Skerritt, Shallow launch bid for a second term of CWI leadership promising to build on first-term accomplishments

By Sports Desk March 08, 2021

Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt and Dr Kishore Shallow have officially launched their bid to lead for a second term with promises to build on their first term of their leadership of regional cricket.

Under a campaign slogan Forward ‘WI’ Go, the incumbents have promised to continue to lead the fight for organizational modernization, including greater transparency, accountability, and partnership with all stakeholders, designed to support and prepare for achieving the best possible on-field results.

Skerritt said he and Dr Shallow would also continue to battle against petty boardroom politics and territorial insularity, two of the biggest enemies of West Indies cricket progress.

The duo is being challenged by the ticket of Guyana Cricket Board Secretary Anand Sanasie and Barbados Cricket Board Vice President Calvin Hope.  

The incumbents both candidates received nominations from the same two territorial boards that first advocated for their candidacies in 2019, the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB) and Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB).

They also said they have received formal advice of support from the Windward Islands Cricket Board (WICB) and predicts similar support from the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) for the elections set to take place on Sunday, March 28, 2021.

“Some people seem to believe that the CWI boardroom is a type of Parliament where their only job is to oppose or resist any decision that doesn’t directly benefit them individually. Sadly, both of our election opponents are strong proponents of that same antiquated, self-centred, and confrontational mindset”, Skerritt said in a statement today.

“This CWI 2021 leadership election provides another opportunity for cricket lovers to think seriously about who is best suited to champion the bigger cause of West Indies Cricket, at this crucial time. Two years ago, the Skerritt-Shallow partnership introduced our Ten (10) Point ‘Cricket First’ Plan, which has become the improvement mantra of our stewardship.

“As we now approach the completion of a very challenging but productive first term, we are upgrading that plan. We are proud of the numerous transformational changes which are already taking place at CWI based on that very plan, some of the points are now self-sustaining in their implementation, but some points still need our direct attention. We are therefore pleased to let the Caribbean public know that we will be seeking re-election to a second term of the CWI offices of President and Vice President based on an updated Ten-Point plan.”

Half-way through the first term of Skerritt-Shallow, in March 2020, the region was confronted by the unexpected challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 CWI, Skerritt said, responded quickly and strategically and has been exemplary in how it pivoted to the forefront of the international risk management response. CWI under Skerritt-Shallow were already implementing the 28 recommendations of the CWI 2019 PKF Business Situation Assessment and Financial Review when the pandemic hit. "However, amid these debilitating challenges and unpredictable outlook, our 10 Point ‘Cricket First’ Plan has continued to be the foundation of the Skerritt-Shallow stewardship," the president said.

They say they have identified 10 priorities that will now constitute their upgraded ‘Cricket First Plus’ plan for their second term in office:

 

  • Greater investment in Grassroots Cricket, in partnership with Governments

 

  • Expansion of the Coaching Education program to reach over 1000 Foundation Level volunteer coaches across the region, to include teachers and parents

 

  • Review of the Regional Professional Franchise System, to improve standards and to generate a more sustainable cricket and learning culture.

 

  • Increased Fan engagement, with commercial benefits

 

  • Greater international exposure for U23, Emerging and A-team players

 

  • Implementation of a Master Plan for CCG as the hub of a Regional High-Performance System, that includes a network of Academies across the region.

 

  • Optimum use of Science and Technology geared towards significant gains in productivity on all operational fronts.

 

  • Development of a Financial Sustainability Plan, to include increased support for Territorial Boards, on an incentivised basis.

 

  • Establishment of a Past-Players Consultative Forum

 

  • Strategic collaboration with the owners of CPL to achieve mutually desired cricket and commercial outcomes.

 

The Skerritt-Shallow leadership said they have set the stage for CWI to strengthen partnerships further with all stakeholders, especially the Territorial Boards, to build together and sustain a modern cricket-centric organization, featuring a cricket system that will produce more knowledgeable, confident and battle-ready cricketers. Skerritt-Shallow continues to be the leadership team that is best suited to continue the important work that we have started together, on behalf of the needs of West Indies cricket.

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    Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today announced a revised match schedule for the upcoming “Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup” between the West Indies and Pakistan in the Caribbean.

    A four-match T20 International (T20I) series, has been agreed, scheduled to start on Wednesday, July 28 at Kensington Oval, Barbados. The first ball is 10am (9am Jamaica Time) for the first match, with the final three to be played at the Guyana National Stadium on Saturday, July 31; Sunday, August 1 and Tuesday, August 3 at 11am (10am Jamaica Time).

    The adjustment to the Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup schedule was necessary due to the changes to the fixtures for the ongoing CG Insurance One-Day International (ODI) Series between West Indies and Australia, which are part of the International Cricket Council’s ODI Super League, which concludes on Monday, July 26.

    Ricky Skerritt, CWI President said: “Together with the PCB, CWI have examined various scenarios, and we jointly agreed that the best solution in the present circumstances is to cancel the first T20I and play a four-match T20I series starting on Wednesday and keep the rest of the tour schedule unchanged. We want to express our gratitude to the PCB Chairman, Ehsan Mani and CEO, Wasim Khan, and the Pakistan team for their understanding in this situation and for agreeing to the revised match schedule. Both teams are in the final stages of preparing for the ICC T20 World Cup, so we anticipate an exciting and entertaining series of games as both teams compete for Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup.”

    West Indies, the two-time World Champions (2012 and 2016), are using this series as part of their build-up to the next ICC T20 World Cup which will be played from October 17 to November 14 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. They enter the series on the back of a 4-1 triumph over Australia in the recent CG Insurance T20Is at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Saint Lucia. Pakistan won the ICC T20 World Cup in 2009.

    Following the Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup, West Indies and Pakistan will then play two Betway Test matches at Sabina Park in Jamaica from August 12-16 and then from August 20-24. This is the first Test Series for the West Indies in the new 2021-2023 ICC World Test Championship.

    FULL MATCH SCHEDULE

    July 28: 1st Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Kensington Oval – 10 am local (9 am Jamaica Time)

    July 31: 2nd Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Guyana National Stadium – 11 am local (10 am Jamaica)

    August 1: 3rd Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Guyana National Stadium – 11 am local (10 am Jamaica)

    August 3: 4th Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Guyana National Stadium – 11 am local (10 am Jamaica)

    August 12-16: 1st Betway Test at Sabina Park – 10 am Jamaica Time (11 am Eastern Caribbean)

    August 20-24: 2nd Betway Test at Sabina Park – 10 am Jamaica Time (11 am Eastern Caribbean)

  • Pooran and Holder guide West Indies to series-levelling ODI victory over Australia Pooran and Holder guide West Indies to series-levelling ODI victory over Australia

    Nicholas Pooran has guided West Indies to a series-levelling One Day International victory despite a scare in the run chase against Australia in Bridgetown on Saturday.

    Akeal Hosein (30-3) and Alzarri Joseph (39-3) were exceptional in reducing Australia to 45-6 before the tourists rallied to 187.

    But the West Indies stumbled in their chase, slumping to 72-5 before Pooran (59* from 75) combined with Jason Holder (52) for a decisive 93-run sixth-wicket stand.

    Player of the Match Pooran was crucially dropped by Moises Henriques off Adam Zampa on 26, before making his eighth ODI half-century.

    Mitchell Starc, who finished with 26-3 from 10 overs, had dismissed Evin Lewis (1) and Darren Bravo (duck), before trapping Holder LBW but Pooran guided the hosts home.

    Earlier, Australia struggled with the bat, with Hosein dismissing Henriques, stand-in captain Alex Carey and Ashton Turner in an excellent spell.

    Matthew Wade (36) and Adam Zampa (36) rallied for Australia, before an excellent late cameo from second-gamer Wes Agar (41 from 36).

    POLLARD HAILS 'SCRATCHY' POORAN

    West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said allowing Australia to reach 187 was disappointing but hailed Pooran's determination after a "scratchy" knock.

    "What was good this time around was the fight by the guys, Nicholas Pooran getting that half-century and Jason Holder as well," Pollard said.

    "Pooran has been looking like his old self again. He was a bit scratchy tonight but sometimes that's what you need in a game like this. You want someone to scrap and I think they both scrapped well for us to come through for a victory."

    The West Indies avoided suffering back-to-back home defeats for the first time since August 2019.

    Pooran's innings also took him past 1,000 ODI runs, becoming the 39th West Indian player to achieve the feat and the joint-third fastest for the side (Viv Richards – 21, Gordon Greenidge – 23, Ramnaresh Sarwan – 27).

    AUSSIES STILL BULLISH AHEAD OF DECIDER

    Australia are unbeaten in their past six ODI bilateral series (W4, D2) against West Indies and missed out on the opportunity to seal another victory but Carey remained bullish ahead of Monday's decider.

    "Bring on game three," Carey said. "The batting group has a bit to prove to get a good score on the board for our quicks but our quicks and spinners are doing a great job."

    The stand-in skipper bemoaned Australia's top-order batting, with none of the top six scoring more than 16.

    "Obviously it doesn't help when you're five for not-a-lot," he said. "Wade and the bowlers did a great job to get us to a total and we were back in the game.

    "We took some early wickets again and the belief was there. We created opportunities and we were in the game in the back end. Unfortunately we couldn't quite close it out and it proved we were 20 or 30 short."

  • Sri Lanka v India: T20I form a worrying case for hosts to solve in Colombo episodes Sri Lanka v India: T20I form a worrying case for hosts to solve in Colombo episodes

    Sri Lanka will be hoping a win in 50-over cricket can trigger a white-ball resurgence as they prepare to take on India in a three-match T20I series, beginning on Sunday in Colombo.

    Half-centuries from Avishka Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa helped Sri Lanka win the third and final ODI between the nations on Friday, just their second win in 11 outings.

    They have struggled in T20 action too, winning just once in their previous 13 completed fixtures. Home advantage should help, yet they have not triumphed at the R. Premadasa Stadium – the venue for all three of the upcoming fixtures against India – in the shortest format since August 2018.

    Runs were hard to come by on the recent tour of England, including being bowled out for 91 in the final match as the hosts completed an emphatic 3-0 sweep at the Ageas Bowl.

    Sri Lanka at least avoided that fate against India in one-day action, aided by a turning track on Friday that allowed their spinners to trigger a batting collapse – the tourists lost their final seven wickets for just 68 runs following a rain delay.

    They could also be boosted by the return of Wanindu Hasaranga, who missed the final ODI due to an injury concern.

    India, meanwhile, remain without a number of their star names, so these games provide crucial opportunities for fringe players as they look to impress, particularly as this is a World Cup year.

    Pushing the boundaries

    Sri Lanka have hit a boundary once every 7.7 balls faced in the powerplay overs since the beginning of 2020 in T20I action, the worst rate for any team in that period. 

    India have the third-slowest rate, taking 5.6 balls for every boundary. Captain Shikhar Dhawan will hope to help lower that number as he continues to lead the team, while Prithvi Shaw could get the chance to stake his claim for a regular top-order spot.

    Positive spin can help India

    Varun Chakravarthy could finally be handed his international debut in the series. India appeared keen to pick the mystery spinner against England in the T20I series on home soil earlier this year, yet concerns over his level of fitness ruled him out of contention.

    The 29-year-old is a compelling option, though. He has taken 25 wickets in 21 matches in the Indian Premier League, 17 of which came in a 2020 campaign for the Kolkata Knight Riders that saw him finish with an economy rate of 6.84 runs per over.

    Key series facts

    – India are unbeaten against Sri Lanka in multi-game bilateral T20I series (W3 D1). India have beaten Sri Lanka in each of the past three such series, the most recent meeting being in January 2020.

    – Sri Lanka have one win from their past 11 completed T20I matches against India (L10). The solitary triumph was achieved in March 2018 when the Lions beat the Men in Blue by five wickets at the very same venue this match is being played.

    – Since the beginning of 2020, only 43 per cent of the runs scored by Sri Lanka in men's T20I matches have come via boundaries, the lowest rate for any team in that period.

    – Dasun Shanaka has a batting dot ball rate of 48 per cent in T20I matches since the beginning of 2020. Only two players have a higher rate than the Sri Lankan (Chris Gayle at 53 per cent and Andre Fletcher at 51 per cent, minimum 100 balls faced).

    – Bhuvneshwar Kumar needs five wickets to reach 50 in T20I action for India. He will become the fourth player to achieve this feat for his country, with his career-best figures seeing him take 5-24 against South Africa in 2018.

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