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Ex-selector Findlay wants WICB to go public on ICC proposals

By Garth Wattley

The West Indies Players Association wants the regional cricket board to oppose the controversial draft proposal of the ICC’s Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee. But Michael Findlay says the West Indies Cricket Board needs to publicly state their position on the matter.

“I thought the board had a duty  and responsibility to say to the people of the Caribbean that this is our stance and that is how we are going to present it to the ICC,” former West Indies selection chairman Findlay told the Express yesterday.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the WICB said it would make its position public only after next week’s ICC executive board meeting in Dubai on the draft which proposes to place financial control of the game in the hands of the Indian, English and Australian cricket boards and to allow them to enter into bilateral agreements with full-member countries.

Findlay was first at a loss to understand how, “an organisation like the ICC would even conceive of such a proposal,” and second, “how could the WICB not make a public statement.” 

He said: “We have seen in the past where the board has not made a statement on important issues that affect West Indies cricket and it came back to haunt them.” Findlay added: “let the people of the West Indies know what is your stand in the matter. This issue is  important enough for the people of the Caribbean to know what the stand of the West Indies board is on the matter.”

In its media release, WIPA said it had “serious concerns” about the draft proposals. President Wavell Hinds said: “From our perspective, this proposal from the three largest member Boards to “take control” of international cricket can only be detrimental to the other full member boards, and by extension the players who represent them.” He called on the WICB to, “oppose this hostile takeover in the strongest possible terms.”

Yesterday, the Board of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI) issued a media release following a working committee meeting in which it said the committee had formally approved the draft which it said was “in the interests of cricket at large.” And while a BCCI official was quoted on the ESPN Cricinfo website as saying that the proposals were not a  ‘take-it-or-leave it’ proposition,” the Board release “authorised the office bearers to enter into agreements with the ICC for participating in the ICC events and hosting ICC events, subject to the proposal being approved by the ICC board”. 

The Indian board is also insisting that it would not back down on the proposal for the re-distribution of the ICC’s central revenue being proportionate to the income generated through each member board.

The threat to not play in ICC events if the proposals were not approved did not go down well with Findlay.

“India will dictate what suits them and already you see their stance on the decision review system. ...they are going to take a hard-line stance in anything that doesn’t suit them because they have the economic power. To give them that power only means they will dominate world cricket and do what they want with it to their best interests. That’s not at all what democracy is about. You are ignoring all the democratic principles upon which all the cricketing bodies are built and have been operating for so many years,” he said.

And the former West Indies wicketkeeper noted that the issue, “has the potential to do so much damage, that eventually it could really have a severe (impact) on the integrity of international cricket.”

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