There is no doubt that the resistance to the Packer initiative was bred out of the total lack of vision amongst the respective leadership of the ICC and its affiliates. They did not see further than their noses. As far as the West Indies were concerned the Mighty Sparrow captured it in a hard-hitting calypso which chronicled and criticised the WICB’s seeming selfishness and resistance to change. He identified the class nature of the cricketing authorities in the Caribbean at the time and the difficulty they experienced in opening up themselves to scrutiny and challenges from any quarter.
Unfortunately, not much has changed since then. The one notable development is the formation of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA, which has proven a thorn in the sides of the leadership of the sport in the region.
It is unfortunate that even after the Packer experience the WICB has never really organised itself in a manner that could lay claim to a level of professionalism that assured the game a secure future in the region.
It is not at all surprising therefore that as we begin 2009 the WICB is looking down the barrel of the gun, as it were, in so far as its future is concerned.
In a very real sense the WICB has learnt nothing from the Packer intervention. Its leadership remains decidedly poor, woefully deficient in virtually all aspects of the game.
The WICB has for some time been able to attract the kind of sponsorship it requires to cover its operations. Indeed it seems that the WICB has always been incapable of meeting its expenses.
Importantly, the WICB seems to have failed, over the years, to attract sponsorship of an order deemed significant enough to meet all of its commitments.
We witnessed the Shell Shield for many years and then the sudden departure of Shell as the sponsor.
We have had Carib as a sponsor of the four-day game and KFC as sponsor of the One Day competition. In 2008 we have learnt of the departure of these two organisations.