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CWI working to resolve financial crisis

Anmar Goodridge-Boyce

CWI working to resolve financial crisis
Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt. (FILE)

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The financial crisis plaguing Cricket West Indies (CWI) was high on the agenda at the annual general meeting over the weekend and re-elected president Ricky Skerritt says an end to the dilemma is in sight.

Skerritt, 64, who along with vice president Dr Kishore Shallow was returned to office unopposed for a second two-year term at the CWI elections last Sunday, told NATION SPORT there must be greater sustainability for the organisation’s financial management.

He said CWI currently earns US $38 million per annum in profit but spends in the region of US 40 to 43 million, and it simply can’t be business as usual in the future.

“We are still operating in a crisis situation in terms of cash flow. We have been managing our way, hopefully towards the finish, but it is not here as yet. We need to continue to get our cash flow into a healthier situation so that we can be able to meet our obligations when they come through on all fronts. The problem is … because of the way our system was and the way in which we do business … we have profit, but don’t have cash,” he said during a telephone interview.

“We spend more than we earn, but CWI is a sizable business and so our overall deficit is not in good shape. We need to have some level of reserves so in a period of crisis if things go bad, we have no cash to turn to, to continue paying players. Cricket West Indies has to do a better job in making sure that we live within our means and at the same time we collect cash that is due to us,” he added.

Skerritt who was first elevated to the CWI top position in 2019 when he defeated Dave Cameron said following the AGM, administrators must now shift their attention towards a short-term plan of ensuring regional cricket returns.

“We want to get our players to build on the momentum we started with earlier in the year. We had over 70 days of cricket in Antigua and it was quite an experience. We had the women’s camp and we had the Super 50 and Sri Lanka tour. Our players need to be busy, they need to work and to be getting better and preparing and to have certainty about when they will be playing again and that is a priority now.

“We have to revisit the franchise system and look at when it can happen again. We have to make sure the standard goes up and keep pushing the issues of fitness and making sure that our players are well prepared in between tours and tournaments.”

Skerritt said CWI paid over US $200 000 on COVID-19 tests for players and officials as staging cricket during the pandemic is proving to be a tough task.

“It is very difficult to get cricket going in the COVID-19 environment with the local health protocols and you have to make sure the players are safe; it is a whole logistic issue and cost,” he revealed.

Skerritt added that reform was necessary going forward.

“There is a lot of talk about the Wehby report but reform began before that and it has to continue but the Wehby report has to be put in the not to distance future before the members. There is a lot to be done, it is a continuation of what we started. We need to continue building our cricket system,” he said. (AGB)