Skerritt delivers fast one on incumbent Cameron to take reins of Cricket West Indies

Observer staff reporter

Monday, March 25, 2019

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Ricky Skerritt and Dr Kishore Shallow will be the men guiding Cricket West Indies (CWI) for at least the next two years.

Both were elected as the new president and vice-president, respectively, after defeating incumbent Jamaican Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron and his vice-president and running mate, Emmanuel Nanthan 8-4.

The election, which took place during the annual general meeting (AGM) at Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston yesterday, was expected to be a tight-knit affair. However, Skerritt and his running mate secured victory in style.

With the victory Skerritt, 62, a former tourism and sport minister of St Kitts and Nevis and former Windies senior team manager, and Shallow denied Cameron and Nathan a fourth-consecutive term in office.

Though humbled by his election, Skerritt expressed surprise at the margin of victory.

Prior to the elections Skerritt was assured of the backing of Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Islands and possibly Jamaica, while Guyana, Barbados and Windward Island had thrown their support behind Cameron.

“I can't really tell you what exactly swung… I am not even sure where the eight votes came from, but I can tell you that everybody has the right to privacy with their votes. I am indeed grateful that we were able to get eight votes, and that gave us more than a one-vote margin,” Skerritt told journalists.

“But in this business we have learnt that if the message resonates with individuals, even those individuals who may have what you call a mandate, and if they feel strongly enough about an issue they will actually go against the mandate.

“That was the basis on which we started our campaign — knowing that we could build our voting base by being consistent with good ideas, reaching out with a positive campaign to bear on the voters, and I think that happened. I am humbled and deeply honoured to be elected as president, and we pledge to work for improvement — on and off the field — for West Indies Cricket,” he added.

His running mate Dr Shallow, the current president of the St Vincent & The Grenadines Cricket Association, was also grateful.

“My role in this is to support my president 100 per cent, to keep him energised and focused, and to challenge him. I am grateful and humbled by the support of the members of the territorial board. This is a victory for West Indies Cricket,” he declared.

Meanwhile, Cameron, who was first elected in 2013 when he toppled former St Lucian diplomat Julian Hunte, was pleased about his six-year run in office.

“I am very surprised (at the votes), but I just like to say thanks to the region for the opportunity to serve West Indies cricket. it was a tremendous run... when we came into office we found West Indies cricket in a state, and I think now leave it in a better state and we are very proud of those achievement,” he told reporters.

He was also disappointed with the outcome, having confidently stated that he was in no danger of losing the CWI top job.

“I trusted the process that we are men of integrity and I banked on that, that we are a group on integrity and we stand for something, so that's where I am very disappointed — that men gave me their word and then went a different way.

“But that is election all around. I think we have a lot to be proud of, winning back the Wisden Trophy after 10 years, and seeing us compete the way we did against England just now. I tell you I am very excited for West Indies cricket if we continue on this trajectory,” Cameron stated.

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