Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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THE WEST INDIES Cricket Board (WICB) remains the governing body for cricket in the region.
And the sooner the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) recognizes that, the sooner the two entities can dissolve their differences.
That is the view of WICB chief executive officer Dr Ernest Hilaire, who believes that for the betterment of West Indies cricket they both need to be on the same page and strive for one goal.
That goal, he insists, should be to return the West Indies cricket team to the pinnacle of international cricket.
“The difficulty is with the modus operandi which often suggests that WIPA’s role is to challenge and override the WICB, that WICB must be accountable to WIPA. Regardless of what agreements are in place, that scenario is simply unworkable,” he said.
“WIPA must be its partner, not adversary. There must be a mutual respect for the roles of each partner without the acrimony which has characterized the relationship for far too long,” he told those gathered at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Thursday night for the Barbados Cricket Association’s awards ceremony for the 2011 season.
In agreeing with the concept that players needed a strong representative body, he stressed that healthy representation did not mean that WIPA had to challenge and question the WICB’s decision making.
Instead, they needed to work together to find the best solution for not only themselves, but also the represented players, he argued.
“Let me state with absolute clarity that it is my unwavering belief and that of the WICB that a strong WIPA is necessary. I believe in healthy representation of the players’ rights and interest,” Hilaire said.
“If the parties understand and accept their roles and commit to working for the betterment of West Indies cricket and not to depose one or the other, then there can be advancement. For as long as we have persons on one side who refuse to disabuse themselves of the belief that it is their duty to unseat the rightful governing body, there will be unease.”
Despite not speaking specifically to the ongoing Chris Gayle saga, Hilaire said the WICB aimed at all times to select the best 11 players to represent the region.
He insisted there was a major difference between selecting the “11 best” and the “best XI”.
He said the WICB named a team comprising players whom it thought would give of their all once they took to the field.
“There has been a paradigm shift. The emphasis is on selecting, not necessarily the 11 best players but the best XI. It is not dissimilar to asking whether we prefer a team of stars or a star team.
“They are decidedly different, although I am not in any way suggesting that the best players will not be selected for West Indies cricket,” Hilaire said.
“The best XI may not include the most attractive players but is rather a combination of players who, as a group, are more likely to bring positive results and show a commitment to sustained development.”

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