BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Cricket West Indies presidential hopeful, Ricky Skerritt, believes the current administration has immersed itself in unnecessary conflict to the detriment of cricket development across the region.
Skerritt, who is seeking to topple the incumbent Dave Cameron at elections in Jamaica later this month, said there were a number of key elements being overlooked by the current CWI administration because of the constant distractions.
“One of the things that jumps out is the fact that Cricket West Indies is fighting too many battles with too many stakeholders,” said Skerritt, a former St Kitts and Nevis Cabinet minister.
“The only battles we should be fighting, with any sort of contention, should be on the field of play.”
He added: “The grassroots cricket, the development requirements, the coaching development, the high performance system – all the key ingredients that are necessary, that are essential for building what I would call a sustainable approach to cricket development – [is where the focus should be].
“So we are producing over the next several years and into the foreseeable future, all of the future young players and all of the future young West Indians who love cricket and are proud of cricket, whether they have become stars or not.”
Most notably, CWI has clashed with CARICOM in recent years over the contentious issue of governance reform, all the while rejecting any government inference in its affairs.
This stemmed from the CARICOM-commissioned Governance Review Report which among other recommendations, called for the “immediate dissolution” of the CWI board.
CWI subsequently lambasted the report’s chief recommendation as “impractical” and an “unnecessary and intrusive demand”.
Further, the regional governing body has had several stand-offs with players, leading to a strained relationship between several senior players and the board.
Skerritt said CWI was no longer observing its most important mandate.
“Unfortunately, Cricket West Indies has lost its focus on cricket,” he stressed.
CWI elections are set for March 24 and Skerritt will have as his running mate, St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association president, Dr Kishore Shallow.
Vice-president Emmanuel Nanthan will again partner Cameron.