CWI will get governments’ support but restructuring still needed, says PM Mitchelladmin September 18, 2020 0 COMMENTS
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell is confident regional governments will assist Cricket West Indies (CWI) whose financial woes have been exacerbated by the current novel coronavirus pandemic, but insists restructuring is vital.Mitchell, who has served as chairman of Caricom’s subcommittee on cricket, said while he was “not unhappy” with what CWI has done so far, “they still have some way to go”.“I think there are some initiatives which have been good…Generally speaking, so far, I must say they have been trying. It’s not a finished product yet, but I don’t expect you can dismantle everything overnight,” he said on the Mason & Guest cricket radio show here on Tuesday night.The Grenadian leader said a meeting with CWI leadership and Caribbean leaders is in the works, to discuss the way forward as far as the structure of the regional game is concerned.And given CWI’s financial situation which has worsened as a result of its inability to host revenue-generating matches during the novel cornavirus pandemic, Mitchell said “the whole question of the finances of the board will clearly have to be looked at”.“I am confident that regional governments, despite the fact that they are all going through enough pressure, they know the value of West Indies cricket and the enormous potential it holds for economic activity,” he said.“So, I honestly believe that we will be prepared to help in whatever way we can. All that will be part of the discussion going forward — how can we help more in terms of the finances and what ideas do we have to aid the structure of Windies cricket going forward.”However, Mitchell believes CWI already has a foundation on which to build the required improved structure.He alluded to previous recommendations which he said should be acted on.“They have the genesis of a lot of information provided at a regional level, in terms of the structure of the board, and I think they should use a good bit of that in going forward,” he said, stressing that this should be done based not on personalities but on “the structure and the whole system that we set up that is going to determine the success or failure of West Indies cricket going forward”.Mitchell, an avid cricket fan, also pointed to the need for changes in the sport at the community and youth level in the regional cricketing territories.“I think the board has to look at what is happening with the Windward Islands, what’s happening with Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica, and I think at each level of the various boards, I think some serious restructuring has to be done,” he said.“There is not enough information, there is not enough involvement of the players at all levels of the cricket. I think the youth level is an area of further opportunity and work that needs to be done in going forward.“The board has to make that change. The board is responsible for this. They have to restructure the board at different levels and make it more accountable to the people of the region,” Mitchell added.