Skerritt takes issue with Cameron’s comment
FORMER West Indies manager Ricky Skerritt says he is disappointed but not surprised at Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) president Dave Cameron’s negative response to his announcement that he will be challenging him for the presidency.
Skerritt is upset with Cameron’s comments in a recent interview on the Line And Length Network where he referred to his four-year stint as manager from 2000 to 2004 as “that period of turmoil”.
“While I was team manager there was zero industrial unrest by players. 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,” Skerritt contended.
“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,” Skerritt said.
On the other hand, Skerritt said while at the helm of CWI, Cameron has faced multiple instances when the board and the senior players specifically have battled in public view, often resulting in expensive financial claims and damages.
Skerritt further posited that if Cameron wants to talk about turmoil, he should explain why former head coaches Ottis Gibson, Phil Simmons, and the several others were hastily and summarily dismissed from both the men’s and women’s teams, collectively costing CWI well over US$1 million.
Under Cameron’s presidency, the senior men’s team took industrial action and withdrew from the illfated 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.
“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, Dr Kishore Shallow of St Vincent, have launched their “Cricket First” ten-point manifesto which promises to place significant focus on repairing stakeholder relationships.
“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,” Shallow said.
Skerritt and Shallow were nominated by the Leeward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Boards to contest the election on March 24.