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The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is faced with a severe shortage of funds and its only short-term saviour appears to be the hosting the 2007 World Cup. Apparently, the WICB auditors, an internationally recognised firm of chartered accountants, in their independent report to WICB Inc shareholders, have stated that WICB and its World Cup subsidiary incurred a net loss of US$19,513,410 during the year ended September 30, 2005 and accumulated a deficit of US$34,920,819. In other words, they are firmly in the red. “The group’s continued existence is dependent upon the net cash inflow which is expected from hosting the World Cup, its ability to find new sources of finance, and to identify and implement additional or alternative revenue, generating and cost-reduction programmes, which will contribute to the group achieving and maintaining profitable operations.”
 

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Why? Cricket Australia is no less successful. I should think most of the deficit has lined the pockets of some WICB members. The trouble is, everyone thinks in terms of which island he is from, instead of which country.
 

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I notice that Brian Lara’s contract with Cable & Wireless will be allowed to stand, despite the fact that the official team sponsor is Digicel. Only poor Dwayne Bravo is being victimised.
 

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Yeah, they dare not touch Lara now. The board excluded Bravo because of the contract he signed with TSTT, a competitor with Digicel. The WICB decided to ‘ignore’ Lara’s personal contact with Cable & Wireless because it was signed prior to the WICB’s contract with Digicel. The West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) contends that the recent ruling by the ICC allows Bravo and other players to pursue their personal sponsorship deals, regardless of who sponsors the WICB. That is right and proper, I think.
 
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