Revelations from CWIs town hall meeting on March 21, 2019

Sun, Mar 24, '19


WICB Under Scrutiny

The Cricket West Indies town hall meeting last Thursday evening, March 21st, commenced with a video presentation (examining what has happened since the West Indies last won the World Cup in 1979) seemingly arranged and narrated by the staff at CWI. The meeting was completed by a speech from Vice President of CWI, Emmanuel Nanthan followed by a Q&A session. Both the video presentation and the evening’s first speaker, Nathan; stressed that West Indies Cricket is everybody’s business – “it’s a WI thing”. Vice President Nathan also spoke of the spirit of the Jamaican man, which he says President Cameron epitomizes.

I have seen Dave operate in many parts of the world and when Dave walks into the room, people take note. When he walks into the room, the Jamaican confidence is there. The confidence that ‘we can do’, ‘we are better’, ‘we can be better’.

Nathan continued to describe the man he refers to as ‘comrade’.

Dave Cameron has that Jamaican swag. Sometimes the confidence of the Jamaican man and woman is underestimated and misinterpreted. So many times his (Cameron’s) swag is misinterpreted, like so many other Jamaicans – they say he’s cocky, they say he’s self-confident.

He then spoke of the financial position of the board at the time of Cameron’s appointment.

Less men and women are playing cricket. The challenges of finances were difficult, but Cameron said we have to go out there and conquer the world. Less people are playing, so what we must do is to ensure that those who are playing are taken care of. Dave Cameron led the CWI board and ensured that 120+ of our soldiers (first-class players) are paid every single month. Cameron said our season shall no longer be five (5) matches a season, but ten (10), (he) increased the match fees from $300 per match to $1500, while players were also provided with coaches and physios (in the aim of) a professional set up.

And so, CWI asked in return that players maintain a minimum level of fitness; players are now tested three (3) times a year. According to Nanthan, two years ago, our fittest athlete was equivalent to the least fit of the English team. Our fitness, in the Caribbean, has since increased 30% last year.

The Dominican continued to laud his leader.

You know what this cocky brother said? ‘When I become CWI President, we have to ensure that the monies must come in’. We won a number of series back-to-back against who? Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Every time we play (matches), it costs us money. We have nothing – $500,000 every time. The business could not survive. Cameron said we have to engage England and India. ‘We have to go on the (battlefield), we have to go around the world, we have to negotiate’. We sat and negotiated toughly with England and India to ensure that every year they came to our shores. This year we have them both. That’s where the money is coming from to pay (first-class) players every month.

For a hundred (100) years of West Indies Cricket, your and our West Indies Cricket Board had no place to call home. We had no office space; we did not have a title for one square foot of land. Can you imagine our West Indian nation fighting the world everywhere (and) have no fixed asset? The comrade said, ‘this can’t work’.

In speaking about the opposition, Ricky Skerritt, Emmanuel Nathan boasted,

I am 100% certain that the Prime Minister of St. Kitts will not support the opponent. (And) when people tell the directors of the Jamaica Cricket Association about CARICOM, tell them that Emmanuel Nanthan, from a position of knowledge and know, knows that the Prime Minister of St. Kitts will not support the candidate from St. Kitts.

And tell them that Emmanuel Nanthan also knows that the last person that employed the (current) opponent of Dave Cameron was the Prime Minister of Antigua and he sent a written endorsement for the ‘man from yard’.

The second in command then proceeded to call out the Caribbean’s mentality.

(But) for some people it’s ‘anything but Dave’. We don’t want to know him, we don’t want to know what he stands for – anything but Dave.

The Q&A session, which allowed for members of the audience to interact, led to several revelations. Responding to the unceremonious send-off for some past West Indian players, Nanthan informed,

Shivnarine Chanderpaul was the West Indian player who went on the field more than any other player. And as such, we (the board) said let’s give him one more chance. I said, “Courtney (Browne, Chairman of Selectors for the West Indies), I recall when you went out (for the last time). They had the bats and did the thing (guard of honour) for you. Let’s give Shiv the opportunity to say goodbye. Instead, we (Cameron, Nanthan and co.) were taken up and found guilty of interference.

Finally, in responding to queries from the audience, the Vice President informed the meeting that CWI started a Retired Players Foundation. He also mentioned that past players are used as brand ambassadors and that CWI also raises funds to help the less fortunate of our former players.

The CWI presidential election will take place later today, March 24th.