Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell, said he resigned as Chairman of CARICOM’s sub-committee on cricket governance because he was angered by the behaviour of “a couple of our leaders in the region”.
Prime Minister Mitchell did not call out the names of his regional counterparts, but accused them of undermining CARICOM’s position by making “divisive” public statements after agreements would have been reached at the heads-of-government level.
In an interview with Grenada Sports, Prime Minister Mitchell said he has suggested that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines take up the role.
“I gave it up because I felt angered by the behaviour of a couple of our leaders in the region and the way they behaved when we took a decision, and I felt that they undermined the authority of the Chairman of the sub-committee at the time, and therefore, I did not feel I could continue in that position,” the Grenadian leader explained.
“I spoke to Ralph, and in fact, I sent a message to him because I hold that position of recognising his leadership seriously. So I told him that I was going to issue a statement as the Prime Minister of Grenada, and he knows my position as a cricket lover.”
In June, Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, “categorically rejected” the call for the dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), putting him at odds with the Grenadian leader.
“Today, I categorically reject the call for the dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board and I do so in my capacity as Chairman of the CARICOM Cricket Committee governing West Indies cricket,” Prime Minister Browne said to an audience that included WICB President Dave Cameron.
“I believe firmly that to dissolve the West Indies Cricket Board would be to plunge West Indies cricket into further chaos and confusion,” Browne had said.
Dr. Mitchell has been at the forefront of spearheading efforts to restructure the WICB and has endorsed the recent Barriteau Report, which last year recommended “the immediate dissolution” of the embattled WICB.
He stressed that if regional leaders refuse to speak with one voice the WICB would continue to operate without being made to account for their actions.
“We have to speak with one voice. The problem is when you have some of us going in different directions, especially when we make decisions at CARICOM level and then one or two of us go off on our own and making opposite statements and claiming that we are not part of the decision,” Prime Minister Mitchell pointed out.
“I think that becomes divisive and unhelpful, and it gives those who wish to continue to do as they want the opportunity to do so, and I think that’s unfortunate because the region is the one that is losing.”
The Barriteau Report was commissioned by CARICOM, with agreement from the WICB, and authored by UWI Cave Hill Principal Professor Eudine Barriteau. The WICB rejected the findings.