WICB’s shameless stature

West Indies cricket has been thrown into a sort of whirlwind that may see the regional organisation going further into bleakness with no end in sight for some time to come. The fortunes of the West Indies Cricket Board has never really been sound but in recent times and with far more public scrutiny into its operations than ever before it does appear that the organisation is particularly weak and this is not restricted to the leadership of the organisation.
Before the Packer Series cricket at the international level stood at a virtual hand-to-mouth level. The players were never seen as sufficient critical to the fortunes of the game and this was reflected in the paltry remuneration they received for their services.
Before Packer the game’s attractiveness was dependent upon the sheer skill of the players yet this was not appropriately appreciated by the leadership of the sport. In the case of the West Indies the players were not guaranteed much of anything when they got injured. If the injury was serious enough it resulted in the termination of their career. The players were left to recover much on their own.
When Packer entered the cricketing arena it was over a battle for rights and his intervention was merely to prove a very important point that eventually resulted in the game moving on to another level.
As happened with most activities the development of the sport therefore did not come from the administrators of the game at the time but instead from a media magnate – Kerry Packer – who knew and understood the impact of the media on the promotion of the sport.
The outcome of the Packer intervention was global television coverage, better remuneration packages for the players and umpires, widespread application of technology to the game, the formation of players’ associations engaged in collective bargaining and the capacity of regional cricket boards to enrich their respective coffers.
In many of the test playing nations at the time the Packer intervention was stoutly resisted. The International Cricket Council (ICC) and its affiliates were in disarray as they sought to patch up their approach alongside the much promoted and highly appealing Packer Series. Eventually the two came to an agreement and the game returned to the hands of the ICC.