Confusion and chaos commonplace in WICB By Tony Cozier in JOHANNESBURG
Stabroek News
January 14, 2004

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THE workings of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) continue to beggar belief.

Why, in this era of e-mails and the internet, the names of a chosen team should be communicated by the chairman of selectors by telephone from far-off South Africa to the chief cricket operations officer in Antigua and then passed on by him to his underling on a scribled piece of paper, is not clear.

It is no wonder Derrick Nicholas mistook the shorthand C-Paul for C-Baugh, even though anyone with an inkling of cricketing knowledge would have to immediately question why Shivnarine Chanderpaul was not in the 15 for the one-day internationals in South Africa and Carlton Baugh was.

It is a wonder more improper names didn't appear - Sanson for Sanford, Ramnarine for Rampaul, Devon Smith for Dwayne, for instance.

Surely, the appropriate line of communication should have been through the official representative of the WICB in South Africa, namely the team manager.

It would have ensured that he carried out his function of advising the players of their position, even before the team was publicly proclaimed.

Yet when I rang Ricky Skerritt immediately on receipt of Nicholas' initial Chanderpaul-less list, it was the first notice he had of it. He was duly flabbergasted.

It was the same e-mail that had to come to the players' attention through telephone calls from the Caribbean and through the internet.

Even yesterday morning's papers here carried the original 15, minus Chan derpaul with speculation that he was being "given time to rest his injured leg ahead of the home series against England beginning in March."

The corrected version was clearly too late for their deadlines.

Chanderpaul's reaction to the whole shocking episode is not difficult to imagine.

Was there, indeed, substance to the theory that he was being given a rest? Was there debate over whether he should stay or go?

And why did he and his bemused teammates have to read both the erroneous report and the subsequent, corrected, if unexplained, version from out of cyberspace instead of officially through the manager?

It is the kind of confusion and chaos that has become commonplace within the WICB.

And it is not surprising when it is reflected within the team itself and on the field of play.