BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Barbados Cricket Association president, Conde Riley, said his board’s decision to support the incumbent Dave Cameron in this month’s Cricket West Indies presidential elections, negated any need to entertain the proposals of challenger Ricky Skerritt and running mate Dr Kishore Shallow.
Last week, Skerritt and Shallow claimed the BCA, along with the Guyana Cricket Board and the Windward Islands Cricket Board, had rejected their written request to present their plans for West Indies cricket, in the lead up to the March 24 elections in Jamaica.
However, Riley said his board had taken a vote last month to support Cameron and incumbent vice president, Emmanuel Nanthan, making it unnecessary to accept the request from Skerritt and Shallow.
“Once the board decided that they were supporting the incumbents, that was it. You can’t come out and go against something that has been agreed on a vote by the full BCA board,” Riley told the Daily Nation here.
“My board made a decision, not Conde Riley. The decision was made based on two things. The expansion of the regional first-class season from five matches to ten and the professionalism of regional cricket where instead of just 15 Test cricketers being paid substantial salaries, each of the 15 young cricketers in the six franchises would now be given a salary and be able to earn a living.”
He added: “This was done under the current president and vice-president in 2014. In addition, CWI is also paying the female cricketers.
“Having served under several presidents since 2006, he (Cameron) was the one who professionalised regional cricket and while we have not turned the corner yet, you are now seeing the fruits with our recent performances.”
Skerritt said they had reached out to the three boards with the hope of presenting their plans for West Indies cricket prior to the nomination process but had been blocked from doing so.
The former Cabinet minister in St Kitts said they had not been seeking support for their nomination, only to put forward their ideas for the “reform of the game in the Caribbean”.
“Three boards – Barbados, Guyana and Windward Islands – wrote back in a matter of days, all turning down our request, almost in tandem.”Skerritt said.
“In the case of Guyana, we noted that they had chosen to nominate Dave even before the nomination process was open.
“The three presidents confirmed their unwavering support for the incumbents and very respectfully said no thanks to our request to present.”
A recent CWI release said Cameron had secured the support of four boards after being twice nominated – first by the Windwards and Guyana Cricket Board, and then by the Jamaica Cricket Association and Barbados.
Shallow, the president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association, said such a move was “unprecedented” and raised questons about the use of Cameron’s power during the nomination process.
“This type of blind, unrelenting support without even exploring leadership options or alternative ideas contradicts the democratic process and is probably not reflective of the majority base of members who they represent,” Shallow said.
“Cricket leaders should seek more information from the base and should explore new strategies in order to push the game at the local and regional levels forward.”
Each of the six territorial board wield two votes at this month’s elections.
Skerritt and Shallow were nominated by the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board and the Leeward Islands Cricket Association.