BCA, GCB 'mistake' has increased support for Skerritt, says BassarathThursday, April 01, 2021
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board chief Azim Bassarath believes both the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) had more than enough time to peruse the audited financial statements sent by Cricket West Indies (CWI), leaving them with no excuse not to attend last Sunday's annual general meeting (AGM).
Further, Bassarath believes the decision by both boards to snub the virtual AGM and force its postponement until April 11 was “a mistake” and had resulted in a strengthening of support for incumbent President Ricky Skerritt, and Vice-President Dr Kishore Shallow.
The veteran administration said while CWI had sent out the financials late, the management had given “reasonable excuses” for doing so. And after territorial boards received the e-mail containing the financials just before midday last Friday, Bassarath believes there was sufficient time to have reviewed them.
“The management of the board had submitted a reason, an excuse for not submitting the financials on time,” Bassarath said.
“I think the Barbados Cricket Association did waive the notice as was asked for by the management team and then they withdrew.
“The other territorial boards, with the exception of the Guyana Cricket Board, did not waive so I don't think that should really be any major excuse and reason for not attending the meeting.”
He continued: “How long will you take to really peruse a financial statement? If you take six hours, you got the statement about 48 to 60 hours before the meeting, and if you take six hours to peruse the document, it was enough time.
“And there were reasonable excuses why the financial report was not submitted on time, so I don't think it should be an excuse why the meeting couldn't go on and why they didn't attend the meeting.
In statements following the postponement of the meeting, both the BCA and GCB expressed concern over the lateness of the audited financial statements and the limited time to review them.
“Despite the receipt of the documents at the aforementioned time, it was evident that there was insufficient time before the scheduled AGM to properly analyse the audited financial statements,” the BCA said, adding they had in “no way sought to frustrate the process” by not attending the AGM.
The GCB, whose Anand Sanasie was set to challenge Skerritt in the presidential election during the AGM, said they were not “prepared to countenance the irresponsible and imprudent management of CWI finances” by tolerating the untimely presentation of the audited financials.
Bassarath, however, said he believed both boards will look back on their actions with a measure of regret.
“If you look at social media, if you look at what is in the public domain, I think it has solidified tremendous support for both Mr Skerritt and Dr Shallow,” he told Jamaica-based TV sports cable channel SportsMax.
“By now I feel that the Guyana Cricket Board and the Barbados Cricket Association will have realised they made a mistake by not attending the meeting.”
Since their decision to skip Sunday's meeting, the GCB and BCA have come under heavy criticism from fellow territorial boards.
The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) said the latest development was a “dark moment” which had worsened the divide in West Indies cricket.
“This, to me, is a dark moment in West Indies cricket. When you are more concerned about yourself and position than West Indies cricket, it does not say much for our game,” said JCA President Billy Heaven.
“The political divide in West Indies cricket has gone to an all-time low. It is not the first [time] that CWI has requested and been granted a waiver.”
The Windward Islands Cricket Board, headed by Shallow, said there was no “good reason for the manner in which confusion and disrepute have been foisted upon our esteemed and honourable governing body”.
And the Leeward Islands Cricket Board also contended the actions of the BCA and GCB had brought CWI “into disrepute”.
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