News Americas, BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Tues. Feb 26, 2019: Presidential candidate for the West Indies Cricket Board, former St. Kitts and Nevis minister, Ricky Skerritt, says he is disappointed but not surprised at current WICB President Dave Cameron’s negative response to the announcement by himself and Dr. Kishore Shallow to run for the offices of President and Vice President.
Skerritt was responding to Cameron’s recent media interview on the CWI funded Line and Length network, in which he referred to Skerritt’s four-year stint as manager of the team from 2000 to 2004 as, ‘that period of turmoil.’
“While I was team manager there was zero industrial unrest by players,” Skerritt retorted. “We were proud ambassadors for West Indies cricket globally. This period was a time when we were still winning more matches than we lost and players were still respected by the CWI leadership.”
He added: “Instead of making such unfounded and petty attacks on me I recommend that Mr. Cameron hold audience with former players and ask about their experiences and existing relationships with me. But relationships with facts and truth apparently mean little to Cameron.”
Skerritt slammed back that while at the helm of Cricket West Indies, Cameron has faced multiple instances when the Board and the senior players specifically have battled in public view, often with expensive financial claims and damages resulting.
S“If Cameron wants to talk about turmoil, perhaps he can explain why former Head Coaches, Otis Gibson, Phil Simmons, and the several others who Cameron hastily and summarily dismissed, from both the men’s and women’s teams, have collectively cost CWI well over US $1Million,” Skerritt stated.
Under Cameron’s presidency, the senior men’s team took industrial action and withdrew from the ill-fated 2014 tour of India. Two years later, Captain Daren Sammy openly challenged the board following the 2016 T20 International World Cup Victory in India. Sammy has never been selected since, for the team he led to World Cup glory.
Both experiences, according to Skerritt, were “stimulated and mismanaged directly by Cameron’s insensitivity and stubbornness.”
“These tumultuous instances have caused significant damage to the CWI reputation, Commercial Health, and team performance. Cameron really should not allow the subject of ‘turmoil’ to become the feature of this campaign,” Skerritt said.
Skerritt and his Vice-Presidential candidate, Shallow, have launched their ‘Cricket First’ 10-point manifesto, which promises to place significant focus on repairing stakeholder relationships.
Skerritt said they still intend to campaign on the future needs and solutions for West Indies Cricket and will avoid being drawn into an ongoing negative debate with the incumbents.
“The opportunity to rescue Cricket West Indies is now. It is imperative we change the narrative of our cricket, in the West Indies and globally, by rebuilding relationships with our best and brightest players in order to bring our passionate fans back to the game. This starts with credible, innovative leadership that listens,” added Dr. Shallow.
Skerritt and Dr. Shallow were nominated by the Leeward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Boards to contest the election on March 24th.