Former fast bowler urges CWI to rethink process for bid funds

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By Neto Baptiste

Former West Indies fast bowler, Kenneth Benjamin, has warned that Cricket West Indies (CWI) must review its decision to charge regional governments with investing sums of monies that would have gone towards the bidding for international matches, back into local cricket and the development of players.

His call comes days after CWI president, Ricky Skerritt, announced that a new initiative by the board would see territories that have found success in bidding to host international matches be asked to pump those funds back into the national cricket associations and the sport itself.

Benjamin believes this could lead to much confusion and dishonesty by those in authority.

“I just want to believe that Cricket West Indies went about this the wrong way because normally it is the governments of the Caribbean that bid for the matches because they are the one who own the stadium. Maybe Trinidad is different when it comes to Queen’s Park Oval but my thing is that there is no way that the governments around the Caribbean are going to save $400,000 US dollars and are going to pump that into local cricket,” he said.

Benjamin, who is also president of the successful Liberta Sports Club here, suggested that CWI should see the bidding process through and then, having collected the funds, disseminate a portion of it to the national cricket association.

“Cricket West Indies probably needs to revisit that and say hey, you give us $300,000 and we will do what we want to do with it in terms of local cricket. Whether we give it to the local association, whether we use it ourselves and make sure that local clubs and benefit,” he said.

According to Skerritt, the initiative is geared towards encouraging governments to focus on the development of the game, facilities and players in their respective territories.

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