By Neto Baptiste
Former prime minister and National Hero, Sir Lester Bird, has described his past relationship with the now deceased Clarvis Joseph as a “reasonable” one, listing a move they spearheaded in 1998 to have the headquarters of the West Indies Cricket Board relocate to Antigua as one that is still benefiting the twin island state today.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Sir Lester said that although they may have sat on different sides of the political divide at the time, the focus then remained on ensuring Antigua and Barbuda became the hub for West Indies Cricket.
“I came forward and together with Clarvis but the reality is that Clarvis and I operated as Antiguans and I, in fact, was chairman of the Antigua Cricket Board, so I had an inside knowledge of all that was happening and I said, ‘step forward’. I told the West Indies Cricket Board through Clarvis that Antigua would be prepared and I would be prepared to give the ‘green house’ and that’s where the prime minister’s headquarters was,” he said.
Joseph, during a tell all interview with the Jojo show last year, explained how he and a team of officials convinced the board, which was located in Barbados at the time, to relocate to St John’s.
Joseph, at the time, listed then prime minister Sir Lester, as being instrumental in ensuring the move took place.
Sir Lester said the government of the day was prepared to do whatever it took to ensure that the move materialised.
“The reality is that I had a reasonable relationship with Clarvis and the West Indies Cricket Board wanted to get all of the diplomatic privileges including duty free et al and the reality is that then prime minister in Barbados was not prepared and his government was not prepared to give the West Indies Cricket Board the kind of concessions they wanted,” he said.
“I, in fact, was appointed originally as a spokesman for Caricom n the West Indies board and so I had a nexus with what was going on but Clarvis and I had a reasonable relationship,” he added.
Joseph passed away on Saturday after reportedly being hospitalised for some time.