Ramnarine new players association president Across the Board
Stabroek News
May 12, 2002

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DURING the third 2002 Cable & Wireless Test at Bridgetown, the West Indies Players Association elected a new executive with Dinanath Ramnarine at its head.
In an interview with ACROSS THE BOARD, the West Indies leg-spin bowler shared his vision for the organization.

Q: Who are the other members of the WIPA executive?
A: Phil Simmons is the new vice president, Roland Holder is still the secretary, Reon King is the assistant secretary, and Wavell Hinds is the treasurer.

Q: What are you and the executive hoping to accomplish over the next two years?
A: The first thing we will try to do is make the organization more vibrant. We are going to look at a structure that would allow us to represent not only Test players, but also all current and former regional first-class players. Obviously, it will mean quite a bit of restructuring will have to take place. The executive committee is only one week old and we have not sat down together yet. We know there is much more planning that needs to take place and we hope to get the job done.

Q: What will be some of the immediate priorities for the new executive?
A: High on our agenda will be to get all the regional first-class players involved and covered by WIPA. We also are keen to explore the concept of retainer contracts and better group insurance. These are just a few things that have been affecting the players. But we will first have to put our house in order and then work together with the West Indies Cricket Board to find out what they expect from us and what we expect from them. We have already met with WICB president Rev. Wes Hall and WICB chief executive Gregory Shillingford and so far things appear to be promising.

Q: How is the relationship between the WICB and WIPA at the moment?
A: The WIPA is a member of the WICB and is looking forward to attending the WICB's annual general meeting to be held in Jamaica on May 23, 24 and 25. The WICB is willing to help the WIPA and they too, want to see the WIPA become more vibrant. They have assisted financially in the past and that is a good thing. They have been asking us to look at ways that we can raise money to support ourselves which we are prepared to do. We need money to help run the WIPA efficiently and that's one of the things we will also be looking at seriously.
Q: There are powerful players' associations in places like Australia and England, have you received any help from them and do you think the WIPA will become that vibrant?

A: The WIPA is a member of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations and we have been browsing through the constitution of the Australia Cricketers' Association and Phil Simmons has been in contact with the Players' Association in Britain. Right now, we are gathering as much information as we can find so when we meet there will be more than enough for us to sit down and consider our policies and mission. It is a learning process for everyone and most of us are new to the task, but all the guys on the executive are very excited. The players too, are excited and are giving us their support and that is great. We hope to gain the full confidence of the players as soon as possible.

Q: So you would define success or failure on how the players accept the Association?
A: Winning the favour of all the first-class players in the Caribbean would definitely be the goal. We want them to know that we are the body that represents them and it is good to know that the WICB has been encouraging us. This executive will be interested in reaching the common goal - whatever is in the best interest of cricket in the West Indies both for the WIPA and the WICB. We want to make sure that cricket is the main winner.