Political divide in Windies cricket has gone to an all-time low — JCA bossTuesday, March 30, 2021
BY SANJAY MYERS
CONTENDING parties are lashing out at each other after Sunday's bizarre postponement of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) leadership election.
CWI presidential challenger Anand Sanasie is accusing incumbent Ricky Skerritt of not adhering to due process, which he said caused the no-show of some shareholder representatives at the virtual annual general meeting (AGM).
However, Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) boss Wilford “Billy” Heaven, a CWI director and ally of Skerritt, fired back, arguing that the absence of the representatives was an indication of mounting political tension in regional cricket.
Sanasie, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) secretary, and Calvin Hope of Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), are seeking to unseat the Kittitian Skerritt and Vincentian Dr Kishore Shallow for the respective CWI posts of president and vice-president.
Skerritt has served a two-year term as president after beating Jamaican Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron for regional cricket's top job in 2019.
Each territorial board appoints two shareholder representatives for a total of 12 votes but only eight representatives —two each from Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB), Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), Leeward Islands Cricket Board, and Windward Islands Cricket Board — were present Sunday morning.
BCA and GCB representatives were absent. As per CWI guidelines, nine representatives are required for a quorum.
“I am disappointed in the turn of events regarding the CWI AGM but this should be expected as the incumbent has total disregard for the CWI Articles and its provisions, especially as it relates to financial transparency and requirements for the elections process,” Sanasie told the Jamaica Observer via text message on Sunday.
The GCB issued a statement that its decision not to attend was “in keeping with the provisions” of the regional board.
“The main reason for this decision was that the current leadership of CWI failed to conform with the statutory requirements of the articles of association and present audited financial statements of CWI.
“Financial statements must be sent to shareholders 14 days before the AGM, and are required to be approved by the board of directors. This was not done for the first time in decades,” it said.
The statement said “non-presentation of the audited financial statement raises serious questions of accountability, transparency and the management of CWI finances” and added that the GCB will not provide “waivers to CWI for the audited financial statements to allow the current leadership to steamroll ahead with the AGM”.
On Sunday CWI announced that April 11 is the new date for the AGM.
Heaven said the audited financial statement was previously submitted in a timely manner and that last Friday's final submission of a consolidated statement — inclusive of updates related to CWI's acquisition of Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua — should not have caused a rift.
“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. The political divide in West Indies cricket has gone to an all-time low. It is not the first that CWI has requested and been granted a waiver.
“The separate financial statements of CWI and the consolidated financial accounts did not carry any material difference in the numbers. The only difference I picked up in the accounts was the expense related to Coolidge Ground, so it would not compromise the true and fair opinion given by the auditors,” Heaven told the Observer during a telephone interview.
The JCA president added: “So their issue is the notice period — it cannot be the integrity of the accounts. The AGM is now April 11, 2021 — which covers the 14-day period. We will see what happens at that time, if the concern will be the same or if we will see a different issue surfacing.”
Though not providing any details, Sanasie indicated he and his backers could take another stance come April 11.
“It would appear that even the process for setting a new date [for the AGM] was done in an undemocratic manner and contrary to the provisions of the CWI Articles,” said the Guyana cricket administrator.
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