President Gordon defends Griffith~~s appointment

Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Teddy Griffith has been appointed to the new board of the company established to administer the 2007 World Cup because of "the background and the information" he possesses, his successor as West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Ken Gordon said yesterday.

"You want the best people available and Teddy Griffith certainly falls into that category," Gordon said as he prepared to return to the West Indies after attending his first International Cricket Council (ICC) board meeting here.

"As president, he was involved in preparations for the World Cup and brings that background and that information to the table".

When Griffith quit as WICB president last July he stated that his decision was "necessitated by personal and family considerations" that would not permit him, at age 69, "to commit the energy and resources required to fulfil the role" through the two-year build-up to the World Cup.

Gordon did not accept that it was incongruous that he should now accept a post on the newly-appointed board of Cricket World Cup 2007 Inc (CWC).

"It is an entirely different thing being president of the WICB and all that entails and being a member of the board of the World Cup," he said.

He also dismissed rumours that Griffith is being paid a consultancy fee by CWC.

"That's the first I've heard of it and I don't know where it's come from," he said. "I can only assume such talk was started by someone with a particular agenda and I can categorically deny that Teddy Griffith is receiving any payment."

Gordon, the 75-year-old media executive, has himself taken on the additional position as chairman of CWC on the resignation of former head, Rawle Brancker, last month.

Brancker, the former Barbados left-handed all-rounder who runs his own business in Bridgetown, said at the time he felt "uncomfortable sitting at the same table" with Griffith since he had lost confidence in him. He also cited differences with CWC's chief executive Chris Dehring.

"Given the experience of attempts to remove me, together with the fact that Teddy has presided over West Indies cricket at its worst, I could neither trust nor respect his opinions," he added.

Brancker's resignation was one issue Gordon had to address in his report to the ICC on World Cup preparations.

"It was a matter of keeping members abreast of the pluses and minuses without going into minute details," the WICB president said.

"Although everything is not fully under control, we are optimistic of staging a successful tournament," he added. "We have difficulties, such as accommodation, and members were anxious to learn about the background to Rawle Brancker's resignation.

But there appeared to be a general feeling of confidence about our preparations." He revealed that an ICC committee would be in Montego Bay, Jamaica, next month for discussions with himself, Dehring and other CWC officials.

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