The West Indies Cricket Board is moving towards implementing measures to improve regional cricketing standards.
Following last weekend’s meeting of the WICB in Jamaica, a decision has been made to review the current retainer contracts for international players with a view of making them performance-based and bench-marked against world-class standards of cricket excellence.
With the exception of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle and Darren Bravo, none of the current Test batsmen with at least 10 Tests, average over 40, with the best of the others being rookie opener Kraigg Brathwaite’s 37.96 after 17 Tests. Of the current squad at the ICC World Cup Chris Gayle’s 37.23 after 268 One-Day Internationals is the closest to an average of 40 with a minimum of 25 ODIs.
At Saturday’s meeting a decision was also made for a review and clarification of the WICB selection panel’s role, responsibilities, selection criteria and function along with the appointment of former West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Courtney Browne as regional talent manager with a special focus on women’s and youth cricket.
It was also revealed that a Player Booklet outlining goals and responsibilities for players, including a pledge of commitment to West Indies Cricket, had been completed. This was one of the recommendations of the WICB Task Force which examined matters leading to the premature end of the Tour of India last year. Convenor of the WICB Selection Panel Clive Lloyd is reviewing the booklet before a final presentation is made to the WICB directors and it is introduced to the players during a formal presentation by him.
A number of other key development programmes targetting school and club cricket in the territories, and aimed at lifting the standard of the game in the region, will also be rolled out over the coming weeks and months.
The WICB and West Indies Players Association have agreed to a process for mediation on the players’ rights to WICB sponsorship revenue and are working towards completing this exercise by the end of March with a view to incorporating the agreed terms in player contracts for the England Tour.
Efforts have also been made to improve the standard of pitches at first-class gounds in the region.
Regional curator Kent Crafton visited and assessed first-class grounds with a special focus on the five international venues set to host Tests against England and Australia this year. He built relationships with local curators with a view to establishing the highest standards of curatorship to ensure playing and practice surfaces are consistent and of international quality. An initial report has been received and its findings were disseminated to territorial boards and franchise chief executive officers.
During the WICB board meeting president Dave Cameron was return to office for another two years, beating off the challenge of Barbados Cricket Association president and fast-bowling great Joel Garner by a vote of 8-4.