GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC): The Vice-President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Emmanuel Nanthan, says regional governments are not doing enough to support the development of cricket in the region. Nanthan’s declaration comes as the Dave Cameron-led WICB and CARICOM appear to remain at loggerheads over a recommendation calling for the dissolution of the board by a review panel setup by CARICOM and the WICB. The WICB appears to be preparing for a legal battle with CARICOM to resist the recom-mendations of the Review panel by hiring Dominican lawyer Anthony Astaphan. Nanthan is insisting that the problems with West Indies cricket have little to do with WICB’s governance, but a lack of resources from regional governments to fund training. “It costs the WICB about US$1 million to train a cricketer from the Under-15 level to the elite level in international cricket,” said Nanthan, a sports administrator for the past 20 years. “Eighty-seven per cent of all amounts spent by the Windwards and Leewards in age group tournaments is represented by accommodation costs, air and sea travel costs and the cost of meals for players who are away from their homes. No wonder on an annual basis the Windwards and Leewards are always at the bottom of the table in the early rounds of the regional competition.” A recent meeting in Grenada between CARICOM prime ministers and a WICB delegation to discuss the panel’s governance report made little progress except for an agreement for future meetings. WICB’s defiance appears to have been fired-up following a subsequent board meeting in St Lucia, which also discussed the governance report. “Did the academics look into this? Are the nation states encouraging cricket in the communities?” asked Nanthan. “I say all this so you can understand the costs of the opportunity, which you have been offered through the opportunity of the Professional Cricket League.” STATE’S ROLE The WICB vice-president added: “Early education in sports in schools is the responsibility of the State. The responsibility of training to achieve successful performance and results for national teams in regional and international sports is the responsibility of the governments.” Nanthan says the WICB is prepared to make amendments, but stressed that only share-holder territories can legally dissolve the WICB. “We are prepared to make some changes as we did following previous Governance Reports,” he told Kaieteur News in Guyana. “However, on the basis of a corporate review and legal advice, only the shareholders of the WICB can dissolve the company – the WICB. And similarly only shareholders can appoint new directors to the board, whether they are independent or shareholders directors.”
National senior men’s football head coach, Winfried Schafer, says only the best players are good enough to play for him, and if local players are better than their overseas-based counterparts, then they will play. “The best players play in my team. (If) The local players are better than overseas players, yes, they play,” he noted. In line with his reasoning, Schafer asked: “How many local players go out in the last two years from Jamaica to play overseas? “Kemar Lawrence, Alvas Powell, Andre Clennon are local players; they go out and are not local players now, and it is good for the football in Jamaica when the players go out and bring money back. When they go out from here, money comes back to the clubs and the clubs have more money to grow better infrastructure,” he said. Schafer called up 24 local-based players to camp on Monday in preparation for their March 25 World Cup Qualifier against Costa Rica. However, camps of this type are not unusual ahead of World Cup qualifiers or international matches and tournaments. What is common is seeing local-based talent restricted to warming the bench, rarely getting the opportunity to get a taste of international competition. One domestic player who has been impressive this season is Arnett Gardens playmaker, Vishunul Harris, who is away with his team participating in the CFU Club Championship in the Dominica Republic. Asked to comment on the talent, Schafer said: “Harris, he is a good player, I have seen him. Probably, yes (will be in squad), but not only him. But I don’t know we have time. They (local players) have to learn,” observed Schafer. He added that having locals trained by the national coaches will lead to overall development. “We have many good talent in Jamaica, and we want the talent to be good players as we need good players. We want the local players, in training so we can make the local players better. The local players see the head coach of the national team and his interest, it is good for him, the country and development while training,” the German coach said. “Our training is good for local players, it helps build their confidence and helps to make them better,” he reasoned. SQUAD: Andre Vassell, Andrew Vanzie, Ronaldo Rodney, Allan Ottey, Jermaine Woozencroft, Andre Dyce, Ricardo Morris, Upston Edwards, Jamie Robinson, Omar Daley, Damano Solomon, Rohan Roye, Jason Moore, Mark Miller, Chevonne Marsh, Hughan Gray, Shaven Sean Paul (GK), Rosario Harriott, John-Ross Edwards, Vishunul Harris, Swayne Thomas, Amal Knight (GK), Ramone McGregor and Nicholas Campbell (GK). The training camp started Monday and ends today. – L. S.
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