Skerritt to challenge Cameron for CWI top post

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Former West Indies Team Manager, Mr. Ricky Skerritt and President of the St Vincent and The Grenadines Cricket Association Inc., Dr. Kishore Shallow, have announced their candidacies for the Cricket West Indies (CWI) President and Vice-President positions in the upcoming elections.

Both candidates’ nominations were supported by the Leeward Islands Cricket Board and Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board.

“The experienced Skerritt, 62, and youthful Shallow, 35, both have impressive leadership track records and share a lifelong love of cricket. They have created a robust ten point ‘Cricket First’ plan that identifies the strategies needed to regain global competitiveness and dominance. It focuses on the skill and character development of young players with extensive use of science, technology and innovation,” a release from the Skerritt and Shallow team stated on Thursday.

Once elected, Skerritt has promised to immediately seek the reallocation of resources currently used for centralised activities by CWI, to where it matters most with local grassroots cricket, coaching development, and the territorial governing bodies.

“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.

“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 added.

The 10-point ‘Cricket First’ plan presents strategies to simplify but strengthen administration, improve the regional franchise programme, and increase support for younger cricketers through international exposure and a more decentralised High Performance System.

The plan promises a realignment of team selection criteria with a renewed focus on talent spotting and development. It also calls for a repair of internal and external stakeholder relationships.

Skerritt added: “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.”

Dr. Shallow said he was convinced to join Skerritt as a Vice-President candidate because he holds the simple view that ‘West Indies cricket is 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. 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,” posited Dr. Shallow.

In addition to the 10-point plan, Skerritt and Shallow are expressing strong opposition to recent moves by the incumbents to create an ‘executive status’ for the elected office of the CWI President.

According to Mr. Skerritt, “After six years as President, Dave Cameron’s intention to implement sweeping changes to the democratic process of decision-making within West Indies Cricket is troubling. His desire to lead CWI as a full-time Executive, is not reflective of the West Indies cricket ethos. By advancing his plans for an autocratic leadership structure, which marginalises the role of commercially recruited executives, the incumbent has placed his personal thinking diametrically opposed to the values of West Indies cricket.”

The release added: “In another action focused on the adherence to organisational best practices, Team Skerritt and Shallow have confirmed that they will also propose a six-year term limit on the Presidency. Dr. Shallow has himself recently successfully caused the enactment of an unprecedented term limit amendment to the constitution of his local association.”

Dr. Shallow said, “I am convinced that a Presidential term limit will remove much of the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the cricket politics and excesses that too often surround the office of President.”

A total of 12 votes, two each for six member territories, are at stake in the upcoming CWI elections, which are slated to take place in Jamaica on March 24.

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