New president of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Vincentian Dr Kishore Shallow no doubt feels blessed since his election, unopposed, virtually coincided with rare success for West Indies on an overseas tour against higher-ranked opposition.
The 2-1 triumph over South Africa by the Rovman Powell-led West Indies Twenty20 (T20) side, in an exciting, run-filled tournament, followed a painful 0-2 loss in Test matches and 1-1 tie in a One-Day International series.
Crucially, results in the two white-ball series suggested that West Indies under new captains in the shorter formats may be on the right track, following their humiliating exit from the T20 World Cup at the preliminary stage late last year.
Readers will recall that West Indies, world champions in T20 cricket in 2012 and 2016, were booted after defeats to lightly regarded Scotland and Ireland.
That traumatising experience for the West Indies in Australia, plus Test series defeats to powerful Australia and South Africa, meant Dr Shallow's predecessor as CWI president, Mr Ricky Skerritt, left the scene with the tide against him.
To be fair to Mr Skerritt, his two-term tenure, lasting four years — during which Dr Shallow was vice-president — marked a welcome departure from a prior tense, sometimes hostile relationship between the executive and players.
Hopefully, the CWI led by Dr Shallow — relatively youthful at age 39 — and vice-president, Guyanese Mr Azim Bassarath, will strengthen that perceived improved relationship.
Readers may recall that a high-profile, three-member committee which reviewed and explored West Indies' exit from the T20 World Cup had recommended that CWI and the players engage in "frank, honest" discussion in order to build trust.
Dr Shallow is saying the right things. He tells us he has "no delusion about the considerable workload" and that his philosophy "remains one of unity and inclusivity", since "it is only if we pool our resources and efforts… will West Indies cricket make any meaningful advancement as a cricket nation".
He recognises that whatever else is done, a way must be found to improve the funding of cricket in the Caribbean — from the grass roots up.
"The challenge is always the finance," Dr Shallow is reported as telling television interviewers.
"Once we can generate more revenue it can be injected almost directly into our cricket development programmes," he said.
To that end, ways must be found to better monetise West Indies cricket with the help of rapidly evolving audio-visual technologies.
Of note, Dr Shallow is reported as saying West Indies cricket is 10 to 20 years behind other countries.
Crucially too, CWI needs to "sell" cricket as a potential stabilising influence to regional governments and business corporations — all of whom obviously have vested interest in social stability.
For the good of West Indies cricket that's a task, we believe, which should not be left to territorial boards.
In Jamaica, for example, where cricket is in rapid decline, this newspaper believes the sport can play an important role in nurturing discipline, respect, and order in schools and communities.
But those with access to resources which can facilitate such an expensive sport must first be convinced.
We wish Dr Shallow and his team well as they step forward to face a huge challenge.
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