Rival Anand Sanasie along with Calvin Hope withdrew from the election race
Ricky Skerritt and his deputy Kishore Shallow are set to be elected for a second term to lead the Cricket West Indies (CWI) board. The development comes after the rival pair of Anand Sanasie and Calvin Hope announced on April 1 that they were withdrawing from the contest, thus paving way for Skerritt and Shallow to be elected “uncontested.” A formal announcement will likely be made on April 11, the date to which the CWI annual general meeting was recently postponed.
The CWI board elections were originally meant to take place on March 28, but were deferred owing to “lack of a quorum” after representatives from the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) did not show up. Incidentally, Sanasie was the GCB secretary until March 29 before being unseated by a rival faction, lead by Bissoondyal Singh. Hope, meanwhile, is a vice-president at the BCA.
To constitute a quorum, at least nine out of the 12 voters had to be present. Along with the GCB and BCA, there are four more territorial boards – the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB), Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB), and the Windwards Islands Cricket Board (WICB) – that constitute the CWI board. Each of these territorial board has to nominate two representatives for the elections.
While Sanasie and Hope were nominated by the GCB and BCA, Skerritt and Shallow were nominated by the LICB and the TTCB and got the backing from WICB as well as the JCA. On March 28, both Sanasie and Hope did not participate in the AGM, but the latter did take part in the emergency meeting where the next date for the board meeting was confirmed.
“Given the unfortunate circumstances leading up to and recent events in Guyana regarding the Guyana Cricket Board, together with the refusal by the leadership of CWI to uphold the highest standards, long-standing traditions and rules for governing the administration of West indies cricket, we, having distanced ourselves from such action of CWI, have decided to withdraw our respective candidacies,” Hope and Sanasie said in a public statement issued on Thursday.
Sanasie also issued a separate statement expanding on why he had “reassessed” his stance before deciding to withdraw. According to Sanasie, the CWI elections were being held “without critical requirements outlined” in the board’s constitution being “complied” with. “This attempt, until it was thwarted at the last minute, remains cause for serious concern by those who have an interest in good governance of CWI.”
According to Sanasie, Skerrit had met Guyana sports minister Charles Ramson Jr three times before the CWI and GCB elections. Calling the GCB elections as “dubious”, Sansie pulled up Ramson Jr, saying his “actions” were “unjust, irregular, imprudent and hasty” as well being “partisan and compromised” which resulted in Singh’s administration being elected.
Sanasie also pointed out that Skerrit had gained an “advantage”. “Prior to the GCB elections Minister Ramson held Three (3) meetings with the CWI President and a select group of Directors, from which the GCB nominated Directors were excluded despite their objection on the one occasion when they were aware of the meeting. The actions of Minister Ramson, at all material times, were deeply partisan and prejudicial, in favour of those who seek control of the GCB for political and personal purposes, and clearly intended to give my opponent an advantage in the CWI Elections. The Minister’s unpatriotic action supported and enabled my opponent to undermine my candidacy.”
Sanasie is yet to send a formal withdrawal letter to the CWI corporate secretary, which he said he would be doing shortly. Hope, though, had confirmed to the CWI he had quit the election race.
Sanasie urged Skerritt to have the territorial boards included in executive decisions. “I take this opportunity to extend congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Ricky Skerritt since he will be uncontested. I urge that more deliberate efforts be made to strengthen the finances of CWI and to improve in the areas of prudent fiscal management, accountability and transparency. I also urge that greater respect be accorded to Territorial Boards and that there is considerably more inclusivity in executive decision making and corporate governance.”
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo