Politicians should not be separate from cricket, says Dominica PM

Dominica PM says he did not agree with ICC’s recommendation of separating politicians from boards AFP

Bridgetown (Barbados): Jul 13, 2011

The regional governments have a role in the management of West Indies cricket, says Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

According to Skerrit, cricket was too crucial to Caribbean life and development, for governments to be excluded.

“It is unfortunate that people believe that in order to democratise something you have to get politicians out of the system,” Skerrit said.

“We are the ones who build infrastructure on the behalf of tax paying citizens. Take Dominica for example, the stadium (Windsor Park) is owned by the people of Dominica, the taxpayers and we are their legal representatives,” he reasoned.

“There is no reason why one should believe you should leave out politicians in cricket or any sport for that matter.

There are ways and means in which government can assist in the management and development of players.

“While I respect the principles of the ICC (cricket’s world governing body), at the end of the day how do you leave out government in a very important aspect of the country’s development and in this case, the region?” he told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

The Prime Minister, however, added that some key questions about the ownership of regional game needed to be addressed. .

“The fundamental question which I think the Caribbean people and the heads of government will have to assist them in answering is who owns West Indies cricket,” Skerrit said.

“This has always been a very important question that hasn’t been really answered with any definitive response.”

“When the players are at odds with the West Indies Cricket Board and the heads are asked to intervene, then the WICB says ‘look this is our business this has nothing to with any government or any politician’.

“When the board has issues with the players and they ask us to intervene, then the players tell the heads it’s none of their business, that this is a matter between an employee and employer,” he added.

He was speaking in the wake of opener Chris Gayle’s call for CARICOM’s intervention in his impasse with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

The Jamaican was repeatedly overlooked for selection for the just-concluded series against India.