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Dr Toppin’s Curious WICB Snub

By Orin Davidson
Strange things occur in cricket, but none are more inexplicable than those that surface from the West Indies Cricket Board.

The latest is the abrupt decision by the Board’s new Chief Executive Officer-designate to decline the position before starting.

Dr Roland Toppin was supposed to occupy the head chair from February 1 to fill the position left by Roger Braithwaite after almost one year.

Now two weeks prior, the WICB is left in a tailspin and ruing the prospect of another difficult search for its leading executive officer.

Whatever the reasons for Toppin’s sudden decision, it does little to enhance the WICB’s already battered reputation or his either.

For an individual with heavy credentials he has been exposed as seriously indecisive or was otherwise taken for a ride by the Board and decided to jump ship in frustration.

With the WICB’s poor track record one gets the impression it is the latter.
In the run-up to his appointment Toppin had professed his love for West Indies cricket. He said he played seriously and wanted to become a Test player like most young West Indians at the time.

Now, having the opportunity to be involved in an important way, Toppin grabbed the opportunity with both hands, and possibly accepted without having all the loose ends tied.

But enthusiasm don’t always get in the way of professionalism. And Toppin having worked in the hierarchy of a leading University here in the U.S, must be a stickler for standards and principle. The Board has not been a crusader in either, hence Toppin is history where they are concerned now.

The fact that several top employees have quit the Board in recent times says a lot about its operations. The public is well aware of it through the WICB’s messy handling of its teams.

The inner workings are now gradually beginning to take shape from the outside.
The loss of Michael Hall, Leonard Robertson and most recently Zoral Barkley is telling it all.

One needs no more evidence to deduce the perilous state of the West Indies Cricket Board.

Fortunately Clive Lloyd, one of the team’s best ever captains, seems prepared to lend a helping hand.

Currently development committee head, and having acted as consultant and now manager for the team on tour, one hopes his presence will make a difference to the wobbly administration.

He did thus with the team in the 1970’s and now has a chance to make history repeat itself.

Is Sarwan fit or not?
Given his importance to the West Indies team, it is difficult to fathom the West Indies Cricket Board’s dubious handling of Ramnaresh Sarwan’s instep injury. Presently the team is India for World Cup warm-up games without its vice captain.

It was stated he was unfit for selection, but lo and behold, the public was informed yesterday he would be suiting up for Guyana in the Carib Cup, one day before the India series starts.

If there ever was a conflict of interest, this development beats all, more so since both competitions are under the Board’s jurisdiction.

From all indications Sarwan was supposed to be recovered by now since incurring the injury early December.

If he is good enough to play for Guyana then the same should apply for West Indies duty, which is ostensibly more important.

An urgent WICB explanation is therefore required on whether the player is ready or not for competition.
Orin Davidson Column Homepage


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