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PM Rowley: WI cricket has been ‘hijacked’

Thursday, April 13 2017

PRIME MINISTER Dr Keith Rowley has bemoaned the state of cricket in the Caribbean, and has accused certain members of the region’s governing body, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), of being “hell-bent on destroying West Indies cricket.” Rowley was speaking on the CNC3 Morning Brew yesterday morning where he spoke on the lack of involvement by CARICOM (Caribbean Community) in West Indies cricket.

In November 2015, a CARICOM cricket review panel, appointed by the Prime Ministerial Committee on the Governance of West Indies Cricket, recommended the WICB be dissolved and all current members resign.

But, in May 2016, Antigua/ Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne openly rejected the call for the dissolution of the WICB, saying that move “would be to plunge WI cricket into further chaos and confusion.” Yesterday, Rowley pulled no punches when it came to his take on the sport regionally.

“Caribbean cricket has been hijacked by a small clique of people who are hell-bent on destroying West Indies cricket,” said Rowley.

“And it’s my position that unless the question is answered as to who owns that asset, we’re spinning top in mud.” The Prime Minister admitted, “We are being told in the West Indies, and I have been told to my face, along with my colleague the Prime Minister of Grenada (Dr Keith Mitchell) that ‘you all have no say in this. This is West Indies Cricket Incorporated’. And it is their shareholders that they have to please.” He continued, “I don’t know who the shareholders are. But what I do know, unless there are drastic changes to the current arrangements, West Indies cricket will never get back to where we want it to be.” Rowley is hopeful that the 2017 final of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will be staged in Trinidad, but admitted that, due to the state of the economy, Government may have to adopt a cautious approach when it comes to the bidding process.

“We are available to make (an) offer, not a largesse, but we can make some contributions, if CPL is interested,” Rowley acknowledged.

“There are talks going on.

And if they agree that Trinidad and Tobago is the best place and what we’re offering, what we can afford is in their interest, then it would be here.

“We can’t provide that kind of money that was provided initially.

We just don’t have that kind of money. We’re competing with others. I hope that the final would be here.”

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