Cricket West Indies (CWI) is in receipt of the comprehensive and detailed report prepared by the Independent Task Force for Corporate Governance Reform.
The Report recognised the enormous cricket talent in the region and the need to harness that talent and promote its growth and presented the way in which improved governance will contribute to the process.
The Task Force also conducted case studies of cricket governance models among major cricket nations and considered it important, in the exercise of their mandate, to highlight those principles of modern corporate governance, which in their opinion, should apply to the Board of Directors of CWI as a corporate entity carrying out a public function.
The objectives of the Governance Task Force included the need to undertake a review of the corporate governance framework, standards and practices of CWI and to recommend changes “to enhance stakeholder trust and ensure more transparency and accountability in line with modern best practices for corporate governance.
The objectives also included reviewing the roles of president and vice president, the structure and role of CWI’s Board of Directors and the committee framework of the Board of Directors.
Overall, the report noted that reform was needed to ensure the sustainability of CWI, highlighting the “need to foster the rebuilding of trust and a common purpose between CWI and the other stakeholders, especially with regional governments”.
Also among their recommendations were the comprehensive reform of the governance structure using key principles of modern governance to provide greater accountability and transparency. They also recommended that the membership of the Board of Directors reflect a wide cross-section of skills and competencies, and a smaller and more balanced Board of 12 (currently 18) in the immediate instance, with an eventual reducing to nine including at least two women.
Other key recommendations also included the redefining of the roles of president and vice president to be more Board specific and non-executive as well as the establishment of a nominations committee to identify and evaluate potential directors and to nominate future directors and committee members.
The reduction in CWI Committee structure from 12 to five (5) Committees was also recommended.
Jamaican Senator Don Wehby headed the Task Force, which also included Sir Hilary Beckles, Mr Deryck Murray, Mr O.K Melhado and Mr Charles Wilkin QC. The Task Force consulted extensively within CWI, the region and internationally; and the 36-page report drew from a wide cross-section of expertise – from knowledgeable stakeholders in the West Indies as well as in the global game.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of my Task Force for their selfless dedication to the completion of this project, over the past year. Their time, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, has made the finalisation of this report a reality. We would also like to commend CWI president Ricky Skerritt and his Board of Directors for seeing the need for governance reform and giving us the opportunity to make a contribution to the sport we love, and for which we wish the utmost best,” said Wehby.
“Our Task Force has met formally 16 times over the period and we have spent many hours preparing the report submitted (the Wehby Report). We are positive that, if implemented, the recommendations of the Wehby Report will improve the governance of CWI and result in positive effects on team performance.
“The principal roles and responsibilities of the Board are organisational and financial planning and reporting, decisions on investments and capital projects, preserving the assets of the company, establishing policy, selecting the executive, general oversight of the executive and exercising other powers given to it by the constituent documents of the company. The membership of the Board should reflect a wide cross-section of the skills and competencies required for carrying out its roles and responsibilities.”
CWI president Skerritt said reform was key to the success of West Indies cricket and was the basis for their campaign that led to victory in the CWI elections of March 2019.
“Governance reform is one of the important promises vice-president Kishore Shallow and myself made prior to our election last year. When all is said and done, we expect that the Wehby Report will be seriously considered by the Directors and member representatives,” Skerritt said.
“The task force and stakeholders can be assured that we will do all we can to ensure the implementation of this report.”