Thursday 18 April, 2019

Ricky Skerritt wins CWI presidential election

Ricky Skerritt arrives at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Sunday for Cricket West Indies (CWI) presidential election. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid).

Ricky Skerritt arrives at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Sunday for Cricket West Indies (CWI) presidential election. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid).

Former West Indies team manager Ricky Skerritt is the new president of Cricket West Indies (CWI).

Skerritt, 62, defeated the incumbent Dave Cameron eight votes to four through a secret ballot on Sunday at CWI's  Annual General Meeting (AGM) and elections on Sunday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

Skerritt running mate, Dr Kishore Shallow, who challenged Emmanuel Nanthan for vice president, also won by the same margin.

The defeat might have come as a shock for Cameron, who was part of the CWI for 17 years and took charge as board president in March 2013 replacing Julien Hunte, before which he was a vice-president of the board.

“I am humbled and deeply honoured to be elected as President. We pledge to work for improvement on and off the field for West Indies Cricket,” said Skerrit.

The new president was expecting a closer margin of victory.

He said, "we have been spreading the message, which we know was getting on to furtle soil but we really didn't come in here with any hard guarantees of votes. We figured we would get six and we would be happy if we got seven."

“I am grateful and humbled by the support of the members of the territorial board. This is a victory for West Indies Cricket,” said Dr Shallow,  a 35-year-old entrepreneur.

The proceedings were done under the watchful eyes of the international audit firm, KPMG.

Challenger Ricky Skerritt (left) and incumbent Dave Cameron at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel just before Cricket West Indies (CWI) presidential election.

Cameron was seeking a fourth term in office after serving three two-year terms. However, although the Windward Islands Cricket Board (WICB), Barbados Cricket Board (BCB), and Guyana Cricket Board (GYB) had stated publicly that they would support Cameron, the 47-year-old businessman received a big setback to remain in office after the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) voted not to support its countryman.

The Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB) and Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) had publicly stated that they would support  Skerritt and Dr Shallow.

Each of the six territorial boards (JCA, BCA, WICB, LICB, TTCB and GCA) had two votes each, and the votes can be cast by two representatives nominated by each of the territorial boards.

Going into the elections, preliminary count shows both parties locked at three votes each. However, reports are that Skerritt won the election after the Windward Islands backed out of supporting Cameron.

“I trusted the process.  I thought that we were men of integrity and I banked on that,” Cameron said following the defeat.

“From where I am standing, I am very disappointed that men gave me their words and then went a different way, but that’s elections all around and I think we have a lot to be proud of,” he added.

“I trusted the process.  I thought that we were men of integrity and I banked on that,” Cameron said.

“From where I am standing, I am very disappointed that men gave me their word and then went a different way, but that’s elections all around and I think we have a lot to be proud of,” he added.

A just a few hours before the elections,  the Skerritt campaign gained momentum with two more former players - Roger Harper of Guyana and Deryck Murray of Trinidad and Tobago - offering support.

Darren Sammy of St Lucia, Sir Vivian Richards of Antigua and Guyanese Clive Lloyds - all former West Indies captain - had also supported the Skerritt campaign.

Skerritt had previously been a cabinet minister and senator in the national assembly of St Kitts and Nevis and has also served as minister of tourism. He has an MSc from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

In their manifesto, Skerritt and Shallow stated that they would propose capping the tenure of the CWI presidency to a maximum of six years. "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," Shallow had said at the time.

 

 

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