Last week BU posted a blog which had the head line Caricom Heads Of Government Should All Resign Over CWC 2007 ~ Just A Bunch Of Fuddy Duddies. We know that our call is probably viewed as extreme but we stand by it. We reiterate that the decision making process which the Heads Of Government engaged in was flawed. We maintain that there is sufficient evidence to show that cricket is dying in the Caribbean, and within the current structure West Indies cricket teams of the foreseeable future will find it difficult to compete successfully on the world stage. Certainly even the cricket sentimentalist must admit that many of our youth are gaining scholarships from the other minor sports like basketball, volleyball, golf, athletics and others when compared to king cricket. Just imagine if the government would allocate a fraction of the monies it has on cricket the opportunities that would further accrue to our youth. It was interesting to hear Rudy Webster admit last week that West Indies is about 10 years behind Australia if we compare the infrastructural development in the two countries.
We revisited the topic in light of recent comments by Tony Greig who is one of the world’s most famous commentators on cricket and Prime Minister Arthur of Barbados.
Greig painted a picture of ICC being an old boys club which has always done things in its own way. He dispelled the mis-information which CWC 2007 organizers were advertising in the Caribbean that the revenue from gate receipts was the highest ever of all world cups held. Simply put, there were more matches stages in 2007 so logically more revenue from gate receipts were gotten. He clearly has implied in his commentary that the modus operandi of the ICC was well known to all who took the time to investigate and the respective governments of the Caribbean should have done their homework. ICC has a recorded history of holding on to the vast sums derived from the TV rights and the crumbs to be had from gate receipts are left to the host countries. When one considers that India, South Africa, Australia and other previous world cup hosts would have had modern playing facilities available and would hardly have had to outlay significant capital to build stadia, clearly the West Indies negotiating team should have seized the opportunity to get an agreement which recognized our more inferior financial state. What makes the decision even more questionable if we accept the reporting from a leading blog is the fact that the Heads of Government were not made aware of all the terms of the agreement until the deal was a fait accompli. How could this be especially in light of the huge sums which the respective government had to commit to host CWC 2007. Here is a snippet from Caricom blog.
Since the region’s successful bid to host the historic event back in 1998, many things have went wrong. The Host Agreement between WICB/CWC Inc with the ICC was not shared with the Caricom governments till the hosting of the World Cup had become a virtual fait accompli for them. By the time Caricom representatives began demanding for the copy ~ thanks to militancy of a few of their own attorney generals ~ a fair bit of collective sovereignty of Caricom governments had already been undermined.
No sooner the demands began gaining urgency, the ICC and CWC Inc. officials were ready to raise alarms about possible shift of World Cup 2007 to either South Africa or Australia. Experts feel it was an orchestrated strategy and some of Caricom governments fell for it. Overwhelmed as they were about the prospects and legacies of CWC 07, Caricom leaders had to settle to hope for the best.
They had no option but to place too much faith in the competence and integrity of WICB/CWC Inc negotiators with the ICC.
Today our Prime Minister who appeared to have suffered from laryngitis over the the last weeks has begun his strategy of spin, we all know that he is the master of it! He first release his army of foot soldiers on Sunday and he followed soon after. What is clear after listening to Tony Marshall in the news is that there appear to be some tension between Arthur and Marshall over the fact that he went public on the issue of who should manage the new Kensington Oval. Marshall was very clear when making the point that discussions are ongoing and it would be premature to comment on what the final decision would be. Clearly he rapped Arthur on the knuckles for politicizing the matter last night.
The Bajan public, if BU can measure public opinion, appears to be on to Arthur. BU waits with bated breath on how Arthur will continue to practice the art of spin in the aftermath of what the world perceive as the most farcical world cup ever!
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