The latest incident surrounds the work of the Governance Committee that was headed by Kittitian lawyer Charles Wilkin QC; but for some observers, it represents just another example of how unwilling the WICB members are, to implement new proposals that could help restore the glorious days of West Indies cricket and at the same time enhance its management.
On Monday 1st October, 2012, the West Indies Cricket Board, WICB, issued a release indicating that only 10 of the 17 recommendations of the Governance Committee will be implemented and while others will be studied further, one critical recommendation was totally rejected.
The WICB release further stated that as a result, Chairman Wilkin tendered his resignation.
However, Wilkin, a former Leeward Islands and St. Kitts cricketer and administrator, rejected the causes advanced by the WICB, for his resignation. MiyVue.com has been furnished with copies of emails between WICB President Julian Hunte and Charles Wilkin, and we publish these below for the benefit of our viewers.
From WICB President Julian Hunte to Charles Wilkin:
I trust that you got my preliminary response to your email of the 16th.
Please note that I am personally disappointed that the change in governance
structure did not go through at the meeting. As you know, this matter can
only be passed by agreement of the shareholders. I have come to see the
matter as a journey; it began with the Patterson Report, we adopted a
majority of the changes there, and continued with the Strategic Plan, which
we are currently implementing. The Plan again pointed to the governance
process, and so the journey continued under your sterling stewardship.
As you know, we have agreed some of the recommendations. In my opinion we are
much further than when we started. I have not given up and will not give up.
It saddens me that you have resigned, but I understand your situation, and
accordingly, I accept your resignation. I shall accordingly proceed to inform the public of your resignation and the reasons you have advanced.
I will be raising the matter again with directors, and using some of the
developments taking place on the international scene with other full members
as the yardstick. The imperative is clear. While change is slow, I am
convinced that it will come.
So Charles, I am sorry that you feel that you have wasted your time. In
actuality, we are grateful for the time you have spent and the indelible
contribution you have made to the debate on the future of West Indies
From Charles Wilkin to WICB president:
Immediately following the special Board meeting on Friday I indicated that I would not be available to continue to serve as Chairman of the Governance Committee when the current term of the Committee expires at the end of this month. On further reflection I have decided to resign from the Committee with immediate effect for the following reasons:
1. The Governance Committee was asked by the Board of Directors to examine whether in its present form the structure of the Board can sustain the many changes the Board has by its Strategic Plan 2011-2015 undertaken to implement.
Taking the request in all seriousness the Committee undertook the examination and recommended structural changes in accord with the commitments made by the
Board in the Strategic Plan and to strengthen the capacity of the Board to effect that plan.
2. A key statement in the Strategic Plan is the recognition by the Board of the need to revise the method of appointing directors to move from a territorial based approach. The plan also accepts as a core value the promotion of the inclusion of critical stakeholders. We understood the latter statement to mean the inclusion of critical stakeholders in a meaningful not token way in the governance of West Indies cricket to recognize the fact that West Indies cricket is a regional asset.
3. At the special meeting of the Board in Barbados on Friday 14th September 2012 the territorial board directors flatly rejected the recommendations of the Governance Committee as to the restructuring of the Board and refused to make any change at all to the current structure.
4. Knowing full well that they wanted to preserve at all costs all of their positions on the Board, a conclusion I draw from listening to them for the whole day at Friday’s meeting and at the earlier meeting in St. Lucia to which I was invited, the territorial board members should have spared the Governance Committee our valuable time and saved the Board the cost of the review exercise.
5. The blunt refusal of the territorial board members to follow their own stated principles casts serious doubt on their commitment to the rest of the strategic plan and their capacity to implement same.
As the Board published in full the report of the Governance Committee I ask that you also release to the public the fact of my resignation and the reasons given above. I reserve the right to make such disclosure myself should you fail to do so. Kindly let me have soonest your assurances in this regard.
Charles Wilkin QC.
A few months ago this is what a Jamaican newspaper reported and quoted PJ Patterson as saying, about his experience with the WICB Board:
“A wasted year of his life is how former Jamaica Prime Minister PJ Patterson has described the time spent working on recommendations designed to revive West Indies cricket, but which have been ignored by the regional board since the proposals we made almost five years ago.
Officially entitled the Governance Committee on West Indies Cricket Report of October 2007, but popularly known as the Patterson Report, the project was commissioned by then West Indies Cricket Board (WCB) president Ken Gordon and examined the restructuring of the regional body for the sport.
The report was mandated to make recommendations to improve the overall operations, effectiveness, governance and performance of the West Indies cricket team, strengthen public support and enhance its credibility.
The WICB has come under criticism for its apparent dismissal of the report while leading Caribbean voices have called for the implementation of the recommendations made by the team which was headed by Patterson.
In 2009, WICB president Dr Julian Hunte asserted that most of the recommendations (47 of 65) had been implemented — a claim dismissed by Gordon.
Caribbean Governments have been so upset over the issue of West Indies cricket that it became a topic of major discussion at a CARICOM meeting earlier in 2012.
What seems to be the common experience between the Charles Wilkin committee and that of PJ Patterson is frustration along with a feeling that they have all wasted their time.