By Neto Baptiste
An initiative by Cricket West Indies (CWI) could see regional associations benefiting financially from their country’s hosting of International matches.
This was revealed by CWI President, Ricky Skerritt, who said the body could waive fees associated with the successful bidding process for International matches if governments agree to put a portion or all of those funds back into the development of cricket.
“I had written, just before COVID, all the ministers of sports [in the region] explaining to them what the policy is going forward to do with bid fees for international games and that we were removing the bidding process as long as they would agree to take equivalent sums of money and invest in grassroots and youth cricket,” he said.
“The idea is not to ask the Caricom governments to give Cricket West Indies any money per sé, except maybe, we could get to a point of something specific to COVID so that the players don’t need to have a 50 percent cut for too long and in that way, we would be asking each government to pay more attention to the players in their particular territories,” he added.
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.
“We want them to spend more money on local cricket, helping to modernising facilities and helping to do some of the things they have done well in the past or may have stopped doing or are doing less and that’s really the approach,” he said.
The CWI head revealed also, they he is currently in receipt of a report from the governance reform taskforce that will be made public in the coming weeks.
“That taskforce is a focus on improving the governance of Cricket West Indies and it has been a completely independent report … and that is relevant because Caricom and its prime ministers have always questioned governance as an indicator that it had to be improved unless they would not be partner to cricket anymore,” Skerritt said.
“There are some people, including my predecessor, who have been very hostile to that approach….but let me put it this way, you can walk and chew gum at the same time so there are several things that need to be done simultaneously and governance was always one so this report is going to be put into areas where, in some cases it would be fertile soil and in some cases it would be hard soil,” the regional cricket boss said.
For years, many regional associations have lamented the lack of funding for grassroots and development programmes and would welcome the latest initiative.