Rodriguez says WICB don’t see ICC seat much of a problem

Stabroek News
July 10, 2003

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After his withdrawal from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) presidency race, former WI Test player Willie Rodriguez said yesterday he was “disappointed at the way things were engineered”, adding that WICB executive members must have known what they were doing when they nominated Guyana Cricket Board president Chetram Singh.

The credentials of Singh-proprietor of Georgetown bookmaking operation, Goodwood Racing Services-to lead the WICB have come under question after an official from the ICC stated that its code of conduct prevents anyone involved in gambling to be a representative on the world cricket board’s executive.

But Rodriguez, who officially disclosed his removal from the race for the WICB’s highest post in a news release Monday, believed the WICB executive would back up their nomination.“Obviously, the members of the executive knew that long before they nominated him

for the presidency, so I would have to assume, for whatever reason, that they would not see that as a problem,” the 69-year-old Rodriguez told the Express.

After being nominated by the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), Rodriguez failed to gain support from the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (T&TCBC) after the T&TCBC informed him, through the JCA, acting on behalf of Rodriguez, that the T&T board were committed to an earlier decision by the WICB executive. Their decision was to back an existing member, namely Singh, for the post.

In his statement to the press, the insurance executive related “that at this point in time my information is that nothing has been or is likely to be changed”, saying further that “the concept of continuity cannot be effectively challenged.”

“The main thing is West Indies cricket should not be embroiled in a conflict for an executive position,” Rodriguez told the Express.He added that his nomination, which “received heavy

support in T&T and other countries in the region”, raised some important issues which the WICB must now deal with.

“Number one: the way the nomination was done needs to be examined and the WICB needs to put mechanisms in place for that,” he stated. “And two: the question of Mr Singh’s credentials. If there is going to be a problem then members of the board would be charged with that responsibility.”

Rodriguez said he had “no regrets”, but was disappointed with the way in which “things were engineered” and having to pull out of the race for the top WICB post.

Asked if he would consider running for the position when the next term comes around, he replied: “Hardly likely, I’m 69 now and in two to three years I won’t have the energy for this. This is the last hurrah, so to speak.”

Rodriguez ended by saying he will “remain available to make a contribution to Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies cricket” anytime he is required to do so.

Rodriguez is currently a member of one of the sub-committees (business communities) of the T&TCB Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 2007 World Cup, working, he said, with a view “to making the World Cup 2007 a success”. (Trinidad Express)