Ramnarine praises outgoing WICB president

Guyana Chronicle
July 31, 2003

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad - (CMC) - Dinanath Ramnarine, president of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), has praised the contribution to West Indies cricket of the Rev. Wesley Hall, outgoing president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

"Rev. Hall was a champion of the players," Ramnarine said.

"The Executive of WIPA is unanimous in our praise for the way Rev. Hall carried out the very exacting job of President under difficult circumstances and at a very critical time. As a player, administrator and mentor, Rev. Hall has demonstrated his commitment to West Indies cricket at all levels and in whatever role he found himself.

"This kind of whole-hearted dedication to the region and to our game is unparalleled."

Ramnarine, however, lamented what he terms the present "vacuum" in the leadership of the Board.

"It is unfortunate that Rev. Hall was not succeeded immediately by a credible leader acceptable to everyone at all levels of regional and international cricket," he commented.

At the WICB's annual general meeting in Dominica earlier this month, Chetram Singh, the only candidate, withdrew because his job as proprietor of a betting establishment makes him ineligible to represent the region on the International Cricket Council (ICC).

WICB vice-president Val Banks is serving as interim president.

"This present state of limbo where we have an acting president is totally unacceptable when one considers the many issues at stake, especially the fact that we are hosting world cricket's most prestigious and important event in less than four years. There seems to be a lack of urgency in getting a new president now that Mr Singh has withdrawn. This is unfortunate and untimely."

Ramnarine reiterated his Association's determination to do whatever is necessary to ensure that West Indies cricket regains its lost glory.

He disclosed that WIPA has offered to help the WICB in marketing the game more widely in the region and the world.

"We have a lot of people, former cricketers and experts who are working with us because of their love for the game, and these resources are available to the board," he explained.

The WIPA president also commended captain Brian Lara and the West Indies team for their recent brilliant performances.

"This is something that we can build on. It demonstrates that we are truly on the way back to the top. Brian has led brilliantly from the front and all the other players have responded to the challenge. With the right kind of supportive administrative environment, there is no limit to what we can achieve."

Ramnarine also commended the WICB for appointing Agustus (Gus) Logie as coach saying, "Having worked closely with Gus and benefited from his coaching skills, I know that he will be the best coach for the team at the present time."

Ramnarine said that WIPA is now working with the WICB on a joint training programme in Industrial Relations and Leadership, and would have its own retreat in Trinidad next month where the players would get the opportunity for self-analysis and goal-setting, as well as developing ways of improving communication and commitment.

"This is central to our approach as an executive," he said.

Ramnarine also referred to WIPA's plans to involve its members in community activities that would take cricket to the people of the region.

"This is a WIPA initiative," he said. "It is totally supported by all our members, particularly the former players who genuinely want to put something back into the game."

WIPA is now waiting on the WICB for a Draft Collective Agreement that would be the basis of the future relationship between the players and the board, as well as a Draft Retainer Contract for key players.

"This is long overdue," Ramnarine said, "and when it is in effect the players would feel more secure about their future. We feel it would help to improve their performances individually and as a team.

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