Ricky Skerritt and Dr Kishore Shallow can expect better treatment in the homeland of Cricket West Indies president Dave Cameron, than they received from the cricket boards of Barbados, Guyana and the Windward Islands.
The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) today distanced itself from the stance taken by the three territorial cricket boards and indicated it would host Cricket West Indies presidential hopeful Ricky Skerritt and running mate, Dr Kishore Shallow in a meeting there tomorrow.
Skerritt and Shallow will outline their vision for cricket development to the JCA, in an effort to gain the board’s two votes at the CWI elections in Jamaica on March 24.
The duo was previously snubbed by the Barbados Cricket Association, Guyana Cricket Board and the Windward Islands Cricket Association – all of whom have already signalled their support for the incumbent Dave Cameron and vice-president Emmanuel Nanthan.
But JCA vice-president, Dr Donovan Bennett, said it was only “fair and proper” to hear from all parties involved in the elections, before making a decision on who to support.
“Hopefully, we will get to hear from Mr Cameron too and after we hear from both individuals, we will ask questions and after we ask questions, then we will make a determination as to the way we go,” Bennett told the Gleaner newspaper.
“We are not going to go down the road that Barbados, Guyana, and Windward (Islands) have gone. I think that it is not good, and I wouldn’t want to be a part of any association where you want to hear one candidate and you disregard the next.”
He added: “I think it should be fair and proper that both candidates be heard and this is what the Jamaica board is doing.
“Mr Skerritt made himself available for Thursday and I am glad he did, because if he never did, then he won’t be considered.”
Jamaican Cameron will meet with the JCA next week to present his plan, as he bids for a fourth successive term in charge of the regional governing body.
And while the JCA was one of the boards to nominate Cameron and Nanthan, Bennett said that would not automatically mean their support was guaranteed.
“It is a plus [that Cameron is Jamaican], but it cannot be the only determination. This is not a Jamaica election. It is a West Indies election, and we are all Caribbean people,” Bennett said.
“We are one people, and yes, Mr Cameron is from Jamaica and that gives him an advantage, but it cannot be the only determining factor.”
He continued: “We are looking for the best for Jamaica’s cricket and for West Indies Cricket because obviously things are not going well and we would think that at this time there has got to be a new thinking and a new direction.”
Cameron will hold a town hall meeting at the Kingston Cricket Club next week Thursday and has invited the JCA top executives.
On Monday night In an address to a gathering of cricket administrators, stakeholders and fans at the Errol Barrow Centre For Creative Imagination, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Skerritt attempted to downplay any credit that could be attributed to Cameron over the recent successes of the West Indies team.
One of the successes attributed to Cameron during his six years in office has been the men and women’s senior teams’ capture of the Twenty20 World Cups three years ago, and the Youth Windies’ title at the ICC Under-19 World Cup that very same year.
And more recently, West Indies stunned touring England in the three-Test series last month to regain the Wisden Trophy for the first time in a decade.
However, Skerritt argued that Cameron needed not only to own the successes but the Windies failures as well, pointing out that the Windies were losing more in all formats under the Jamaican’s tenure.
“The question about performance of the team is a grossly exaggerated topic and I don’t even like to talk about it because the mistake Mr Cameron has made, especially recently, is to try to associate himself with the success of the team but then distance himself from the failures,” Skerritt contended.
“I know better than to associate any one man with the success or failure of a team but he does it when they win. I would suggest to Cameron that he not claim victory in team performance as one of his strengths.
“The team performance is a work in progress and has to continue with a tremendous amount of input, and we have to be better at preparing our young talent and building our young talent to a level of competitiveness on a sustainable basis and that is where we have to invest our resources more.”
However, over the past few years the introduction of the regional professional league under Cameron has seen more senior cricket being played in the Caribbean, more age-group cricket across the region, a greater number of young players coming to the fore, more regional players making a living from the game and greater strides being made by the region’s female cricketers.