west_indies_cricket_board_flag (1)The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is seeking legal advice and recommendations following calls for a forensic audit by former officials.

According to the WICB, it has been advised that in a number of instances, the call for a forensic audit carries the suggestion of wrongdoing and misappropriation of WICB funds by present members of the organisation.

Additionally, the WICB believes the questions suggest the auditors are either incompetent or complicit. These allegations are completely false, and seriously damaging to the reputation of the WICB, its members, and auditors, the WICB said in a statement late yesterday..

“The WICB has therefore decided that these are serious allegations and has referred the matter to Senior Counsel, Anthony Astaphan of Dominica, for his advice and recommendations,” the statement from the WICB said.

The board said it had taken note of the repeated “calls to conduct a forensic audit of the Board in order to save West Indies cricket from absolute and total downfall” made by former officials of the WICB.

The Board said internal and external audits are done and authorised by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and KPMG respectively, and accounts are published by or available from the WICB on all its platforms, including the website.

“The WICB notes that these allegations appear triggered, not by fact or evidence but by an emotional reaction to the WICB’s response to the CARICOM sub-committee’s report and other matters. These officials have completely ignored the written responses of the WICB,” the statement said.

West Indies bowling legend Curtly Ambrose meanwhile has termed the dismissal of Phil Simmons as unfortunate as it relates to its timing.

Simmons, who led the team to the World Twenty20 Championship title earlier this year, was dismissed by the West Indies Cricket Board earlier this week.

The WICB cited ‘differences in culture and strategic approach’ as the major reasons for the decision.

With the West Indies currently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for an away series against Pakistan, Ambrose, who was himself dismissed from the role of bowling consultant months ago, believes the removal of the coach is likely to impact the team negatively.

“The morale of the team can’t be good because when you would have at least had a camp and then you learn one or two days before departure that your coach isn’t going to be around because he’s been fired, it must send the wrong message,” Ambrose told the Antigua Observer.

“The timing is wrong, to be quite blunt. This happened when we went to Sri Lanka last year as well when Simmons made a statement about interference in team selection and, about two or three days before we left for Sri Lanka, they suspended him, which was wrong,” he added.

“If you weren’t happy with the things he said, why pull a coach off a [tour] two or three days before? All they had to do was maybe send him some correspondence saying they were not happy and they would deal with it when he gets back and now this time around, it’s the same thing.”