Wed | Apr 1, 2020

Rousseau hailed for sporting contribution

Published:Thursday | April 18, 2019 | 12:35 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Sports minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange is among a number of sports and business officials, who have expressed their sadness following the passing of former president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Pat Rousseau.

Rousseau passed away Tuesday night after a long battle with illness. Rousseau was the president of the WICB (now Cricket West Indies) from 1996-2001. An attorney-at-law by trade, he worked at the law firm, Myers, Fletcher and Gordon for more than five decades.

Grange said Rousseau had served the country and region well during his time as head of WICB, and that he will be sadly missed by all.

“Much like our great players, Pat Rousseau was a great figure in West Indies cricket and he will be remembered as one of the greatest administrators of the game,” said Grange in a press release.

“There were many important developments in West Indies cricket under his watch, including the staging of the Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean, the corporate transformation of the WICB ... which led to improvements in many areas including the financial situation of the regional organisation, among others,” she said.

“Pat Rousseau served well and made a considerable difference in the administration of cricket in the West Indies,” Grange added.

Billy Heaven, president of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), said he knew Rousseau for many years and that he was always very passionate about the development of cricket in Jamaica.

“It is a sad day for cricket,” said Heaven. “Pat is somebody that I know for a good while now and we have had several discussions about the development of cricket in Jamaica,” Heaven stated.

“We have had discussions on legal aspects and he has advised me a lot of times on how to proceed on certain matters,” Heaven said. “He was an ardent supporter of cricket, and the fraternity of cricket will surely miss him and will miss his input.”

Don Wehby, Group CEO of the GraceKennedy Group, said Rousseau was a mentor to him and noted that he was shocked by his passing.

“It was with great sadness that I learnt this morning that my friend and mentor for many years Mr Pat Rousseau had passed,” said Wehby.

“He was a great sounding board for me not only in business but when I served on the West Indies Cricket Board and so I want to express my sincere condolences to his family and all of the business community in Jamaica and the sporting community in Jamaica. He was truly a great Jamaican icon,” Wehby stated.