BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC):
Former Cabinet minister and West Indies team manager, Ricky Skerritt, has formally launched his bid to unseat Cricket West Indies president, Dave Cameron, at next month’s elections in Jamaica.
The 62-year-old will be partnered by vice-presidential candidate, Dr Kishore Shallow, who is the current president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association Inc, and a CWI director.
Significantly, Skerritt and Shallow have had their nominations supported by the Leeward Islands Cricket Board and Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, setting the stage for an intriguing campaign in coming weeks in what is expected to be tense election.
Jamaican Cameron, a highly controversial figure in West Indies cricket, is running for a fourth consecutive term as CWI president after being first elected back in 2013 when he took over from St Lucian diplomat Julian Hunte.
He will be partnered again by vice-president Emmanuel Nanthan.
Skerritt, also a CWI director, said that one of their main aims once elected was to significantly reduce the sizeable budget allocated to the president’s office, and redirect those funds into grassroots development.
‘Cricket First’ plan
The move is contained in a 10-point ‘Cricket First’ plan, which forms the bedrock of the duo’s campaign for the top positions in CWI.
“By my estimation, too much cost is being wasted on administrative and non-cricket-related activities including the high price of running an elaborate office for the president,” said Skerritt, a former tourism and sports minister in St Kitts.
“The budget for the president’s office has been growing alarmingly in recent years, and I intend to reallocate a sizeable portion of that budget to grassroots cricket.”
He continued: “Refocusing attention on the basics of cricket, and helping more young people to enjoy playing and learning from the game, is what must become our daily mission at CWI. We must also help as many of our talented youth as possible to proudly make the transition to regional and international competitiveness, at the highest levels.
“Every dollar CWI spends in the future should relate in some way to the growth and betterment of all those involved in our beloved game.”
The 35-year-old Shallow, meanwhile, said that he was driven by the belief that the state of West Indies cricket should be “far better than our current status suggests”.
“Ricky and I share the philosophy that the actual cricket must be placed first, with absolutely no compromise,” said the information technology and business consultant.
“West Indies cricket remains an extraordinary global brand which by all calculations has significantly underachieved. By leading a harmonised effort of all stakeholders, we would be well on the pathway to overdue success.”