By E. Glenford Prescott
Three weeks after the Windward Islands Cricket Board held a meeting in St. Vincent, the public is still awaiting information coming out of that meeting, which was held on the weekend of March 18.
But from snippets of information, indications are that Dominica is set to fortify their position even more as the powerhouses of Windwards Cricket. This stem from the fact that the largest of the four-islands windward archipelago, which is already in the most positions of authority, seem set to be handed even more power.
Currently, Windward Islands Cricket Board president Emmanuel Nanthan hails from that country, known as the “Land of many rivers” and his reign is said to have been very fertile for Dominica, in particular in the field of administration.
Under Nanthan, who is also vice-president of the West Indies Cricket Board, his country has become an international cricket venue, hosting Test and ODI matches and is home to the Windward Islands Volcanoes Franchise.
Dominica’s Gregory Shillingford, who served a calamitous period as CEO of the WICB, now operates in that capacity with the franchise.
While indications prior to the meeting were that the other countries would have been attempting to have the franchise shifted to these countries over time, this appeared to have had little currency and reports are that Dominica will remain as the host of the camp for the foreseeable future, myriad of problems notwithstanding.
A source who was relaying information as gleaned from the meeting but was not present at the meeting, said that Lockhart Sebastien is now confirmed as the operations manager of the franchise in addition to his role as Batting Consultant. And while the Windwards representatives at the WICB meetings in the past were two presidents, Sebastien mystifyingly has been selected along with Grenada Cricket Association’s president, Dwaine Gill, to fill the role ahead of SVG’s Kishore Shallow.
Liam Sebastien, the son of Lockhart, is the Volcanoes’ captain, while their compatriot, Charles Walters is the chairman of selectors.
But while most of this may be known to many, the decision to move the board’s secretariat out of SVG to Dominica in 2017 will come as news to most. Reports say that the members made this decision on a recommendation from current long-serving CEO, Lennox John, who is the first holder of the post.
Reports say that the WICB pumps over EC$150,000 annually to run the office, which is located in the National Sports Council (NSC) compound at the Arnos Vale Playing Field. The removal of the office is expected to affect the office Secretary and eliminate income to the NSC in the form of rent.
One person surmised that the relocation of the secretariat will eventuate in a merger between the Windwards Board and the franchise and putting Dominica in a near impregnable position to call the shots in Windwards cricket.