By Collin Benjamin(ESPNCricinfio) – Former presidents and officials of the West Indies Cricket Board have urged CARICOM to conduct a forensic audit of the board in order to save West Indies cricket from “absolute and total downfall”.Six former officials – Ken Gordon, Pat Rousseau, Anthony Deyal, Charles Wilkin, Bruce Aanensen and Imran Khan – have claimed that the current WICB administration under Dave Cameron has seemingly become “untouchable”, and not doing anything would lead to the “inevitable demise” of cricket in the Caribbean.“We must reinforce the message that West Indies cricket belongs to the people of the West Indies, not to the WICB,” Gordon, WICB president from 2006 to 2008, said. “It may be timely to call for a forensic audit of the organisation. We need to lift the clouded veil which now surrounds that body. Answers are required and this can be a first step to return to the transparency required of a body which is a major beneficiary of regional resources and private sponsorship.“Many lovers of the game have said to me, ‘What can we do that would make a difference?’ The WICB seems to be untouchable. I say to them and to all cricket-lovers who are concerned, let the call for a forensic audit be loud and clear. We need to save our cricket and this has to begin with getting the WICB right. It would be entirely legitimate for CARICOM to fund such an exercise and I urge that they consider doing so.”Asked for a reaction, the WICB told ESPNcricinfo that it has hired global consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and KPMG to conduct the audit operations. “We maintain an internal and external audit system with PWC and KPMG respectively. You may refer to them for any additional inquiries you may have,” a WICB spokesperson said.Gordon first made the call for an audit in July and has renewed his plea in light of the WICB’s refusal to accept the latest CARICOM reform proposal and the controversial removal of Darren Sammy as captain of the West Indies T20I team.Rousseau, who served as president of the board from 1996 to 2001, said all sporting bodies need to be carefully monitored. “There should be an assurance that there is certification by an independent group that proper governance procedures are followed at all times. I would commend to all the governments in CARICOM that they create special legislation that brings all the sporting associations under an obligation to observe good governance principles and to protect the finances of the association.”Deyal, WICB’s corporate secretary between 2006 and 2008, supported Gordon’s call and also urged for an audit of country boards.“I strongly support the call. Mr Gordon has made a strong case for following the money and has proposed as the mechanism a forensic audit of the individual boards which own the WICB and of the WICB itself. There is a deep threat of the absolute and total downfall of West Indies cricket. It’s a process which is fully underway and at this stage seemingly inevitable.”Wilkin, a former chairman of the board’s governance committee, suggested that unless the board heeds the calls for change, CARICOM governments should “refuse permission for use of the stadia and refuse them access to regional cricket grounds”.“The real leverage which CARICOM has, if it seriously wants to force the WICB to change, is the control of most of the stadia used for international matches,” Wilkins said. “The WICB will not be able to host touring teams if the CARICOM governments refuse permission for use of the stadia and the various other permits required under local law.”Wilkins said he was sceptical about CARICOM’s unity considering the emergence of factions within the regional body. In June, Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne had stated that he would categorically reject the CARICOM’s call for dissolving the WICB.Imran Khan, a former WICB communications officer, also felt the CARICOM’s refusal to give the WICB access to certain grounds could have an impact. “Two things need to happen: mass fan boycott, and CARICOM governments refusing the WICB access to grounds which they own or control or have influence over,” Khan said.“CARICOM can no longer delay taking decisive action to rescue the regional game from the cauldron of incompetence from which it boils. To not act is to contribute to the further deterioration of the regional game and to be complicit in its inevitable demise.”
And the evening kick-off will see Treviso travel to play the Scarlets from 6pm. Andrew Smith and Dave Kilcoyne scored the other tries for Anthony Foley’s side at Thomond Park, with JJ hanrahan contributing three conversions.Elsewhere, Kieran Marmion scored the only try of the game at the Sportsground last night to help Connacht beat leinster by 10-9 and continue their winning start to the season and put them top of the table.In the Pro 12 today, The Dragons will host the Glasgow Warriors at Rodney Parade from 2:40.
This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.There are nearly 400 million web pages, and that number grows every minute. Mastering landing page SEO is critical to becoming visible to your target market. Without it, your landing pages will fade into obscurity. Here are three SEO-focused tactics to try on your landing page.1. Provide better customer serviceOnly 4 out of 10 companies consider themselves customer-centric. That’s not good for dwell time SEO metrics and overall customer satisfaction. Things like bounce rate, time on site, and CTR all impact your ranking potential. And bad customer experiences will lead to bad metrics. A great example of providing a better customer service experience is via Housecall Pro:To provide a better experience, they use FAQs to answer commonly asked questions.This also works to add content and text to the landing page, helping them rank on Google. Lastly, they offer live-chat (shown in the bottom right corner) to connect instantly with guests, improving dwell time and conversions. Some great ways to improve the experience on your pages are: Live chatDiverse contentFAQsKnowledge centersWebsite speedWhile you don’t need to use all of the above, you should utilize usability testing to help decide which factors are most important.2. Dial in your messagingMessaging is critical for both users and search engines. Targeting the right keywords will help you rank. But making those keyword phrases compelling enough to purchase is just as (if not more) important. Check out this example landing page from Freshdesk’s Helpdesk page:In this post, Freshdesk nails both messaging for SEO and users. First, they target a central, main keyword focus: Helpdesk Software. Next, they fill their landing page with relevant and related keywords, as well as contextual information.This is landing page SEO mastery!One of my favorite examples is from Adventure For Less, a travel blog:With simple messaging geared right towards their audience, they are clearly trying to attract a very specific segment of the travel space. This helps them both stand out in search engine results and drive higher click-through rates. Be unique! Unique messaging can help you differentiate from competitors and improve CTR. Need help with your own messaging? Check out this simple messaging breakdown from Intercom to derive inspiration:Answer these questions and you’ll serve both users and search engines alike. In conclusionLanding page SEO is not as complex as it’s made out to be. These three examples are great inspiration, but it’s as simple as this: Focus on providing a better experience from start to finish. Then, dial in your content and messaging to hit it home.
Broncos are better with FlaccoSome NFL news broke today when it was announced that the Broncos had acquired Joe Flacco for a mid round draft pick. Colin likes the moves for the Ravens because they are now fully committed to Lamar Jackson, but also thinks Flacco is an upgrade for Denver over Case Keenum until they eventually find their next long term answer at QB.It’s not exciting, but Denver will be better with Flacco and Vic Fangio than they were last year. How much better remains to be seen.Also:– Firing Luke Walton won’t fix the Lakers– LeBron not as committed to titles as Brady– Westbrook and Harden would rather chase Wilt’s stats than Russell’s rings– Steelers shouldn’t stress about replacing Antonio Brown Guests:Chris Bosh – 11- time NBA All-Star and 2-time NBA Champion; Chris Haynes – Yahoo Sports Senior NBA Writer; Bill Polian – Hall of Fame GM and co-founder of the AAF