Wednesday, April 17, 2024

A case against CWI ‘executive presidency’

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BASSETERRE – Cricket West Indies presidential candidate, Ricky Skerritt says a plan by incumbent Dave Cameron to transform the position into an executive presidency would be a betrayal of longheld West Indies cricket values.

Describing the plan as “troubling”, the former Cabinet minister here said it would result in an “autocratic leadership structure”, which would diminish the importance of CWI’s paid executives.

“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,” Skerritt said.

“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.”

Cameron, however, dismissed suggestions that he wanted to become an executive president.

“I have no desire to be called an executive president, but the nature of the powers of the president are not ceremonial. It is one that demands accountability and action, the president, based on the constitution, is the responsible individual for the organisation and such were the findings of a corporate governance review,” he told an audience at an Open Forum hosted by the Rotary Club at Hilton Barbados on Thursday night.

‘Findings distorted’ “The findings have been distorted by those who wish to misinterpret and cause divisions. I prefer to be remembered simply as your humble servant who has served in the best interests of West Indies’ cricket.”

Skerritt last Thursday announced his bid to challenge Cameron, with running mate Dr Kishore Shallow contesting the vice-presidency against Emmanuel Nanthan.

The 62-year-old Skerritt is a former tourism and sports minister in St Kitts, and a former manager of the West Indies team. Shallow, meanwhile, is an information technology and business consultant, who is the current president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association.

The pair, both CWI directors, have already received the backing of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board and the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, with 12 votes up for grabs at the March 24 elections scheduled for Jamaica.

Skerritt and Shallow have laid out a ten-point “Cricket First” plan, which has as some of its aims a renewed investment in grassroots cricket, the modernisation of coaching education and enhancement of the franchise system.

In addition to their cricket plan, Skerritt and Shallow have proposed a six-year term limit on the CWI presidency, similar to what was recently enacted by the Vincentian association.

Shallow said such a move would enhance the organisational structure and reduce much of the politics involved in the presidency.

“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.”

Cameron is bidding for a fourth straight term as president after taking over from St Lucian diplomat Julian Hunte in 2013. (CMC/HG)

Dave Cameron (FP)

Ricky Skerritt

( left), an Independent Cricket West Indies director, speaking with the then director of cricket Richard Pybus during a directors meeting in 2015.

(Picture courtesy CWI Media.)

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