The T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) will once again be supporting the incumbent Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Rickey Skerritt and vice president Dr Kishore Shallow when the annual general meeting (AGM) and elections of officers take place on March 28.
Skerritt, 62, and 35-year-old Dr Shallow, the current president of St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association, are being nominated by the Leeward Islands Cricket Board and seconded by the TTCB.
On Wednesday, veteran CWI director Anand Sanasie announced his candidacy for the position of president saying that the time is right for new ‘visionary leadership'.
However, he is yet to announce who has nominated him and who has seconded his nomination. His running mate for vice president is Calvin Hope, the vice president of the Barbados Cricket Board (BCB), who is also a CWI Director and like Sanasie, no announcement of nomination confirmation was provided.
However, the national executive of the TTCB met via Zoom on Friday and Guardian Media Sports was reliably informed that the main topic on the agenda was the nomination of the candidates for the positions of president and vice president of CWI.
And, after close to two hours of discussion during the meeting chaired by president Azim Bassarrath, the meeting unanimously agreed to endorse the nominations of Skerritt and Dr Shallow for another two-year term at the helm of CWI.
Guardian Media was told from a meeting insider that the discussions centred around how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had affected cricket activities in the Caribbean and throughout the world since March 2020 and that it would be unfair to judge the performance of the CWI leadership in the context of an abbreviated term of office.
Also, the TTCB believed that notwithstanding the negative impact on cricket over the past year, several initiatives initiated by Skerritt and Dr Shallow as enunciated in their manifesto gained valuable traction but needed more time to produce the desired results.
The meeting pointed to what has been described as the "Robust 10-point Cricket First” plan which is designed to gain global competitiveness and focuses on the development of the skill and character of a new generation of cricketers. And that Skeritt and Dr Shallow have placed great emphasis on science, technology and innovation, and despite the interruption of their programme by the COVID-19 pandemic, tangible results have already been produced in a meaningful way.
The executive believes that the CWI under both officers had also made headway in addressing the concerns raised about the governance of regional cricket and the Wehby Report which is seen as a work in progress and which can form the basis of what is required to positively impact regional cricket.
The TTCB also felt that no positive outcome can be accomplished with a change in CWI leadership presently, after a shortened tenure at this time and that the two candidates must be allowed another term to advance their goals. The local cricket officials were also unimpressed with the limited information available at the time of its meeting on the plans and objectives of the candidates who will be opposing Skerritt and Dr Shallow.
Therefore, the TTCB called for unity among the territorial boards in the face of the latest challenge being faced and is confident that with the resumption of cricket, much more will be done to elevate the status of West Indies cricket at home and abroad under the leadership of Skerritt and Dr Shallow.
Meanwhile, Sanasie has pointed to enhancing the fortunes of the West Indies side, strengthening the domestic game, and the transformation of grassroots cricket is crucial to his hopes of securing the votes necessary to topple Skerritt.
Additionally, Sanasie also listed the development of women’s cricket, closer collaboration and power-sharing with territorial boards, and an expansion thrust into the North American market, as other areas critical to his vision for West Indies cricket.
He said: “First, we recognise that the performance of the West Indies team serves as a barometer for the state of West Indies cricket and as the only constant in the regional psyche.”
He continued: “Secondly, regional cricket is what supplies and fortifies the West Indies team. The territorial boards manage the production line of elite players for the West Indies teams.
“We believe that regional cricket requires greater investment from the CWI level and will implement a system of greater (i) sponsorship share and (ii) larger annual subvention to each territorial board.
“Thirdly, regional cricket and ultimately the West Indies team is only as strong as our grassroots cricket programmes. We believe that there needs to be the renewed focus, revitalisation, and a revolution in grassroots and school cricket all across the Caribbean.”
Sanasie said that there needed to be a “renewed and heavier emphasis on the development of women’s cricket”, with a “comprehensive strategic measurable programme” implemented to ensure West Indies became one of the world’s elite sides.
Also of major importance, Sanasie, the current secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board, said, was the ability of CWI to capitalise on the lucrative existing opportunities in North America, and utilising them “as a critical plank of augmenting and guaranteeing financial stability.
“This is what Calvin and I bring to the table and what we humbly offer to the people of the region', he explained.
Skerritt, and running mate Dr Shallow, defeated three-term incumbent Dave Cameron and Emmanuel Nathan, in the last CWI elections staged in 2018.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr has set February 26 as the date for the long-awaited election of the new executive of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB).
The Minister’s move followed the Demerara Cricket Board elections which took place on Friday, having been previously mired in years of litigation.
A public notice put out by Minister Ramson Jr, states: "With the Demerara Cricket Board election just concluded as directed by Order of Court of the 15th February 2021 by Justice Navindra Singh in Action number 2018-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-622 and having just consulted with Cricket West Indies (formerly known as West Indies Cricket Board) pursuant to the requirements of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act, I hereby make the following appointments: 1. that the 26th February 2021 as the day for the first election of the Guyana Cricket Board; and 2. that Kamal Ramkarran, Attorney at Law, is the Cricket Ombudsman. The Cricket Ombudsman will hereinafter advise as to the next steps in accordance with the Guyana Cricket Administration Act."