There was no transparency - Lennox John

Guyana Chronicle
June 10, 2001

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CANA - Lennox John, president of the Windward Islands Cricket Association, has revealed that former West Indies Cricket Board president Pat Rousseau and vice-president Clarvis Joseph operated at their own pace.

John has been the only director of the West Indies Cricket Board to speak out publicly about the resignations of Rousseau and Joseph after the WICB chose to overturn their decision to terminate the services of team manager Ricky Skerritt.

"They were way ahead of anybody and never kept anybody informed," John told 92.9 VOB-FM radio.

"Imagine they and the chief executive conducted debriefings at the end of the England, Australia and South Africa tours with the manager, coach and captains, but never told the board what was coming out of these debriefings."

John asserted the directors could not leave all the power in the hands of three individuals.

"If that is the kind of executive power they want attributed to them, it would have been difficult for us to sit behind and allow it," John said.

"We are the ones who are responsible for the cricket at the grassroots level. The WICB has to depend on all the representatives of the various islands to come together to produce the cricket.

"The board has been in the habit of being able to nominate and sanction the appointments of people like our manager. We did not expect to find that managers could be fired mid-term without any referral to the directors."

John revealed the directors had no idea that Rousseau, Joseph and chief executive Gregory Shillingford had so much power.

"We only got the memorandum of the way things should run at the last meeting," he remarked.

"It certainly shocked all of us when we discovered it was only this three-man committee who could hire and fire and we heard of Skerritt's dismissal without any reference to the board or the executive committee."

John revealed not even the other members of the executive committee that comprises three directors along with the president, vice-president, the chief executive and the chief financial officer Richard Jodhan were informed.

"If they had been involved in this dismissal, the rest of the board would have accepted it, but it would have been difficult accepting three people doing it," he said.

John reasons the WICB is in a real divisive state and a new leader will have to help heal the wounds.

"We need somebody who will be able to bring the board back together so that we can move on from where we are right now," he commented.

"Most of the members agree we have to meet and not have the kind of acrimonious election we had the last time.

"We have to settle down and look for a combination of a big cricket personality and someone well versed in finance and understanding the new trends in the movement of advertising in the cricket area."

John attributed the turnaround in the financial stability of the WICB in the last five years solely to Rousseau.

"When he first spoke to us at a board meeting, I did not believe he was talking anything that could have happened, it seemed like a dream," he said.

"He turned hundreds of dollars into millions of dollars over a short space of time and that is what won him our utmost respect so easily. He intended to change the modus operandi of the WICB and try to change it into a corporate body."