ICL: Indian Cricket League

Gordon - Time for somebody else


Ken Gordon leaves his two-year presidency of West Indies cricket with the Board on stable financial ground; with a developmental academy ready to go; a financially successful World Cup behind it; and an improved contract with chief sponsors Digicel now worth US$2.6 million per year.

But Gordon also leaves having presided over an organisation lacking public credibility. This was his frank admission yesterday at the Hilton Trinidad where he faced the media for a final time as West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president.

“Obviously, anything that’s good or bad is a reflection of my leadership. As far as the credibility problem is concerned, I don’t think that has made the kind of progress I would have liked,” he said. “Short answer is the West Indies Cricket Board in my view continues to have a credibility problem. But I hope that in the process of change which is ahead of us, that there will be a structural change to the Board to have it reflect a different quality of membership.”

According to Gordon - making reference to instances of leaks to the press - the root of the Board’s credibility difficulties had to do with a lack of confidentiality, which he said had led to a “media circus”.

“A big part of the problem is until you can run an organisation where the quality of people who are there will respect confidentiality, and you can solve problems internally, I suppose you will always have a credibility problem… This has haunted the West Indies.

“One of the commitments we made was transparency. We’re trying to tell you what all the issues are. But that doesn’t mean you have to know when everybody fights amongst themselves to resolve issues. And I’m afraid, in the process, many things have also been manufactured.”

Gordon also conceded that the relationship between his administration and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) had also been a failure.

“We have not succeeded in bridging that gap on a sustainable basis and I had hoped after the first few months, first year, that we would have done so,” he said.

“I’m not here to point fingers,” Gordon continued. “I’m only here to say that it is absolutely critical for West Indies cricket that that issue be addressed and finally solved… It really boils down to how you deal with personalities.”

Gordon noted, too, that “a new man”, Julian Hunte, “has a chance to come in and [WIPA president] Mr [Dinanath] Ramnarine may prefer to deal with him. So that will take it forward”.

Referring also to the stormy exchanges between Ramnarine and new WICB CEO Bruce Aanensen, reflected in recent media releases, Gordon said: “Mr Aanensen has had a vigourous start. And perhaps there are similarities between Mr Ramnarine and Mr Aanensen.”

But, with Aanensen seated at the head table listening, he expressed confidence that “once they have gotten over the initial flaring, things will settle down. Because one thing I’m certain of is, they both have West Indies cricket at heart”.

Gordon, the former media magnate and government minister in the NAR administration, leaves this latest office, keen, he says, to “learn to be” the grandfather he has not quite been.

And having previously been asked to reconsider his offered resignation during the World Cup in April, Gordon suggested his job in West Indies cricket is now done. “When you are involved in making serious change, there is fallout that must inevitably occur. Popularity is not one.

“Obviously, people get upset with me. I understand that. I’m not here for a career. I like to think with what we have set out to do largely is putting a foundation there. But I also recognise that, in the process, there has been so much fallout, even among a pocket of my own members, that perhaps it’s better to get somebody else to take it to a different level. I have been there with it up to a certain point, now let somebody else take it forward.”

And asked to reflect on his leadership style during his somewhat controversial tenure, Gordon said, had he to face the bowling all over again, there would be an adjustment in strategy.

“Obviously I would have attempted to perhaps temper some of my approaches a little more. But you see, when you have what looks like a house of cards around you, it’s very difficult to be always as considered as you should be.”

He said “in the light of what I have experienced”, he would use “more personal consultation perhaps rather than just consultation at the board level; making the time to do that. Maybe some people may have understood a little more clearly”.

Source:Cricket News

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