WICB’s flashing Red

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) now seems to be in more of a sport of bother and a tremendous headache following the conclusion of the Cricket World Cup 2007 (CWC2007).
The WICB has been in debt for some time and the organisation’s leadership seemed to have pinned hopes of moving its financial status from red to black following the success of the CWC2007. Now that the event did not prove to be as much of a success as touted prior to its commencement, the WICB is holding its head.
Arthur’s sting
Barbados’ Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Owen Arthur, has recently made statements that would probably have sent shock waves through the leadership of the WICB.
Speaking at a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) meeting in the parish of Christchurch, Arthur declared, It would be an act of irresponsible folly for us to take the only thing we would get from the World Cup and give it to the West Indies Cricket Board to pay its debts.” (Nation, 7 May 2007)
According to the Nation newspaper Arthur told the gathering of party faithful that President of the WICB, Ken Gordon, had written to him. The WICB President indicated that the organisation was indebted to the tune of some $15m USD and that the Board wanted the Barbados Prime Minister to agree to hand over the gate receipts to help the organisation clear it debts.
It was an adamant Arthur who stated, Now, I have already written to him to say that the government of Barbados does not and will not agree… He insisted that those responsible for the CWC2007 pass over the gate receipts so that we can start dealing with our financial matters at the Oval.
The Barbadian Prime Minister’s reasoning may well point other Ministers of Finance across the Caribbean to adopt a similar stance to the one has taken on board.
Arthur is essentially stating that his government has spent over $100m BDS to facilitate the reconstruction of the Kensington Oval to allow for the hosting of its round of matches in the CWC2007 and that the gate receipts will help the government recoup some of that money.
In some quarters the stance taken by Arthur may not be deemed unreasonable.