Monday, 27 February 2012 02:30
By Sports news
Antigua St John's - Minister of State with responsibility for Sports Winston Williams Jr has asked WICB CEO Dr Ernest Hilaire to intervene in the impasse between the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.
His letter to Dr Hilaire is reprinted in its entirety below:
February 25, 2012
Dr. Ernest Hilaire
Chief Executive Officer
West Indies Cricket Board
Sir Sydney Walling Highway
Dear Dr Hilaire:
The Ministry with responsibility for Sports and by extension, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, recognizes and practices the international protocol which honours the independence and authority of bona fide national sports associations and their regional and international governing bodies.
At the same time, the Ministry of Sports also takes its role of protecting the interest of the people it serves as it relates to sports and recreation, very seriously.
Principles of democracy, access to sports and recreation by interested persons and professionally managed organizations on the national level are not matters which any government, including ours, can take lightly. We are particularly concerned when the historical significance of an institution, such as that of cricket in Antigua and Barbuda, is being brought into disrepute.
It is in this context, that I am making this urgent call to you as Chief Executive Officer of the West Indies Cricket Board, the regional governing body of cricket, to utilize all powers and rights of your organization to assist in bringing resolution to the present state of cricket in Antigua and Barbuda. To be more specific, our concerns are centred on the following serious breaches:
1. The Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association, for the past five (5), has been unable to engage a quorum of its membership to conduct elections in accordance with its constitution. In our view, the failure of the Association to command membership attention has resulted in the following undesirable consequences:
a. Public lack of confidence in the President and his Executive, to the extent that the association can barely organize, plan and promote local, regional and international cricket matches. This, in my view, speaks to a dying institution.
b. Inability to bring its constitution in line with current trends and practices in sports and in particular cricket.
c. Lack of interest in the sport nationally
2. It is extremely unfortunate; that while the WICB and LICA have been very open to discussions with the Ministry of Sports on their programmes including Kiddy Cricket, the Digicel Grassroots, the Sandals Cricket Academy, regional and international Cricket Scholarships and Training, attempts to engage the national association on discussions relating to a sustainable development plan for Antigua and Barbuda have proven futile.
I make specific reference to my letter to the President of the Association, Mr. Enoch Lewis in August of 2011. In that letter, I invited the President to join the Ministry of Sports in charting a new course for the development of cricket on the national level.
In my letter, which was copied to you Sir, I called upon the President, Mr. Enoch Lewis ‘to present as soon as possible, the detailed strategic plan of action for cricket at the school, community and national levels. This plan should include, but not be limited to the human resource, equipment and facilities requirements, the expected input of the ABCA, LICA, WICB, private sector stakeholders and Government in the implementation of the strategy.’
I do not consider this request to be unreasonable, but up to the point of this letter to you, Dr Hilaire, I have not received a response from either the President or any other member of the ABCA. It should be noted that my Government’s investment in this most important asset to our nation cannot be disrespected, or treated with disregard
As Minister of State with responsibility for sports I have a mandate, on behalf of the people of Antigua and Barbuda, to lead the process in bringing this matter to a close with all parties playing their part. The people of Antigua and Barbuda have a rich history in cricket and we have a stake in the continued development of game as a key part of the social and economic development of our people. Our youths have high expectations which must be met; the collective aspirations of our people must be satisfied.
I am bringing this most vexing matter to the table of the Board of Directors, WICB through you, as opposed to the path taken by other countries with in our region in the face of losing our hold on this most important investment, CRICKET.
Sir, you have an opportunity to guide the process back to the pathway of reason. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda is resolute in dealing with this matter with your help and direction within a reasonable period of time.
I am available for a meeting on Wednesday February 29, 2012 at 12 noon to discuss the way forward. Kindly advise if this meets with your concurrence.
Sen. Hon. Winston Williams Jr.
Minister of State: Sports
Ministry of Education, Sports,
Youth and Gender Affairs