Hoping to make a lasting impression

By Roger Brathwaite
Across the Board - from the West Indies Cricket Board
Stabroek News
October 26, 2003

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During the coming week, the West Indies Cricket Board will have the great pleasure of hosting a series of meetings of the International Cricket Council in the Caribbean.

It will be an historic occasion in the 75-year history of the WICB, since it will be the first time that the WICB will throw down the welcome mat for an ICC Executive Board meeting to be held in Barba-dos on October 29.

On the day before, the ICC Audit Committee will also hold a meeting and that will be followed on Thursday with a meeting of the commercial arm of the sportís world governing body - ICC Develop-ment (International) Ltd.

Our geographical location has often put the WICB in an uncomfortable position. Our closest international cricket rivals are England and they are still eight hours away by jet. Most of the cricket and, indeed, administration of the game takes part on the other side of the world, where many of the teams are situated.

Members of the West Indies team know very well about the long haul flights to faraway lands and, in recent times, West Indies cricket administrators have been feeling the pinch too, particularly now that we are scheduled to host the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007.

There was a time when most ICC Executive Board meetings would have been held at Lordís, the spiritual home of the game, in London. In recent times, however, these meetings have been held outside of Britain in such places as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India and South Africa.

On the encouragement of Rev. Wes Hall, the immediate past president of the WICB, the ICC agreed to hold an Executive Board meeting in the Caribbean, a place that holds many attractions for visitors and has provided some of the gameís brightest stars.

Similar to the joy we share at being given the chance to host the ICC CWC 2007, we are delighted to finally have the honour of hosting the delegates of the ICC at this Executive Board meeting, as well as the Audit Committee members and IDI team.

These three days of meeting will be very important for the WICB. We are hoping to give the ICC delegates that will include President Ehsan Mani and Chief Executive Malcolm Speed a foretaste of what we hope to offer and achieve during the ICC CWC 2007.

The key agenda item for the meetings in fact, centres on the ICC CWC 2007. There are many of our international associates that question the ability of the West Indies to successfully manage an event of such magnitude and we want to let them see first hand that we can.

We want to remind everyone, in the Caribbean and outside that for 15 years West Indies produced the most invincible cricket team the world has ever seen - and we might add with limited resources. This demonstrates the West Indianís capacity for greatness and we do not intend to fail.

Following the meetings in Barbados, Mani, Speed and Brendan McClements, general manager of corporate affairs, then fly to Jamaica for a meeting with the directors of the WICB to discuss the ICC and how it operates, as well as issues of concern to the WICB.

The WICB also expects to sign the host agreement for the ICC CWC 2007 and lay the cornerstone for the headquarters of the ICC CWC 2007 which will be handed over by Jamaica Prime Minister Percival Patterson during the ICC team∆s visit to Jamaica.

The WICB hopes the ICC delegates will enjoy what the Caribbean has to offer during their brief stay and that their experience will leave them with a good impression of what we are capable of doing during the ICC CWC 2007.

ROGER BRATHWAITE is Chief Executive Officer of the West Indies Cricket Board Inc.