Divisions among leaders in the Caribbean over the state of West Indies cricket could destroy CARICOM.
This is the view of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago, who said he was surprised he did not see West Indies cricket on the agenda at the recently concluded heads of government meeting in Grenada.
“The subject has become one that threatens our very unity among us on the table,” Prime Minister Dr Rowley said revealing that he tried unsuccessfully to have the struggles of the regional Test team put on the agenda. “Not a single person leading our territories joined and as a result of it there was no comment on West Indies cricket.”
The prime minister, during a radio interview on Saturday night, said the state of the game could destroy CARICOM.
“Because when one leader who is hosting, the others could walk away because of something he said about what is going on in cricket and…what is happening with a particular country that is apparently benefitting from the current arrangement, all kinds of issues arise and in that scenario CARICOM is losing sight of what really should be happening,” Dr. Rowley said in obvious reference to statements made by CARICOM chairman Dr Keith Mitchell at the start of the annual summit last Tuesday night.
The Grenadian Prime Minister told the gathering then that it was disheartening that regional leaders agree to a unified position in private before announcing opposing positions publicly.
“The legacies that have been created by our players on the field, and the voice they have given throughout generations, to expressions of West Indian identity, have been well-documented and chronicled through the years. So, when we get together to discuss the current challenges of the regional game, it is not merely a case of politicians dabbling in some useless pastime,” Mitchell said while urging unity behind CARICOM decisions against the background that with Cricket West Indies (CWI) not discharging its role, CARICOM had a responsibility to act.
But Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne defended his government’s position insisting that it has a policy of not interfering “in the internal affairs of institutions and governments”.
Browne, in a statement to the media, said that the governance of West Indies cricket “appears to be an evocative romanticism of a particular Caribbean head”, noting also that the CWI board operates independently of governments (and) now there is a particular head who is of the view “that with my support and other heads that he could achieve his compulsive, obsessive desire to dissolve the board.”