Becca demands explanation from WICB
Guyana Chronicle
October 6, 2002

Related Links: Articles on Windies cricket
Letters Menu Archival Menu

VETERAN cricket columnist Tony Becca is demanding an explanation from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for the unsurprising dismissal of chief executive Gregory Shillingford.

"The Board needs to explain the firing of Shillingford, and if it does not do so, the people - the fans and sponsors - will only come to their own conclusions," Becca said in a column penned for the Jamaica Gleaner. "In fact, if indeed the fans, and the sponsors, are stake-holders in West Indies cricket they should know. It should not be a secret."

Becca said the WICB simply issued a brief statement saying Shillingford was fired, following a report conducted by its review and assessment committee, a review of the evaluation process, comments from each Board member and a unanimous decision by Board members.

"As far as the release is concerned, that was it. There was no explanation as to what led to the marching orders," he said.

"In the best interest of West Indies cricket, however, there should be one, and although it probably is under no obligation to give one, although it is a group that believes everything should be a secret, based on the events last year the Board is obliged to say what has led to the dismissal of Shillingford," the Jamaican Becca argued.

He said whispers coming out of the Board's Antiguan headquarters hinted that Shillingford did not meet targets set by the Board and that was the reason for his dismissal.

"If that is so, then so be it."

"There are also other whispers, however. There are whispers that the targets were unrealistic, that they were designed to get rid of Shillingford and if it is not true then the Board and its executive should tell the cricket fans around the region - the people whom they love to describe as stake-holders - what were the targets set and where he failed to deliver," Becca added.

Noting that the Dominican Shillingford was viewed as "one of Rousseau's men" following the drama recently when then WICB president Pat Rousseau and his deputy Clarvis Joseph resigned from the board, Becca said there is enough reason to believe Shillingford was dismissed because of his association for the previous regime.

"Unless the Board explains its action, the conclusion may well be that Shillingford was enemy number one, that he was lined up to be cut down from then, and that it did not happen at that time because it would have been too obvious." (