PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said he had a more optimistic outlook on West Indies cricket following the election of Ricky Skerritt and Dr Kishore Shallow as president and vice-president, respectively, of the sport’s regional governing body, Cricket West Indies (UWI).
Dr Rowley warned, however, that there was plenty work ahead for the Skerritt-led administration for the Windies to avoid being relegated to the second tier of the game.
“The ICC is going to create two divisions of cricket, and West Indies may not find itself in the upper echelons of Test cricket,” said Dr Rowley. “We’re going to find ourselves with Afghanistan, Holland, and Kenya.
“What we are looking for now is a best-practice model to rebuild a Test team that has declined. What was happening to West Indies cricket is that we were not able to put that ladder down in that pit to climb out of it, and I’m hoping now that Skerritt provides that ladder so that we climb out of it. We cannot continue to have a C-Class horse running an A-Class race.”
West Indies are currently ranked eighth in the Test rankings, ninth in the One-Day Internationals, and seventh in the Twenty20 Internationals, although they are currently the reigning World champions in that format.
About the CWI election result, which saw Skerritt and Dr Shallow unseat incumbents Dave Cameron and Emmanuel Nanthan, Dr Rowley said he was extremely happy about the outcome.
“I think it opens the door for us to bring about the improvements that we anticipate,” he said. “It made my day.
“Where Dave Cameron is concerned, what happened in India, in any management structure, that is when things should have come to a head,” he said, referring to the players dramatic walkout on the 2014 tour of India.
“To have escaped that and become in charge of a hegemony after that told me that West Indies cricket was on the wrong track.
“You could not have created an environment like that, created those liabilities for future earnings, and be impregnable.”