By Brenton Henry (Caribbean News Service)
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Jul 05 2017 – Prime Minister Gaston Browne has described Grenada Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell as having “a compulsive obsessive desire” to dissolve the West Indies Board (WICB).
In a strongly worded statement in which Browne did not call his Grenada counterpart’s name, Browne also accused Mitchell of publicly violating the committee among CARICOM leaders with his comments at the opening ceremony of the 38th Regular Meeting of Heads in St. Georges last night.
Browne said this has provided him with an opportunity to speak frankly on a few issues, the chief among them being the WICB.
“The governance (of WICB) appears to be an evocative romanticism of a particular Caribbean Head,” Browne said after his abrupt departure from the Grenada meeting.
“Antigua and Barbuda as a matter of principle does not interfere with the internal affairs of institutions and governments that are governed by democratically elected officials,” he said.
“Now there is a particular Head who is of the flawed opinion that with my support and other Heads that he could achieve his compulsive-obsessive desire to dissolve the Board.
“The latter he fallaciously argued would automatically resolve the multiplicity of problems facing West Indies Cricket, almost overnight,” Browne added.
Browne asked “By the way, in the event, he had gotten my support for this fantasy, the question would have been, how would he have achieved this forced dissolution? Talk is cheap. As leaders, we should know our limitations and control our aspirations by ensuring that they do not exceed our limitations.”
Last night Mtichell, who hosted the opening ceremony of the Caricom meeting, was also strong in his criticisms of colleagues on the WICB issue.
He said, “we do a lot to undermine the very construct on Caricom and regional integration when we yield to the urge to go out on solo excursions even after we reach common positions.”
He also said, “It is therefore greatly disheartening to me and I know several other colleague Heads, that after we have taken common positions to assist in addressing the crisis in West Indies Cricket, some members publicly adopted different positions”.
“We have to call a spade when we see a spade, there is an urgent need for us to get back on course,” he added.
Earlier he said, “the legacies that have been created by our players on the field and the voice they have given throughout generations, to expressions of West Indian Identity, have been well documented and Chronicled throughout the years”.
He was making reference to a recommendation to dissolve the WICB which Browne and Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit publicly disagreed with.
The exchange of words is likely to fuel speculation that Browne left the Caricom meeting based on what his colleague said.
In late 2015, the Independent Review Panel of the Caricom Sub-Committee on Cricket Governance recommended that the WICB be disbanded and an interim committee installed to run the affairs of cricket in the region.