West Indies news July 5, 2012

WICB chief executive Hilaire to step down

Ernest Hilaire, the chief executive of the WICB whose tenure has been marked by standoffs with a number of senior players, most notably Chris Gayle, has decided not to seek a renewal of his contract when it expires in October, ESPNcricinfo has learned.

Hilaire has already informed the WICB board of directors of his intention not to continue in the role and they have appointed a recruitment agency to find a replacement. He has been appointed St Lucia's new ambassador in London by the newly elected St Lucia Labour party government.

He took over as chief executive in November 2009, when he was given a three-year contract, and presided over a somewhat tumultuous time in West Indies cricket as the team struggled to win matches. However, the side has shown improved competitiveness under the captaincy of Darren Sammy recently, especially in the limited-overs formats, and espouses a commitment to playing as a team.

Hilaire had also been involved in high profile disputes with Dinanath Ramnarine, the former head of the West Indies Players' Association, and a number of senior players, including Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan. Gayle's troubles with the board began when he chose to play in the 2011 IPL and miss the home series against Pakistan. It was only in June 2012 that Gayle's exile ended after he signed a CARICOM-brokered agreement with the WICB. Sarwan has not played for West Indies since June 2011, having lost his central contract in 2010 on fitness grounds.

In May 2012, Hilaire, said the selectors should focus on picking a strong collective unit rather than one just comprising 11 star players. "For a decade or so the selectors were guided by a process which had them arriving at the eleven best players to take the field," Hilaire had said. "With the eleven best players on the park our results went from bad to worse and yet worse still.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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