While players are struggling with the bat and ball for West Indies cricket to get back on track, there is a fight for leadership in the administration. Outgoing President Jamaican Wycliffe “Dave” Cameron is being challenged by Kittitian Ricky Skerrit. Cameron who is not a favourite with the cricketers, has served six years at the helm. He replaced St Lucian Julian Hunte.
From reports it seems as if the race will be extremely tight, with Barbados and Guyana supporting the incumbent, and Windward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago backing Skerrit. What is noticeable is that during the past decades, businessmen and entrepreneurs control cricket in the region.
Former Barbados and West Indies pacer, Joel Garner, who contested the presidency, was defeated by Cameron, and decades ago Clive Lloyd, former captain of the West Indies team in the glory days, who was also manager and selector, was very much involved in administration, but it seems for several reasons he is no longer with Cricket West Indies (CWI).
Trinidadian Deryck Murray, vice captain of the West Indies, served on the Board of the twin island republic, but never at the helm of the West Indies Cricket Board, now renamed Cricket West Indies.
Skerrit is a politician, he served as Minister in his native St. Kitts/Nevis and is getting the backing of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, maybe because he is a politician from the OECS, and moreso, the Vice President candidate, Dr. Kishore Shallow, is from St. Vincent.
Gonsalves said that Skerrit and Shallow are modern Caribbean personalities steeped within Caribbean Civilization and they can develop cricket in the region.
Despite the fact that Cameron is not a favourite with the players and it was during his administration in 2014 the West Indies abandoned the tour in India, Jamaica might support him for the Presidency. It is not certain who the Leeward Islands will back.
It is rather disappointing that former outstanding cricketers are not actively involved in the administration as it was yesteryear. Trinidad Jeffrey Stollmeyer and Jamaican Allan Rae were very much involved in the 1960s. Barbadian Clyde Walcott and Wes Hall served as President of the WICB and Joe Solomon played an important role in Guyana but was never President of the WICB.
The cricketing knights in Antigua, Viv Richards, Andy Roberts, Richie Richardson, and Curtly Ambrose, though involved in administration, never served as President of the WICB or CWI.
It will be interesting to see who the 12 representatives from Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Windward and Leeward Islands will elect when they meet on March 24 in Jamaica.
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