Gonsalves proposes “grand settlement” to end Windies crisis with BCCI

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent (CMC) – St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has written to CARICOM asking the regional body to communicate to the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) his “grand settlement” proposal, aimed at diffusing the BCCI’s US$42 million compensation claim against the West Indies Cricket Board and ending the full blown crisis.

Gonsalves told reporters in Kingstown on Monday that the “grand settlement” included five elements, the first of which was that the WICB settled the internal matter with the “India 14”.

He was referring to the West Indies cricketers who prematurely ended their tour of India last month over a pay dispute with WIPA, resulting in the US$42 million claim in losses from the BCCI.

Gonsalves has been at the centre of the resolution process, recently chairing a high-level meeting in Port of Spain which included Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, WICB president Dave Cameron, players’ spokesman Dwayne Bravo and WIPA president and chief executive, Wavell Hinds.

“All that we agreed on at the Hyatt Hotel in Port-of-Spain on the evening of the 30th of October. I don’t have to go through the details, but settle that [players issue] first,” Gonsalves said.

The “grand settlement” is also calling for WIPA and the India 14 “to stop their internecine squabbling and get back on track as one entity in WIPA”.

Thirdly, Gonsalves’s proposal is calling “for firm, urgent, practical steps to be taken in the reform of the management and administrative systems of the West Indies Cricket Board.”

“The West Indies Cricket Board at the moment is functioning as if it were a private club,” Gonsalves said forcefully.

“It needs to be responsible and responsive to the community. These are issues which have been raised in the Patterson Report several years ago and that is the starting point for the reform, otherwise this thing is going to happen again.

“I’m not making any criticism here about any individual leader currently inside of the WICB. I think it is clear to everybody that the structures which exist are not appropriate for the administration and management of West Indies cricket. They have to be responsive and responsible to the community.”

Gonsalves continued: “WICB doesn’t own any cricket ground. WICB doesn’t own West Indies cricket; the people of the region own it. They (WICB) are custodians with their links to the ICC to organize cricket at the regional level and at international level. There are national associations, but the structure which exists is inadequate for these times and these circumstances.”

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