WICB in the 21st Century

The following presentation by Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron, President, WICB was done on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at the Annual Awards – Cayman Cricket Association. 

 Salutations

Thanks to the Cayman Cricket Association for this wonderful opportunity to share with you on your special evening where you recognise and honour the top achievers in the game.

It has been an interesting last few weeks and if you have been following the news you would have heard of a recommendation from a sub-committee to “dissolve” the West Indies Cricket Board.

The W-I-C-B will in 3 years, celebrate 90 years as a full member of the International Cricket Council. Our impact on the world of cricket and the contribution to our regional civilization, has been tremendous and there are ample record of positive memories to share with the world.

George Headley, 3W’s, Sir Garfield Sobers and Brian Lara, Malcolm Marshall, the Clive Lloyd championship teams and many more.

Over that 90-year period the Caribbean has had since the 1960s a lot of its countries in the region gained independence. Up to 1995 for a period of more than 20 years, the West Indies team dominated test and one-day internationals. However over the last 20 years, lots of changes took place.

Industries which directly contributed to the cricket development went through major collapses and structural changes (mainly Bauxite and Sugar Industries) and many of the athletic, young men and -INDEED WOMEN –  in the Caribbean have been attracted to a number of less expensive sports.

Edu Focal Feature

Regional bodies and institutions like the -University of the West Indies (UWI) – changed its core and some of the integration which my older peers would have access to doesn’t really exist. Even some of the support from other regional established institutions was diverted to more tangible products.

The family structure in our societies has deteriorated and what we have replaced it with is a society of crime and violence and a decline in our moral ethics.

I have given you this summary to give you a feel for some of the challenges we face outside of the core work of the W-I-C-B.

Over the last decade however, W-I-C-B has managed to improve year by year relationships with our stakeholders who we value dearly as we seek to strengthen the capacity of the sport and its major stakeholders -the greatest assets- our players.

Kensington T20

We are also aware of the link to the contributors, fans, management, support team and all our other stakeholders who we value equally.

So much has been thrown around about Leadership and Governance; and while it is important to separate them, governance is not a department it is all our jobs.

As the President, I am aware ultimately the success or lack thereof is my responsibility, however I have a team with me who for the last two years and eight months has worked assiduously to implement a business model for this sport, that in a few years will convert to a positive outcome. What is important and I must emphasize is that we are a SPORTS organization.

While the history of the W-I-C-B and its socio-economic and political connections are extremely important and we understand its relevance to our regional psyche – we are a SPORTS organization

International Sporting Organizations such as IOC, FIFA, & ICC are concerned about two major things and that is

  1. Governance – which has to do with the structures and the accountability throughout the organization
  2. Autonomy – which means that the organization should be able to make its own decisions free from interference from governments. It is not saying that we should not be dependent on governments, but our leadership and decisions should not be influenced by governments.

Governance reform is not something that we do and leave it.  Each day in Cayman and our other islands new pieces of legislation is passed to deal with new areas of law and deal with the emerging societies in which we live.  So too at the WICB we have been doing that.

DSC_0288

WICB over the last decade

We started reforming the WICB Memorandum and Articles of Association since 2004 when I chaired that committee

In 2009, Dr. Julian Hunte disclosed that – contrary to popular belief – the Governance Review Committee report is being utilised. The Patterson Report, for example was commissioned by the WICB in 2007 to do a top-to-bottom review of the operations of West Indies cricket. But Dr. Hunte, the WICB president at the time said that the regional governing body had been, or was taking action on 47 of the 65 recommendations contained in the report, but there was only one with which the directors had extreme difficulty. We again made the relevant changes to our Memorandum and Articles of Association to give rise to the changes

In 2012 another report was done by Charles Wilkin and we again adopted a number of the recommendations and changed the composition of our internal committees as a result.

There was a task force that was commissioned a year ago after the fall out in India that recommended a number of actions and we have completed all and changed our governance structure.  One of the major recommendations was that an independent panel review the new payment structure that we provided to our players.  An eminent panel sat and they recommended in addition what we had done that we pay players outside of a W-I-C-B retainer contract an additional per day of cricket for the use of their intellectual property. WIPA continuously communicates with the players on all these matters and more.

Since being elected in 2013 for the first time we created a Governance and Nominations committee a standing committee of the Board of Directors.  This committee is chaired by no other than Sir Denis Byron the head of the CCJ court and includes Mr Dodridge Miller the President of Sagicor International, the Vice President, Corporate Secretary and myself. Interestingly the chairman was a part of the latest committee to report.

We have a number of sub-committees within the WICB that functions very well – These include

  1. Finance
  2. Audit Risk and Compliance
  3. Marketing and Business Development
  4. Cricket Committee
  5. Chief Executive Committee
  6. Human Resource and Compensation Committee
  7. Disciplinary Panel
  8. Selectors Committee

Among other adhoc committees

Governance review is on-going

We have received the latest report from the committee and at this time it has been passed to Shareholders to have their meetings and report formally to the Board of Directors by December 52015.  The Board of Directors at our regularly scheduled meeting on December 12 in St. Lucia will review and then meet with the committee and or CARICOM.   There has been a lot of talk of disrespect to our governments.  I would like to make it abundantly clear that this is not the case.  As a matter of fact I have spoken to PM Mitchell and Secretary General of CARICOM.  The reality is that the report was commissioned by both parties, we received the report a day before it was made public to review.  As this is now public we need to give it to the Shareholders/TB’s who are the constituent members to review before any further steps can be made.  We have a number of professionals on our board and they require at least 3-6 months to be able to make meetings.

DSC_0254

Like all of the other reports, I am sure that the constituent members in their wisdom will seek to implement the ones they feel will ensure that the team returns to winning ways.

When my administration took office in March 2013 it was on a platform to create a cricket industry.  Let me tell you what we have done so far and how Cayman in particular can benefit.

  • Report Card
    • WICB has created the Professional Cricket League (PCL) with proper administrative structures around the Franchises. We have Administrators, Coaches and other development personnel.
    • 105 of the region’s best male cricketers have been retained by the WICB and the Franchises
    • 11 Women cricketers are on retainer contracts
    • A number of other players are on pay for play basis
    • Second time in our history first class players are participating in 10 first class matches in a series and that will be continued in upcoming seasons
    • There is a now a window for all levels of players
      • November – PCL
      • January – Super 50
      • Players get a break to play in the Indian Premier League
      • They return for the CPL – which now pays our players from $5k to $150k plus prize monies. WICB has taken the flak for selling out the CPL franchise but this has benefited the players immensely from playing for $550 per game.
      • The tours at home and abroad are in those breaks
    • By 2017 the product on the field will improve

WIPA

  • WICB/WIPA Partnership
    • Three years of the Player Awards
      • Once in TT and twice in Jamaica
      • The fourth award is scheduled for an island in the Leeward Islands
      • Best relationship both bodies have had in ten years
      • The new partnership has reduced the legal expenses from a high of $2.477 million in subsequent years to just under $400k last year
      • We also created the West Indies Retired Players Foundation which we funded as well. There is a separate board that has been created for this and chaired by one of our most ardent fan – Dr Nigel Camacho in Trinidad & Tobago. We have a number of our legends involved in West Indies Cricket at this time – namely Sir Viv Richards, Courtney Walsh, Clive Lloyd, Sir Richie Richardson, Sir Curtly Ambrose among others
  • Strategic Intervention with the use of Balanced Scorecard
    • We have hosted a series of sessions with each level separately and together to look at a strategic plan
    • The Elite Players were exposed to an Elite Team Tour in 2013
    • The players, management, staff, board directors, selectors and CEOS from the territorial boards and WIPA sat together over a 36-hour period to examine ways in which the CRICKET team can work closer together
      • The facilitation was by an external strategic expert
    • Financial Report
      • Deficit has been reduced

 

ITEM 2014-15 2013-14 2012-13
Surplus/(Deficit) * 3,594,378 (unaudited) (4,471,413) (1,531,375)
Accumulated Deficit  (1,830,337) (5,424,715) (3,893,340)
Monies to the players 9,887,679 9,591,929 7,213,295

Our commercial model sees the players earning a minimum of 25% on average of the commercial earnings of WICB

Our players are also paid from $5k t0 $150k per season in the CPL

  • We have reduced our Accumulated Deficit to just under $2million at the end of the financial year – unaudited. We had a surplus of over $3million  unaudited this year.
  • Marketing
    • PITCH International LLC
      • Pitch is a partnership specialising in the representation of rights for bodies such as sporting federations, clubs, rights holders and agencies, selling their content worldwide across all media.
      • We have created a commercial entity which will be used for the exploitation of all our rights
      • At our last special general meeting we resolved to change the name of West Indies Cricket Board Inc to Cricket West Indies. We believe while one may think this is just semantics it will have far reaching impact.  One such, is that the name suggests that we are all included – those who participate in the sport rather than the narrow view of the Board of Directors with their office in Antigua.

There is still much work to be done –

  • We need to improve our coaching programs and qualify more coaches
  • Cricket in Schools in all our territories
  • Women’s Cricket Development

Some of the items to being worked on.

We are under no illusion, with all the hard work that as long as the team does not perform the organization will continue to be under the microscope.

CAYMAN

  • How Cayman fits in as an associate nation in the Americas
  • What has been done for the region – We have taken an active part in the affairs of the Americas of which WICB is the full member responsible.
  • The reason I took the opportunity to be here is simple. I have told you all about the WICB and the challenges of the sport in the 21st Century and must now explain to you the possibilities – We have been in discussions with the Commonwealth Games Committee and the Pan Am Games with a long term view to making cricket an Olympic Sport.  We at WICB wholeheartedly support cricket as an Olympic sport.  The format we will have to decide and yes all countries will have to play as independent nations.  The benefits to countries like Cayman would be huge – funding, playing opportunities.  However we have been reminded by the persons in this region that any government interference will render this a no-ball.
  • Cayman and the Americas are part of our huge fan base, potential player base as well

 

We are pursuing age group competitions – U-15, U-17 for the Americas.  We already have U-19 and we now have a combine team participating in our NAGICO Super50.  This we hope will be the future as we attempt to add 2 new franchises from North America.  This will give opportunities to all the bright and up and coming stars gathered here this evening.  I met some youngsters today at the park who are truly excited about the game and we want to provide an opportunity for them.

On the women side we are currently reviewing our structure as well to allow Cayman women to participate in the Windward island tournaments.  We believe that we have to ensure that women’s cricket grow alongside the men’s cricket as well.

We want those born in Cayman or from our surrounding nations who want to play cricket see the opportunity of becoming a professional cricketer.

I would like to just take the opportunity to again congratulate all the awardees tonight and thank those who continue to support the game – the volunteers who we would not be able to run the sport without them.  Good luck in your future endeavours and as a Caymanian – I would just like to say that there is a bright future in cricket.

One Love

 

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