(SNO) — Former West Indies cricket captain Daren Sammy has come out in full support of the challengers for Cricket West Indies (CWI) leadership, Ricky Skerritt and Dr Kishore Shallow.
Skerritt and Shallow will face off against the incumbents, CWI President Wycliffe Dave Cameron and Vice President Emmanuel Nanthan.
In a lengthy live broadcast on his very popular Facebook page, the all-rounder from Saint Lucia shared his thoughts on the upcoming general meeting of CWI, which is set to take place this weekend in Kingston, Jamaica. The main business of the general meeting will be the election of CWI president and vice president.
Sammy prefaced his remarks by espousing his love for the game, and for the West Indies.
“West Indies cricket has been the most important thing for me growing up,” he said. “This was my inspiration, watching my idols — Brian Lara, Curtley Ambrose, Country Walsh, these guys — perform. So I have always wanted to play for that team. Obviously, cricket evolved. Different formats came in, took us, took me in a different direction. But my love has always been for West Indies cricket, and I will always hold a great debt to West Indies for the way they have developed me and really helped mould me and my career into what I am today.”
Fresh from making last weekend’s Pakistan Super League finals with Peshawar Zalmi, Sammy last played for the West Indies in 2016. On that occasion, he lifted a second World T20 title, the only captain to have done so to date. But the now-35-year-old was heavily critical of Cameron in his post-match speech, and never pulled on the maroon shirt again.
In his Facebook broadcast on Wednesday, Sammy went on to list some of what he perceived as Cameron’s failures over the years, including the abandoned tour of India in 2014, breaking ties with coaches who had attained international success, closing the doors of the High Performance Centre, and straining relationships with players, including Chris Gayle.
Sammy then went on to point out that a number of West Indies cricket greats have endorsed Skerritt and Shallow. That number includes Sir Vivian Richards and Clive Lloyd, both former leaders of the regional team. Sammy lent his voice to that number, with Shallow, who is from St Vincent and the Grenadines, coming in for particularly high praise.
Spending nearly 20 minutes speaking to his fans, who number well in excess of 230,269, Sammy also praised current West Indies captain, Jason Holder, for his leadership and growing tactical acumen. The West Indies defeated England in their most recent series of Test matches. That series-win earned the West Indies the Wisden Trophy.
But Sammy would conclude with a grave and direct admonition to the voters at this weekend’s election.
“Do not be fooled again by Cameron and Nanthan,” he warned. “Do not believe in any last-minute political propaganda. Cameron only cares about himself, and he cares little about West Indies cricket and the cricketers. I have worked under the leadership of both Dave Cameron and Emmanuel and I can honestly say for sure these two do not have the cricket at heart. And for this reason, I am asking the CWI voters to do the right thing this coming Sunday in Jamaica and vote for change. Twelve years in leadership is enough to see what Cameron can do, or has not done. And that is why I am supporting Ricky Skerritt and Kishore Shallow as they look to make the change, the well-deserved change in West Indies cricket and its administration. Do the right thing. It’s time for change. Cameron, your time is up. Vote Skerritt and Shallow. Do the right thing.”
Voters for the presidency and vice-presidency are representatives of the six territorial cricket boards, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, the Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Windward Islands. Saint Lucia’s Patrick Felix is one of the two voters for the Windward Islands.