By Neto Baptiste
President of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB) and a Cricket West Indies (CWI) Director, Enoch Lewis, said that any attempts to accuse board members of wrongdoing in how funds totalling US $134,200 from a sponsor in August 2018, on behalf of the Dominica Cricket Association (DCA) was handled, would be unfair.
Lewis, speaking on Observer Radio’s Good Morning Jojo Sports Show on Monday, said that although the matter was discussed at a board meeting that year, questions as to how the funds were received and disbursed must be directed to those charged with the day to day operations of the body.
“If you are part of the group then you are going to get implicated of course but don’t forget that directors don’t get involved in the day to day activities. You attend four meetings per year pretty much, with a very long agenda over two short days to try and cover everything that was done over three months, and so you have people that you pay who are supposed to reveal any inaccuracies, any irregularities that you expect will come to the board so you’re just dealing with an agenda item placed before you,” he said.
Former West Indies fast bowler and commentator, Michael Holding, raised the issue last week, which he said was among several red flags raised by auditors in a recent report on the operations of the CWI.
The auditors, according to Holding, said the money was paid over to the DCA in three tranches; US $104,100 on November 16, 2018; US $15,700 on August 15, 2019; and US $14,400 on September 21, 2019.
The money was received from a third party, which appeared to be an offshore corporation, Holding explained.
The auditors, the former player continued, wrote that it was unclear why the funds did not go directly to the DCA.
The funds were supposed to be specifically earmarked for cricket development in Dominica. However, there was no evidence CWI obtained confirmation from the DCA that the funds were used as directed.
Lewis said that although he is disappointed the report had been leaked, he is not surprised.
“Maybe disappointed but not surprised because that everything that happens at CWI somehow seems to get into the public domain. So I didn’t say I was surprised but I would say that, maybe disappointed the accounting firm made it clear and the board agreed that that it was for internal purposes and I believe that to cover themselves, they made sure that they actually placed something that would amount to a disclaimer in the report that it should not be duplicated,” he said.
The former Antiguan batsman said the report was intended as a guide as to the way forward for the board and was not intended for public consumption.
“It was commissioned for internal purposes and I remember that the company [accounting firm] indicated in the report that, as agreed, the report is for internal use only and it should not be duplicated, publicized and that kind of stuff, without the written consent of the accounting firm. The idea was to ensure that this was a roadmap or a guide as to how we go forward doing things and I can tell you that several of those recommendations have been implemented. There were no attempts to really hide the report per se, it was just commissioned for internal purposes,” he said.
Lewis said a number of the recommendations made by the auditors have already been taken on board by CWI.