Rousseau's resignation could result in democratization of WICB
- Kester Alves

By Donald Duff
Stabroek News
June 4, 2001

Though the news of the sudden, shocking resignation of West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Pat Rousseau and his vice president Clarvis Joseph hit Guyana's cricketing public like a bombshell cricket analyst Kester Alves feels that the resignations were inevitable.

"Rousseau and Joseph's resignations were inevitable as long as the board members reversed their decisions to sack Ricky Skerritt," Alves told Stabroek Sport yesterday.

Skerritt was relieved of his post last Friday when he was informed by Gregory Shillingford, the WICB's chief executive, by way of an e-mail of the decision to terminate his three-year contract 21 months ahead of schedule.

The decision by Rousseau and Joseph to sack Skerritt was made without the full knowledge and consent of board members who voted to reverse the decision at the WICB annual general meeting on Saturday. This resulted in Rousseau and Joseph declaring at a press conference afterwards that they will be resigning effectively from today.

"The board has taken a decision to reinstate Mr Skerritt which brings into question our integrity and we are therefore unable to continue as president and vice-president," Rousseau told the press conference.

Alves, however, applauded the move by the board to stand up to Rousseau and Joseph.

"It was refreshing to see the Board take a firm stand against Rousseau's authoritarian management style. That they took a stand against Rousseau and Joseph should not obscure the fact that there are serious deficiencies in the management of the West Indies team and a lot of it is traceable to Skerritt's management style and the fact too that he has been vested with supreme authority by the board," he said.

Alves also feels the decision to sack Kittitian Skerritt was not necessarily a bad one.

"I believe while Rousseau and Joseph might have overstepped their authority, the decision to fire Skerritt was not necessarily a bad one and the board cannot long defer a hard-nosed review of the make-up of the existing management team."

"The insiders view given by Joe Hoad of indiscipline and casualness discredited both players and management. Rousseau made so many decisions on his own there will immediately be a knowledge void at the board level in respect of certain critical issues such as the World Cup," he reasoned.

Alves suggested that there might now be a certain tentativeness in the decision making of the board adding that a lot will depend on who takes over the helm.

"I hope that in making the choice of the successor that board members will not be guided by sentiment and insularity but elect as replacements those who are well equipped to articulate and represent the interests of West Indies cricket and who have a clear vision of where West Indies cricket has to go and how to get it there."

Alves feels that some of the present administrators of the national bodies in the region are lacking in some areas administratively.

"I believe that, despite the criticism of Rousseau's high handed approach, he did possess the intellectual acumen and savvy which are in short supply in the administration of the respective territorial boards.

"Hopefully, his resignation will restore a degree of democratization to the decision making process of the WICB without necessarily affecting its ability to take the actions necessary to advance the cause of West Indies cricket.