Hunte reveals road map for West Indies cricket
WICB president Julien Hunte outlined a comprehensive plan for the resuscitation of West Indies cricket at the opening of the Sagicor West Indies Cricket High Performance Centre in Barbados on Sunday. While dedicating the centre to fans "who are longing for the glorious past of West Indies cricket to return," Hunte said it was not an isolated move but part of a "four-pronged focus of the board" to revive West Indies cricket and respond to the loss of pride, dignity and standards in Caribbean cricket over the past 15 years.
The four "prongs" the board is focusing on are strengthening the institutional framework, generating resources, developing cricketing excellence, and improving operations. The full text of the board's plan, as laid out by Hunte, is below:
Enhancing the institutional capacity of the WICB: We accepted that management has been ineffective in meeting the demands of a modern day sports governing body. A management audit was undertaken previously and with the assistance of a human resource consultant and the Human Resource Committee formulated a comprehensive organizational redesigning plan. The plan will be implemented from July 1 2010 and will include a new structure with each employee given a new job description and appropriate placement. Changes will take place in staffing, including the creation of posts with responsibilities for player relations, sponsorship management and event management, and the appointment of new personnel to strengthen our department responsible for cricket operations.
In addition, we are about to undertake the development of an action plan that outlines our response to the changes in the international landscape and the implications for the future of cricket in the region. This will be a seminal action plan that will shape the future model for the administration and financing of cricket in the region. It is expected to cover all the critical areas of cricket.
We are also committed to examining ways in which we can improve the governance and administration of the affairs of the board and other committees to ensure, among other things, accountability and transparency.
I must also make mention of the West Indies Cricket Board's recognition of the need to build effective and meaningful relationships with all stakeholders of the game. It means that we must engage in a dialogue that presents to us an understanding of the expectations of stakeholders but likewise expresses our views on the roles and responsibilities of the WICB. This will be a delicate yet necessary process in paving the way for a successful future.
Generating the resources for the financing of West Indies Cricket : Critical for the implementation of any development plans and managing the operations of the board is the availability of resources. In January, the board engaged a marketing consultant to assist management in formulating proposals which could be presented to the market and commencing the efforts to build a commercial department that can adequately raise the resources required. The immediate result was the production of a publication titled "Transforming West Indies Cricket".
This document has served as the basis for frank interaction and discussion with potential sponsors for long term relationships. We are excited by the reaction to the document and our proposals, although we recognise that there is a lot of confidence building which has to take place to overcome past failures and disappointments.
The board will soon make a major announcement on the arrangements for the broadcast of the Caribbean Twenty20 which will be held in July. For the first time our regional cricket will receive global coverage and I am certain that this will start a process of breaking down barriers to secure further sponsorships.
Cricket Development : If there is no product to sell then there can be no commercial programme to implement. There are four critical activities under consideration with our cricket development:
1. We need to get our senior team more competitive. The Board immediately sought to employ the best cricket coach to lead the development of our teams and coaches. We are proud to have engaged Mr. Ottis Gibson and look forward to his continued efforts to change the mode of the team and the positive results this should soon bring. We are totally committed to making the resources available to make the team more competitive.
2. We need to prepare the players on the fringes of international selection through the reactivation of the "A" Team programmes. We have all seen the immediate success of this action in the short time since it has been implemented. While we are committed to the extension of the first-class season that will be implemented as soon as it is affordable, we believe that this action is of greater priority.
3. We need to prepare our next generation of international cricketers, those between 19-23 years. This is the reason we are here tonight - the establishment of the most advanced training programme in the region.
4. The implementation of a talent development programme which, together with the Scotia Bank Kiddy Cricket Programme as our talent identification programme, will provide WICB with a clear player development pathway for 7-11 year-olds; 12-15 year-olds and 17-19 year olds. Accordingly, in the next few weeks the WICB will announce a US$ 2 million grass roots and community coaching programme that will provide opportunities and a pathway for young people from the streets and community playing fields to Kensington Oval, Lords, Eden Gardens and the Wanderers.
Cricket Operations: This has been undoubtedly a major area of repeated failures and shortcomings. In addition, to the strengthening of our implementation capacity, the Board has introduced an injury management system that will incorporate every player from regional teams to the international team registering every medical condition, injury and rehabilitation programme. The system will offer a real-time, interactive and user-friendly resource that will manage the injuries and avoid the present situation of incoherence which exists. The system is already being implemented at the level of the senior team.
The purpose of the centre is to help bridge the gap between youth cricket and international cricket. To that end, 15 young cricketers between the ages of 19 and 27 have been selected to spend three months at the centre, where they will be exposed to state-of-the-art training facilities, coaching techniques, equipment, education and sports science.
Players selected for the high performance centre: Shamarh Brooks, Jason Holder, Shane Dowrich, Kyle Corbin, Kevin McClean, Brandon Bess, Ravindra Chandrika, Veerasammy Permaul, Nkrumah Bonner, Andre Creary, Kieran Powell, Devon Thomas, Shannon Gabriel, Keron Cottoy, Delorn Johnson.
Management Team: Toby Radford (Director and head coach), Andre Coley (Assistant coach), William Bourne (Spin specialist coach), Shannon Lashley (Strength and conditioning coach), Courtney Browne (Wicketkeeping coach), Roddy Estwick (Fast bowling coach) Simon Grayson (Performance coach), Jacqueline King-Mowatt (Physiotherapist), Jessica Reid (Administrative assistant).