NEWLY appointed Chief Executive Officer of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Michael Muirhead believes the once strained relationship between the regional governing body and the players' union (WIPA) is growing mellow, and he foresees a future where the two groups can work together for the improvement of the regional sport.
Speaking to the Jamaica Observer at Melbourne Cricket Club's annual dinner and awards function recently, the WICB's CEO noted that he has an excellent relationship with the players association and its president, Wavell Hinds, and believes the malicious relations that have marred their relationship in recent times is now a thing of the past.
"I have heard about this thing with WIPA, but I have an excellent relationship with them... and I think they are definitely changing, as the whole dispensation of the tug-of-wars and always at each others' throat is now history," he stated.
Muirhead noted that he was recently invited as guest speaker at WIPA's annual general meeting (AGM) — an indication that the once-bitter relationship is mellowing.
"That speaks volumes, because it has not been done in a long time. So the relationship between the WICB and my counterpart Michael Hall and WIPA president Wavell Hinds is definitely improving," he said.
The soft-spoken, mild-mannered Muirhead also insisted that there is no sense in continuing to fight each other, and that compromises must be reached if the parties are to arrive at amicable solutions on the variety of sensitive issues affecting the region's cricket.
"It serves no purpose to keep going at each others' throat... we must come together and look for settlements in areas that need to be settled and compromise where we have to compromise," he said.
"But I would like to think that the relationship with the WIPA president (Wavell Hinds) is good," he said.
He noted that in Hinds's capacity as a sport presenter on SportsMax he sometimes comes across as honest and blunt, but Muirhead believes he is only being a good, objective journalist.
"We have no animosity whatsoever against each other and I always speak highly of Wavell. And I have no problem facing the challenges they may want to bring to us.
"Because some may think these are contentious issues, but they are not... they are just issues that are of interest to the players.
"And I would like to see the players get the benefits of what is due to them, but there is a manner in which we must do it," he said, because we can't expect that we will always get all that we want, and so that's the element of compromise that I spoke of," he added.