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May 29, 2006
Ken Gordon, the president of the West Indies board, says the region acted in its best interests in throwing its support behind the Asian bloc's bid to secure the International Cricket Council's 2011 World Cup.
Furthermore, the 76-year-old administrator said the West Indies did not sell their vote at the April meeting in Dubai and defended allegations of a deal with India that helped a joint bid with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh gain approval.
"We live in the real world and we must understand that when people want to achieve an objective, they try to get support for that objective. Clearly, the India Board of Control wanted to have support for their objective and we did speak. We made it clear that our position was that we were interested in building a relationship with India," Gordon told CMC's Cricket Plus Friday.
"We didn't have a vote for sale. We were interested in building a relationship and they indicated that they would like to do the same and our position as far as the vote was concerned was, 'look if your bid is a fully competitive bid and if it is on par with all things being equal, we will support your bid because friends support each other'.
"Other people in other parts of the world support each other as well but [we said] 'if your bid is not in our view, comparable, we cannot support you because we don't think that would be acting in the interest of cricket'."
Reports following the ICC meeting in Dubai in April indicated the West Indies had thrown their support behind the Asian bloc's vote, in return for a lucrative financial arrangement.
The WICB's vote helped the Asian bloc beat out a joint bid by Australia and New Zealand to host cricket's major showpiece. Gordon said their decision to support the Asian bloc, once the bid was in the best interest of cricket, was communicated to Australia before the voting process.
"That was the position we took. We made that clear to India before the vote was taken [and] they understood our position and they said they respected it," Gordon continued.
"We also made that position clear to the Australian side before the vote was taken. We said, 'we feel we want to develop a relationship with India and there are lots of reasons for that, including our impecunious state and if we can work together, it would be a good thing'.
"'If the bids are competitive and we see everything being equal, we will vote for India. If they are not, we will vote for you'."
He added: "That's our position, so all this talk about deal and so on, if you call that a deal, that's fine, but as far as I am concerned we acted in the way that anyone who is concerned about their self-interest, would want to act."
The WICB recently announced they had signed a bilateral deal with India which would see the staging of a three to five-match One Day Internationals series in United States and Canada later this year.
With the West Indies experiencing dire financial problems, India is expected to fund the series with the understanding that this would be repaid out of the WICB's share of the profits. While not revealing financial details of the arrangement, Gordon said it was a move that would help the West Indies financially.
"I am very cautious about a financial boost for the moment. I know positively there will be a financial boost but until we have completed our negotiations on the terms of the arrangement, I would rather not go there," Gordon said.
"What I would say is that it is going to be a positive factor in terms of taking us forward. Our Indian friends have indicated that they have a strong desire to assist wherever they can and we will try to ensure that happens. "The bottom line is that I am optimistic."
© Trinidad & Tobago Express
Why the Indian opener would be well advised to shelve the hook and pull in Australia