WICB Chief Executive Officer and the unprofessional conduct of Mr. Ramnarine during a recent meeting on June 14 2011, the Board will no longer engage with Mr. Ramnarine on any issue unless there is a change in his behaviour and conduct.3.   It is the Board’s stated view that Mr. Ramnarine has not demonstrated any willingness to constructively dialogue with the WICB in the best interest of West Indies cricket.

4.   The Board has directed management to communicate with WIPA to this effect.

 Chris Gayle: WICB Management reported to the Board that the attempts to discuss and resolve issues with Mr. Chris Gayle (as it pertains to his behaviour over the past months) ended inconclusively. The WICB Management will continue efforts to resolve the issues with Mr. Gayle. 

Shivnarine Chanderpaul: WICB Management met with Mr. Shivnarine Chanderpaul on Saturday June 18th in what was a fruitful and productive meeting regarding his future involvement inWest Indies cricket.

Sulieman Benn: WICB Management will continue to engage Mr. Sulieman Benn in an attempt to resolve issues relating to his discipline and behaviour.

Draft Strategic Plan: The Board approved the Draft Strategic Plan (DSP) following a presentation by the WICB Management.

Regional Super50: The Board approved the rebranding of the regional 50 over tournament to the “Regional Super50”. The tournament will be played inGuyana and the schedule will be announced at a later date.

 Caribbean Twenty20: The Board approved the Caribbean Twenty20 to be played in Trinidad (part preliminary round) and Barbados (part preliminary round, semi-final and final) from January 9th to 22nd

Milton Henry: Mr. Milton Henry, newly elected Vice President of the Jamaica Cricket Association, was appointed director of the WICB.

 Beach Cricket: The Board approved the event concept for a new WICB initiative – Beach Cricket. Management will execute more work on this initiative and brief the Board at a subsequent meeting.


WICB statement on meeting with Chris Gayle

 Following is a statement from the West Indies Cricket Board on the meeting with Chris Gayle.

 On Tuesday June 14th Chief Executive Officer of the WICB, Dr. Ernest Hilaire; Director of Cricket, Anthony Howard; Head Coach Ottis Gibson and Team Manager Richie Richardson met with Chris Gayle in Kingston. Gayle was accompanied by West Indies Players Association President and CEO Mr. Dinanath Ramnarine and WIPA Vice President Wavell Hinds at the meeting. The WICB team outlined to Gayle that the Board has had issues historically in communicating with him and establishing a productive working relationship. Exceptional efforts had been made, especially during his tenure as Captain, to establish that relationship.

Gayle was previously written to by the Board about these issues. The issues include his social media announcements that he was taking a break from the game, that the Sri Lanka tour had been cancelled, among others. He demonstrated an unwillingness to engage the Board.

 This pattern of behaviour culminated with his widely publicized interview on KLAS radio in Jamaica. WICB is of the view that comments had a detrimental effect on the relationship with the West Indies Team Management, the WICB management and was unbecoming for a professional sportsman who would be desirous of playing within that same team environment.

 The Gayle team did not share this view and articulated their position that Gayle’s conduct was a response to how he felt the Board treated him and had tarnished his name and reputation. 

There was a frank exchange on the differing views. Gayle sought an explanation as to why he was not picked for the India Series. The WICB Team explained that: 

  1. The comments made by him in the KLAS interview had created much ill-will with Team Management and unless there was a settling of differences, it would be difficult to see how the parties could harmoniously function;
  2. That WICB Management had to establish with him the necessity to respect rules and regulations and his willingness to engage, in a constructive manner, on matters which are of concern to him;
  3. That the Selection Committee would have to meet with him to discuss issues relating to the Selection Criteria;
  4. That the WICB Board of Directors would need to provide policy guidelines on how to handle players who for reasons other than fitness, or personal distress make themselves unavailable for selection but expect to be selected whenever they deem it necessary to make themselves available.

After lengthy discussions the WICB’s team outlined that Dr. Hilaire would have to meet with the WICB Board of Directors and the Selection Committee to report on the discussions and establish the way forward having now had a frank and direct discussion with Gayle. As the Board Meeting is today Friday June 17th, it was proposed that the WICB Management would write Gayle after the meeting to outline the way forward.

The meeting with Gayle ended in uncertainly though as Mr. Ramnarine insisted that the WICB has no business writing to players and under no circumstances should WICB be writing to Gayle or any player for that matter as it is his view that the players are not in the employ of the WICB.  The Board of Directors will receive a Report from the CEO on the meeting with Gayle and the behaviour, actions and conduct of Mr. Ramnarine during the meeting with Gayle.


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