By Neto Baptiste
Cricket West Indies (CWI) President, Ricky Skerritt, said that there have been pros and cons associated with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, adding that the way his administration functioned throughout the last year of his two-year term was affected either way.
Speaking recently on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Skerritt said however that his administration has found creative ways to get the job done.
“Covid in the second year, certainly threw a lot of things off track in terms of just our ability to get together. The platform like Zoom, that came about were very good in allowing us to have communication and there were areas where we did better than we thought we could. For instance, with coaches’ education, we were able to reach more coaches than we anticipated because of the Zoom platforms and others. We have 286 new coaches across the region, 79 level ones and 81 level two certificates,” he said.
Skerritt also highlighted that the ongoing pandemic has and continues to place the organisation under immense financial stress.
“We weren’t able to host any of our international programmes last year and that why we have to squeeze so much into this year’s calendar and continue to hope that we would be able to do partnerships with governments to allow us to meet the various health protocols,” he said.
“The cost of testing and it cost well over US$100 or somewhere between US$100 and US$200 to do one test for one person. We’ve had to do dozens of tests over and over to keep the players safe and to keep the bubble safe from infection so it’s been hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he added.
A former member of parliament in St. Kitts and Nevis, Skerritt revealed that the body’s youth programmes have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
“First of all you can’t travel, for many months you couldn’t play sports and now, you can’t play sports in front of spectators and so that has affected the ability to engage in a lot of the development activity that we would have been doing. We haven’t been able to have any rising stars cricket like the under-19, under-17 and what we are doing now is pulling some names together and doing localised sessions with coaches and that is undergoing right now,” he said.
Seeking a second term in office, Skerritt is expected to face a challenge from secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Anand Senasie when elections are held on March 28.
Skerritt and his vice president Dr. Kishore Shallow, have been nominated for a second term by the Leeward Islands Cricket Board and seconded by the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB).