A three-man member review team has said that West Indies cricket is doomed if best players opt out to play in global professional leagues.
This is one of the findings of the Independent World Cup Review conducted by the three-member panel comprising Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court High Court judge, Justice Patrick Thompson Jr., West Indies batting legend, Brian Lara and South African international cricket coach, Mickey Arthur.
The review titled, “A Report on the West Indies’ Men’s Team’s Performance at 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup,” was submitted to Cricket West Indies (CWI) President, Ricky Skerrit recently and has been circulated to the Cricket West Indies (CWI) board of directors.
In the executive summary of their report by the panel stated that the current West Indies team cannot afford to have its best players playing in global professional leagues to the detriment of the West Indies cricket.
“It is not in the best interests of West Indies cricket that our best players play in every global league and play for the West Indies team on an optional basis. It is imperative that the board and the players have a frank and honest discussion with each other in order to arrive at a solution to this impasse.”
The panel added, “In this group’s view, there is significant distrust between the players and administration and this distrust is inimical to ensuring that the best 11 players turn out for the West Indies team in every match. No Objection Certificates cannot be weaponized against the players, but it is essential that some middle ground is arrived at otherwise, West Indies cricket may cease to exist as an entity.”
The report also found that based on the team’s performance before the 2022 T20 World Cup, losing 16 of 23 games between the 2021 and 2022 editions of the Tournament, “a semi-final berth would have exceeded most reasonable expectations.”
And in the aftermath of the T20 World Cup debacle, the three-man panel came up with 34 recommendations.