Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt in full support of new CPL proposal
President of Cricket West Indies, Ricky Skerritt fully understands the negative effects of a recent Caribbean Premier League proposal, which impacts countries like Bermuda, but believes the decision had to be made.
Organisers of the popular Twenty20 tournament have submitted a proposal which, among other things, outlines the elimination of the assigned spot in each franchise for ICC Americas players, which include cricketers from countries such as Bermuda, the United States and Canada.
The proposal was shared recently in an e-mail to player agents.
Skerritt, who was speaking exclusively to The Royal Gazette, argued that the returns did not justify the commitment, while clarifying CWI’s role where development in the region is concerned.
“I can understand the disappointment in the Americas on this matter,” said Skerritt. “But after several years of the experiment, the CPL management and franchise owners have asked to remove that cost
“The good news is that over 40 young players from across the Americas have been exposed to the CPL experience.
Players such as Christian Burgess from Bermuda, who played for the St Lucia Zouks in the 2015 CPL campaign as well as Americans Ali Khan, Jasdeep Singh, Steven Taylor, Ryan Persaud and Shayan Jahangir, Canadians Saad Bin Zafar, Nikhil Dutta and Nitish Kumar.
“Unfortunately, only one player moved up the achievement ladder within CPL,” added Skerritt in reference to pacer Khan, who entered the CPL with the Guyana Amazon Warriors in 2016 before moving to the Trinbago Knight Riders, who he helped to the title on two occasions, while developing international recognition.
Skerritt, who was returned unopposed to the CWI top job for a second two-year term in April last year, underlined that the administration’s focus in the ICC Americas region has been adjusted to impact coaching and umpire education and will no longer involve financial assistance.
He, however, did admit that they will continue to partner with some teams from the area, namely USA and Canada.
“CWI’s role in the Americas cricket has been transitioning to a reduced supporting act to the ICC Americas operations, limited mostly to umpire and coaching education.
“CWI can no longer spare resources to fund actual player development other than our own,” said Skerritt. “However, CWI will continue to invite the USA and Canada national teams to participate in CWI tournaments.
“You can also expect CWI to continue to host some international teams in the USA, for both development and commercial benefits. But CWI is focused on improving cricket standards in the West Indies.”
The administrator did, however, leave the door open for Bermuda hosting international games involving the West Indies team.
“I am aware that Bermudians travel widely to see international sport, especially cricket,” he added.
“In the past I have personally met several Bermudian fans, of West Indian heritage, at various cricket venues.
“The viability of a West Indies team playing a match or two in Bermuda should be explored.”
He also believes the country, as one of the better associate member teams in the ICC Americas region, has a role to play in driving the sport forward.
“Success of any kind for Bermuda cricket on the international stage can be very inspirational for other small ICC associate members everywhere,” Skerritt said.
“Bermuda has a rich cricket history and it would be great if cricket can once again become the premier sport in Bermuda.
“My advice to any cricket entity is to put a relevant strategy and plans in place, give the implementation your best efforts, and never stop trying to bring all cricket stakeholders together.
“Cricket success truly needs a village of supporting acts. CWI can provide some technical assistance in coaching and umpire education, but we would need the beneficiary or a sponsor to cover the full costs.
“We also encourage access to the experience and expertise of our best players, past and present.”
Meanwhile, Skerritt noted that CWI is rebounding from the effects that the global pandemic had on the cricket world over the past couple years.
“There are several cricket objectives which were either delayed or not started at all because of the pandemic,” he added.
“CWI’s 2020 revenues almost died completely, but fortunately we began hosting international cricket in 2021.
“If all goes well, this year 2022 should be a very busy make-up year on all fronts.
“The main cricket objective is to jump start all of the intraregional cricket that has been dormant.
“Getting our high-performance system running to its full extent should be achieved this year as well.”