July 21, 2001

Wes Hall confirmed as new WICB president

Wes Hall
Rev. Wes Hall
Photo © WICB
The Rev. Wesley (Wes) Hall, 67, and Valentine (Val) Banks, 51, were today confirmed as the new president and vice president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). Hall and Banks who were the only nominees for the two top jobs in West Indies cricket, received their confirmation during a meeting of the WICB directors at the Savannah Hotel in Barbados.

During a press conference which followed their confirmation, Hall said that he "understands the concerns about the diminishing fortunes of the West Indies team," and promised that under his watch the WICB would be "more responsive to its 6 million constituents in the West Indies."

In outlining his vision for the future of West Indies cricket, Hall said that he did not intend to implement wholesale changes to the Rousseau regime's strategic plan for the WICB. Instead, he said that he would like to improve on them in the best interest of West Indies cricket. The new president also said that he would be "reaching out to (Pat) Rousseau and (Clarvis) Joseph" in an effort to start the healing process.

The new president also spoke about creating a "cricket friendly climate" in the West Indies cricket, and believes that the WICB should be able to stand up to the "glare and scrutiny of the West Indies people." He further stated that the WICB would be "more transparent as unpalatable as it may be at times". Hall said that he would like to see the game "returned to the people."

Speaking on the WICB's plans for the 2007 World Cup, Hall said that he hoped that Chris Dehring, CEO of WWC 2007 - a wholly owned company of the WICB - could be released as soon as possible, which will allow him to concentrate fully on those preparations. Hall said that the WICB is aware of the enormity of the task.

Val Banks
Val Banks
Photo © WICB
On the question of putting a retainer system in place for West Indies players, Hall said that in as much as this is desirable, the lack of funds has been the main reason for this system not being implemented by the WICB. He however expressed his hope that it (retainer system) could become a reality in the future.

Hall confirmed that the WICB was in a transition period, with several key persons at the board's secretariat either resigning or whose positions have been made redundant. He said that he expected that the WICB would be out of this transition period within a month's time.

Hall and Banks filled the two top positions in West Indies, which became vacant after former president and vice presidnet - Pat Rousseau and Clarvis Joseph - resigned in acrimonious circumstances on 2nd June, following a decision to reinstate the then fired West Indies team manager, Ricky Skerritt.

Hall was a former West Indies fast bowler, chairman of selectors and team manager of the West Indies team. While Banks, who is the current president of the Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA), is expected to relinquish that position ahead of LICA's annual general meeting in November.