West Indies cricket March 7, 2008

Ex-players back on WICB cricket committee

Andy Roberts is one of four former players back on the WICB cricket committee © Siddhartha Vaidyanathan

Former West Indian players Ian Bishop, Desmond Haynes, Andy Roberts and Courtney Walsh are back on the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) cricket committee. The four players from the era when West Indies dominated world cricket were replaced last November but WICB president Julian Hunte has confirmed they were reinstated after he met with them in Antigua on February 22 to discuss the issue.

Haynes said the meeting had been "very frank". "We got to understand each other's position," he said. "We have always been very keen to contribute to the advancement of West Indies cricket and felt that we could more properly do so as full members of the committee, rather than as consultants as the president originally offered."

Hunte asked the four to meet with him "in the spirit of inclusiveness" after a report by this correspondent last month in which they expressed surprise and disappointment at their removal.

"I would be the last person to deny our former great players the opportunity to contribute at any level of West Indies cricket," Hunte said at the time.

Hunte pointed out that the WICB had drafted a new strategic plan and that the cricket committee had to be at the centre of "plans, policies and programmes for cricket, not just the playing and player aspects, but in terms of our development".

Hinting at the reason why the four had been replaced, Hunte told Bishop that the committee needed to meet face-to-face frequently to deal with "the many issues confronting us now and to develop the blueprint for the future".

The implication was that the four had not always been available for committee meetings but this had been refuted by Roberts and Walsh.

Whatever the differences, they were settled at the February 22 meeting and four individuals with 338 Tests between them are now back on the committee that is headed by Clive Lloyd, captain in the era of excellence in the 1970s and 1980s.