HYPOCRISY. This was how former West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president Dinanath Ramnarine yesterday described the recent nominations of Joel Garner and Baldath Mahabir for the posts of president and vice-president respectively, in the wake of forthcoming West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) elections next month.
Ramnarine thinks that these nominations should be openly rejected by the Caribbean’s cricketing bodies as he feels the pair failed to distinguish themselves as WICB Directors and must share the blame for the decline of Windies cricket due to the poor functioning of the regional governing body. He said the most recent administrative scandal was the players’ strike of the India Tour (October, 2014) and a looming US$42 million bill from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
According to the former national cricketer, Garner and Mahabir are WICB members and together had a part to play in the events leading up to the players’ strike in India. Following the team’s actions in October, the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) executive committee also threw their support behind the WICB, unequivocally condemning the players for their actions on tour in a resolution.
However, recent newspaper reports during the past week indicated that the TTCB executive met on Tuesday and “deliberated long and hard over the events that took place recently in West Indies cricket and it was decided that too many mistakes were made concerning the aborted Indian tour and that Cameron and Nanton had to be held accountable.”
Responding to these recent happenings, Ramnarine explained, “it’s wrong and hypocritical for them (Garner, Mahabir) to come across like this (for nomination) now. Because they are now distancing themselves from Cameron and Nanton due to how they handled the situation with the BCCI in an improper way.
“I sat down with Azim Bassarath, Baldath Mahabir, Manohar Ramsaran and all the people within the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board and they condemned the players without even understanding the other side and accepted no responsibility whatsoever. Because the question was raised, whether the WICB was at fault at all, and they didn’t think so.” The former national and West Indies leg-break bowler believes the entire WICB committee disqualified themselves on the basis of their performance and how they have run regional cricket during their tenure.
“They have proven to be unsuitable for these leadership positions because collectively and individually they have demonstrated that they are incapable of defending West Indies cricket. If fact, what they have done is taken the sport 20 years back. What is the sense putting the same people to do the same thing and expect a different result?” Ramnarine questioned.
Asked what may be a possible solution to this fiasco, Ramnarine called for good governance of all regional cricketing boards, starting with the WICB and into other Caribbean bodies.
“It comes down to the governance of cricket and it comes back to the root cause which are the territorial boards. Territorial boards do not have a proper governance structure. For example, the TTCB has 12 outgoing votes. Twelve people do not put themselves up to be elected when they have an outgoing vote. That is 50 percent of the votes that you need to win any election.
“This shows that they are supported by an undemocratic, unfair and unconstitutional constitution that they have benefitted from and it’s almost impossible to move the incumbents, not because you don’t want to move them, but the constitution is set in a way that it is impossible for them to move. It’s like asking themselves, to remove themselves,” he added.
Ramnarine also noted that the West Indies team has not been playing up to par due to the fact that the Caribbean’s management and administration of the sport have failed across the board. He also hailed Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis who recently reiterated the significance of good and transparent governance.
He concluded, “from my understanding, the BCCI is going to deal with Cameron because he upset them in a tremendous way. I don’t think that Garner and Mahabir have the negotiating skills to bring the WICB out of this. These guys have been around for a long time now and what do they have to show for this time?
“Regional cricket is going in the opposite direction. The TTCB supported it and it is absolutely hypocritical to come now and try to distance themselves in pursuit of power.
“The other regional cricket boards should take note, distance themselves and reject all four of them (Cameron, Nanton, Garner and Mahabir).”
Efforts to contact Bassarath and Mahabir yesterday proved futile.