'This is the best way forward'
Heaven weighs in after CWI President Skerritt, Vice-President Shallow returned for 2nd two-year termMonday, April 12, 2021
AFTER Ricky Skerritt was returned unopposed as president of Cricket West Indies (CWI), Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) boss Wilford “Billy” Heaven says it is “the best way forward” for the governance of the regional game.
“This is the best way forward — that the leadership remains intact,” Heaven told the Jamaica Observer after yesterday's rescheduled virtual annual general meeting (AGM).
“Given all that has happened — and this is irrespective of who was there [in charge] — I would support the incumbents on the basis that they've done well. Plus, given the current circumstance and environment, you would not be able to evaluate anyone for success or failure.
“They did not get a reasonable opportunity to prove themselves because of the pandemic, so even from that standpoint it was necessary to have the continuation of leadership,” he said in reference to the myriad challenges presented by the novel coronavirus.
Though Skerritt and his vice-president running mate Dr Kishore Shallow were not challenged yesterday, the CWI constitution required shareholder representatives to vote. The incumbents garnered 11 votes each and now enter their second two-year term.
Normally, 12 representatives — two each from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, Leeward Islands and Windward Islands — would vote. However, the Observer learned one of the Windward Islands representatives, who hails from St Vincent and the Grenadines, was forced to leave the meeting to carry out national duties related to the volcanic eruption in that country.
The AGM, which was originally set to be held two weeks ago, was postponed under bizarre circumstances after representatives from Barbados and Guyana did not turn up. As per CWI guidelines, nine representatives are required for a quorum.
On that day, Anand Sanasie, the then Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) secretary, and Calvin Hope of Barbados Cricket Association, were expected to challenge the Kittitian Skerritt and the Vincentian Shallow.
After the no-show Sanasie accused the Skerritt-led administration of lack of transparency and not adhering to due process, which he said caused the absence of the representatives.
But fast on the heels of the CWI AGM postponement was the election of a new GCB executive, raising doubts whether Sanasie would have been able to get support from Guyana.
Subsequently, both challengers withdrew their candidacy, clearing the path for Skerritt and Shallow.
Heaven, who had been critical of the Sanasie and Hope challenge, labelling it politically divisive, called for greater unity in West Indies cricket.
“We need less politics in cricket because in that way we can make a more objective contribution for the greater good of the sport,” the JCA president told the Observer yesterday.
— Sanjay Myers
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