Port of Spain (Trinidad): Recently elected Trinidad and Tobago prime minister Keith Rowley believes West Indies cricket is being badly hampered by a lack of management, and says there was no adequate system in place to ensure the region produced a successful cricketing product.
Taking aim at the West Indies Cricket Board, Rowley said Windies players were often not sufficiently equipped by regional authorities to compete against the best on the international scene, reports CMC.
"The problem is that we have the board which had a certain colonial arrangement … the history of Alexander, Worrell and that era," Rowley said on Thursday.
"What is missing from West Indies cricket in 2015 is management, the people who occupy the positions of ownership don’t understand they are managing a product, it is as simple as that."
“If we had a proper management system in place, recognising that the product is in the market place and this is an international market place where we are supplying people to perform, this wouldn’t go on. But I get the impression that they don’t think so.”
Rowley was speaking against the backdrop of the latest controversy which saw West Indies head coach Phil Simmons suspended by the WICB for comments critical of the selection process, in regards to the one-day team for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.
Simmons told media in Barbados last Friday that he believed people outside of the selection panel were using their influence to keep the Trinidadian duo of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard out of the ODI squad.
Pointing to the constant controversies, Rowley said it was taking West Indies cricket longer than was normal, to return to a position of prominence within world cricket.
“You don’t expect players to go out and perform well under the conditions our teams leave here under. It’s always a bacchanal. Every time we have to go on tour it’s a bacchanal over this and bacchanal over that,” Rowley lamented.
“Other teams come and tour here and we don’t hear anything from them. Look at how Australia handled their affairs when their great team folded. Cricket Australia set in place in place a management structure and they started to rebuild and they rebuilt on a strong footing of management and nationalism, and the Australians built their team back up to world class.”
He added: “The bottom line is they rebuilt it in half the time of the West Indies. We’re still struggling after 20-odd years.”
Rowley also questioned the power the WICB leveraged in West Indies cricket.
“Who is the West Indies Cricket Board? Where did it get this authority from to own West Indies cricket? I played cricket in school and the board had nothing to do with it. Where did this Board come from to own this product?”
Simmons was replaced for the tour of Sri Lanka by selector Eldine Baptiste and will now face a WICB panel to answer for his comments.