Photo above: T&T PM, Dr. Keith Rowley.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Mar 5, (CMC) – Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, has pushed back on media reports, which suggested that a lack of government support was putting at risk any Test match staged at Queen’s Park Oval, during the proposed Home Series between West Indies and India, later this year.
Though the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is yet to confirm the series, India is expected to tour the Caribbean in July and August, with one of the four Tests expected to be played at the historic Queen’s Park Oval.
Media reports, this week, claimed, that due to regional grouping CARICOM’s rift with the WICB over the Governance Review Report, the Rowley government was unlikely to support the staging of the game.
“The CARICOM Heads of government have taken a position on the WICB, and I will take very good care to make sure that the WICB operatives don’t make that my issue,” Rowley told reporters.
“I spoke at CARICOM, as the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago with a seat at the table at the Heads of Government, and what the Heads of Government decided is what Trinidad and Tobago is bound by.
“After that, I saw a story in the paper about a Test match being in jeopardy because of the government. All I will say on that [to] whoever planted that story in the papers – since when the government of Trinidad and Tobago organises Test matches? And I say no more on that.”
CARICOM has taken a strong stance against the WICB, following its 27th Intersessional Meeting in Belize last month.
The Prime Ministers endorsed the Governance Review Panel report calling, in part, for the dissolution of the WICB and the appointment of an interim board to run the affairs of the sport in the region.
Following the WICB’s rejection of the report, CARICOM said, it would “explore all options available” to ensure the recommendations of the report were implemented.
However, Rowley said, no decision had been taken to block the WICB from the use of facilities across the region.
“CARICOM has not done that. What CARICOM has done is acknowledge that … there is a problem with West Indies cricket and had put in place an examination of that problem and a report has come forward,” Rowley explained.
“That report has made some specific recommendations to address the problem of the decline of West Indies cricket.
“One of the main recommendations is that (the) management structure needs to be changed and modernised and, for that to happen, the current board needs to be dissolved and an interim arrangement put in place, while the long term structure is worked out.
“That report has been resisted by the WICB.”
The Governance Review Panel was chaired by UWI Cave Hill Principal, Professor Eudine Barriteau, and included Sir Dennis Byron, president of the Caribbean Court of Justice; West Indies cricket legend, Deryck Murray; Warren Smith, president of the Caribbean Development Bank, and Dwain Gill, president of the Grenada Cricket Association.
The WICB has slammed the report’s main recommendation as an “unnecessary and intrusive demand.”